Welcome to another installment of iontuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers! Today, we have Andrew Schrage, the CEO and co-owner of Money Crashers, a website dedicated to helping you make better decisions with your money. Andrew graduated from Brown University with a degree in Economics. We’re excited to hear about Andrew’s personal advice and what he has to share!
What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
The best piece of financial advice I ever received came from my father. He said to me, rather succinctly, several years ago to never live beyond your means. It took awhile for this to sink in with me, but eventually I understood that you should never spend more money than what is coming in regarding income, and I have always taken that to heart. This strategy has served me quite well over the years.
What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?
Pay them back early – you’re allowed to do so under most programs. Work while you’re in school in order to generate the money, and limit the partying and entertainment expenses so you have more money to send in.
How do you stay ahead on paying your student loans back?
To stay ahead of the game, consider enrolling in a community college for the first two years of your education, and buy your textbooks used and online, or even rent them. Rethink the campus meal plan if it doesn’t make sense for you and absolutely avoid the campus health insurance. Once you’ve graduated, get yourself on a budget and make a line for your student loans so you never miss a payment. That will help to ensure that your student loans are mostly paid off within a quicker time frame.
If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self a piece of financial advice, what would it be?
Limit your expenses. Your college ID card is a gold mine for free events – so take advantage of that. Remember – all the money you spend during college is cash that needs to be paid back in one form or another, most of the time.
Would you go to a different school if you knew what you know now about student debt?
No, I wouldn’t. If you’re smart about things, you can manage your expenses effectively, regardless of the cost of the college you choose.