Back in the day, a minimum wage job was all it took to get all the funding you needed for your college education, but those days are long behind us. As the price of college has shot up, and still keeps skyrocketing, minimum wage jobs have failed to keep up with that pace. So, the question at the moment is, “Can a minimum wage job still make a difference in your Student Loans in this day and age?”. Read on to find out.
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Minimum Wage Jobs and their value in College
The current minimum wage in the United States is a mere $7.25. Compare that to the average Student Loan debt in the country and you start understanding the disparity in all this. Working for 20 hours every week for 50 weeks in a year will yield a student roundabout of $7,250. This is assuming that the student spends none of their earnings on themselves and have no extra income during the summer. Even though $7,250 might not seem like much when you look at the yearly tuition costs of a college, it does add up quite quickly. Working part-time for four years on minimum wage can put a significant dent on your Student Loan Debts, to the tune of almost $30,000 (keeping in mind the assumptions we made earlier). And, if you are able to work extra hours or earn more than the minimum wage, the savings going towards your student loan repayments will be even greater. Running on a 10-year repayment plan, those saving you made will provide you with a monthly saving of $300 during your repayment phase. You may be able to understand now that the extra work you put in during your education can provide you with a lot of financial relief later on.
The Benefits of Minimum Wage
Although a minimum wage job will probably not come with a 401(k) or any form of insurance, the benefits such a job provides far exceed the benefits you can get from a paycheck. Service Industry is where most college student will land their part-time minimum wage jobs, such as working in retail or a restaurant for example. And even though these jobs lack the glamour other jobs may provide, they make up for it quite well through the life lessons they impart. Service Industry jobs will render an important perspective when it comes to money and time management which will provide a lot of value, later on in many different fields of employment. And if nothing else, you will at least have an advantage when you present your resume to a potential employer and they observe that you have worked hard during your education. This would implicitly imply that you have time management skills, and you are a person who is capable of striving and flourishing in a stressful environment and are someone who does not consider menial work “beneath you”. Such additional qualities make you an ideal candidate for any work as long as you have the required skills for the job.
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Balance is Key
One of the most popular excuses that college students give is that they need are not working in order to focus on their grades and although their grades are actually the most important thing for a college student and are the primary objective of your education, by no means does it imply that working while studying is impossible. Finding a balance between your studies and a part-time job will surely build up your time-management skills. It may require waking up early to work on the weekends and it may not be a whole lot of fun, but rest assured, it will teach you skills and impart values that you will carry forward for the rest of your life, as well as give you some money which becomes all the more precious as it is hard-earned. It might also provide a much-needed break from your studies, which can be quite healthy and therapeutic in itself(depending on your part-time job).
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We all know that earning about $7.25 an hour won’t even come close to paying off your Student Loans and you might feel like you’re making some sacrifices, but rest assured the benefits will be visible eventually. Working part-time, even if only Minimum Wage will put you in a much better position, both financially as well as skill-wise compared to others. Moreover, you will learn skills and lessons that are useful in the real world and just not attainable in the classroom. Just remember that balancing your studies and work is important and your life will be all the better for it.