Student loansThis is the second installment in the GoGirl Finance series called “The Side Hustle,” showcasing different ways people make money in addition to their day jobs in order to pay down debt or save money. Read our first post in the series: How to Become a Mystery Shopper. Have a side hustle? Share your story with us: 

GoGirl reader, Alyssa, graduated college in May 2013 with an impressive career as an Information Technology Project Manager…and $90,000 in student loans. 

At 23, she holds down an impressive job title, but still didn’t have enough to pay more than the minimum on her student loans.

“Like many of my peers, I am overwhelmed with student loans and my payments are scheduled over the next 30 years,” Alyssa said.

Working Part Time

In order to pay more than the minimum payments and make any type of dent in her massive debt, Alyssa secured part-time jobs as a cashier at a movie theater and as a tutor. She applies all of her income from her two extra jobs directly toward the principal balance of her loans.

“Even though the jobs aren’t high-paying, I am grateful for the extra income,” Alyssa says. 

Alyssa clocks in 40 hours at her full-time job, and an additional 10-15 hours a week at her part-time jobs. When she’s not working, she relaxes by going to yoga, cooking or reading. On weekends, she travels from Philadelphia to New York to visit her friends.

Thinking About The Future

With so much debt to pay off, Alyssa is concerned about how she’s falling behind financially–one of the key reasons she is seeking to pay off her debt early.

“While I’m not too concerned with saving for retirement now, by the time my loans are fully paid off, it will be too late to secure enough funds to live comfortably,” Alyssa said. “Not to mention, this amount of debt affects every part of my life: mortgage rates, credit card rates, auto loans, marriage, having a family, being able to travel, saving funds, etc.”

Alyssa is enrolled in a 401K plan where she contributes 1% of her annual salary, and her company matches her 1%.

“I do regret my expensive education, although it was a wonderful experience,” Alyssa said. “If I could change anything, I would have gone to a public university.”

Are you working an extra job to pay off debt or save up? Share your story with us: