Harris, I think it depends on several factors. First, I recommend having a well established emergency fund that will be enough to cover several months living expenses. This will help you cover any unexpected expenses and avoid taking out additional debt. Next consider other short/medium term goals. For example, are you saving to buy a house, do you need to replace your car in the next two or three years, etc. Finally, consider the interest rates of your student loans and what you may be able to earn in an IRA and decide which option is best for your needs. Investing for retirement now could be a huge benefit for you and your wife when you reach retirement age, but eliminating debt increases cash flow and gives you peace of mind. Both options are solid. Best of luck.
Whether you want to become your own boss, start a side hustle, or earn extra money on the side, any of the strategies listed above can help. By finding ways to increase your income, you can free up more cash to pay down debt, save for the future, or invest for retirement. Saving money is only half of the equation. And if you truly want to get ahead, you might want to figure out how to make money – and hopefully, lots of it.
Babysitting isn’t just for teens. Everyone from college students to recent retirees can make money watching other people’s children. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family are still a great way to get started, but you can also create a profile on Care.com or Sittercity to expand your reach. Note any specialized skills, such as CPR certifications or experience with special needs children, to make yourself more marketable.
You may have seen the lists on online; “100 plus ways to make money” quickly or “how to make money fast online”. Most of these lists are merely affiliate link spam. I mean no disrespect to fellow bloggers, but I’m not going to add to the noise and suggest you waste your afternoon on survey sites filling out surveys. If you need money now to cover rent, or get the car fixed, reward apps and sign up bonuses might not cut it.
Folks, don’t confuse simple with easy. The principle of ‘spend less than you earn’ is indeed simple. But, like many other things, it isn’t easy; our current media inundation with advertising which begs, cajoles, pleads, ridicules, and browbeats us to spend, spend, spend makes it especially difficult to exercise the self-discipline required to abide by the principle.