How to start paying back student loans, saving money, and buildi - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to start paying back student loans, saving money, and building wealth after graduation

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Fidelity Investments study found 70 percent of 2013 college students will graduate with an average debt of over $35,000. For some, this amount of debt can be overwhelming.

Tyler Townsend of Townsend Wealth Management says paying off student loan debt can be a tough task, but it is not impossible.

"The most important thing they can do is to create a lifestyle that fits their income," Townsend claims.

"Living within your means" may mean you have to drive a used car instead of a new car or take on a roommate or two. It takes discipline and aggression to achieve financial freedom.

"[Start by] putting away some money for retirement, some money for debt reduction, and some money for short-term savings," Townsend says.

Student loans are one of the only forms of debt that is rarely excused. Townsend says each situation is different, but he advises to start paying back debt immediately, if possible.

He also says to plan to do a little addition and subtraction.

"All these wonderful graduates can do addition and subtraction," Townsend jokes. "The tough part about budgets is the emotional decisions you have to make when it doesn't work out and you have to cut expenses."

MSN Money reports the 50/30/20 "Budget Fix" makes learning how to spend money easy.

According to the plan, 50 percent of your take home pay should go to "must have" expenses, such as your rent and utilities. Thirty percent can be spent on the "fun" things, like vacations and eating out, and 20 percent goes to debt and savings.

Townsend says you can also build wealth by contributing to your companies retirement plan.

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