How I Pay an Extra $100 on my Student Loans Every Month

It’s not much, but it’s something.

We’re all aware of the student loan crisis plaguing the nation. The majority of us Millennials are currently up shit creek with an anchor of debt pulling us beneath the stinky chunky waves. Paddles be damned.

Every month I make my payment on time, and every month a weight is lifted off my shoulders only to be replaced by a heavier one. I’ve avoided any penalties, but those big red numbers aren’t getting any smaller anytime soon.

Unless I win the lottery, I’m going to be paying this sh*t off for the next twenty years of my life. A lot of you are too I bet, or you wouldn’t be reading this story.

Goodbye future car … future house … it was nice not knowing you in the first place.

With these extra payments, however, I might shave off a few months or years in the long run. Future me thanks present me. Present me really wants some NeNe Chicken.

If you’re like me and have a razor-thin budget, you probably spend your free time experimenting with cheap noodles and pretending its a gourmet dinner while stacking 5c and 10c coins on the desk. You know, for next week’s food.

So when I say I’ve been paying an extra $50-$100 on my loan every month, you might be all “Whoa, did you like, get a sugar daddy?

No, I didn’t.

To be honest, I don’t always spend these extra dollars on my loan, sometimes I spend them on another bill or some much-needed protein in lieu of noodles.

The point is, at the end of the month, I’ve found a way to secure myself a tiny cushion without even noticing.

It’s called Raiz, formerly Acorns.

It’s a micro-investment app. It’s super simple and you won’t even realize you’re saving.

Here’s how it works

You sign up, easy. Connect your bank account and nominate a particular account/card to use. Personally, I used my basic savings account/debit card.

Now, every time you make a purchase, any purchase, the spare change from that purchase is invested into your Acorns/Raiz account. Did you buy a coffee for $2.50? Well, 50c will be invested into your new account. All of your purchases are rounded up, and that round-up change is set aside.

The money is invested on your behalf, so it can and will fluctuate with the markets. Obviously the more you have in there, the more it can fluctuate, but with the small amounts that I withdraw every month, I’ve never seen a change bigger than 10c, high or low.

I signed up, on a whim, over the Christmas holidays and quickly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when, at the end of January, I had $87 sitting in my little investment app.

Win win win win win.

Now, not only do you save your petty change but you can set up recurring payments. I’ve set up for $5 to be invested every payday. It’s not much, but it makes a world of difference at the end of the month.

I’ve recently learned that by spending on certain brands, those brands will then invest a percentage of your purchase into your account as well, and as we’ve already learned, every penny counts.

So sign up and forget about it. Check back in a few weeks or even a few months. You’ll have a little nest egg set aside without having felt the bite of it.

A few brand examples:
Microsoft Store
Airbnb Host
Virgin Australia 
Uber Eats
Cotton On
Dan Murphys

A full list is available in-app, these are just a few names that I recognize.

Disclaimer: I’m currently living in Australia and have only used the AU version of this app. If the US version is different then please share below. (The brands will be different, of course.)

JLRose is an American fantasy writer, 3D artist and game designer living in Melbourne, Australia. She’s spent the past three years working on the first full-length book of The Galean Universe titled Repentance.

Her short story, The Chase, is now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. The Venue is set to be released in September. Click the images below for more.