Welcome to another installment of IonTuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers. Today we have The Color Coded Life’s Amanda Oliver sharing her personal finance tips with us.
Amanda is a 29-year-old Southerner living in the Northeast who writes for a living. She lives with her husband and their amazingly cute dog, Talulah Belle.
She loves football (college and professional), and reads as much as she can find time for (which can be hard). Her other hobbies include Netflix binging, finding fantastic places to eat, and enjoying a great glass of wine with her friends.
Amanda finished her undergraduate program and went straight to law school (which she does not recommend), then veered completely off that path by taking a non-legal job with a non-profit. She now writes for a tech advertising startup and absolutely loves her job.
What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
Always have a rainy day fund. You never know what’s going to happen, and you need to be prepared.
This came in particularly useful last year when, in the space of just a few months, we had a number of medical bills and our only car died. That rainy day fund was a LIFESAVER!
What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?
Be sure to know all of your repayment options! In addition to the standard option, there’s Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment (REPAYE), Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) and forgiveness plans such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Knowing your options, even now that you already accumulated your debt, is still the best way to make sure you pay back your loans to the best of your ability. When I was freelancing, it made a huge difference!
How do you stay ahead on paying your student loans back?
Making sure to always pay on time and keep track of all of my paperwork. It can be a bit of a pain, but I have a folder going at home. That way if there are ever any questions, I can easily reference all the important info.
If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self a piece of financial advice, what would it be?
Start saving now! Also, credit cards are not free money. And make sure you understand student loans to their fullest. Do your research!
Would you go to a different school if you knew what you know now about student debt?
For undergraduate, absolutely not. I also had a full-tuition scholarship, so that helped as well.
For law school, potentially, but I don’t know. I also don’t like to think about it too much because there are a number of things that happened in law school (including meeting my husband) that I wouldn’t trade for the world. If I hadn’t gone where and when I did, I don’t know if those would have happened. So I just prefer to look forward!