Got debt? Here’s what you can do about it.

It happens to many of us – we graduate college and get a job, but with student loans, maybe a car payment and/or rent, and a mediocre salary, we realize we’re broke or pretty close to it. What can you do? Plenty.

Collegeaftermath.com offers several good ideas on how to cope when your wallet is pretty skinny.

Prioritize

Figure out what you need to live. No, we don’t mean pints of Häagen-Dazs ice cream every day (though it is pretty awesome).  This is not the time to buy new clothes or go on an electronics shopping spree.

Stay positive

Being broke sucks. But try to stay positive by realizing there is always something to be thankful for.

You still have to have some fun

Like to read? Borrow books from the library instead of buying them. Enjoy watching movies. Rent them instead of going to the theater. Like to hang out with friends? You can do that at your place or theirs; you don’t have to go out where you’ll get socked with food and drink costs.

Every little bit helps

Pay attention to those opportunities where you can save money. Maybe it’s carpooling. Perhaps you could shop for clothes at thrift stores. Maybe you can make some big meals – like soup — on the weekend that you can then divide up and freeze to use during the week. Every little bit helps.  

Ask for help

If you have family or friends who are willing to help, let them. But, don’t rely on it, and make a note to pay them back when you can. Also, when you’ve finally made it, be willing to help someone else out if he or she needs it.

Know when to say when

If you’ve done everything you can and it still doesn’t work, have a plan B. It might be moving in with your family or a friend, finding a less expensive apartment, or moving to a new town where the cost of living isn’t so high.

Good luck.

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