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Financial experts have often said you should give up your lattes and other luxuries to pay off debt like student loans. But what if you love that afternoon cuppa and are likely to fall asleep at your desk if you sacrifice it? In other words, how do you spend money responsibly and still enjoy your life while you're repaying student loans?

Here are some tips for how to strike that balance yourself when you're repaying student loans.

Start with your core expenses

To begin, set a budget by subtracting the cost of your monthly student loan payments from your salary. The remaining balance should go toward your main expenses first. Most people will have some similar core expenses such as rent, food, utilities, and loan obligations. But there are always going to be certain expenses you will consider essential that others will not.

If your food costs are higher because you prefer buying more expensive groceries, then save money by not eating out. No longer using that TV streaming service? Cancel unused subscriptions or memberships to lower your expenses.

Add in luxuries and other necessities

Once you start making more than you need for paying rent and repaying student loans, what's the best thing to do with your extra cash? First, you should start saving some money for emergencies, large purchases, and even fun things.

While you may think it’s counterintuitive to spend money while trying to save money, depriving yourself of even small treats can lead to feelings of unhappiness and resentment. You can avoid this by splurging every now and then on a nice meal at a restaurant or buying new clothes. Just be sure to adjust your budget for the occasional treat to help you stay on track.

Adjust repeatedly

While salaries increase, so can expenses like rent and variable interest rate student loan payments. That's why it's important never to see either the expenses or the income in your budget as static.

Take time each week to check in on your spending and update your budget as your circumstances change. If you have big meetings coming up and need new business outfits, increase your spending limit on clothes while reducing expenses in other categories. 

Major life events, such as a wedding or having a baby, will likely call for bigger budget adjustments. While you might not plan to start a family anytime soon, everyone has surprise expenses and emergencies that require adjusting their budget to accommodate.

A budget is key

Ultimately, having a budget is critical to successfully managing expenses, especially repaying student loans. The better you become at budgeting, the more confident you'll be that you can afford your student loan payment every month, which means that you'll worry less. You also might find enough savings to pay off your student debt early, which will save you money since you'll pay less in interest.

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