15 Jobs That Qualify for Student Loan Repayment & Forgiveness Programs

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Student loan debt can be overwhelming. Yet it’s become an unavoidable reality for many college graduates. According to a 2018 report from the Institute for College Access & Success, two-thirds of students borrow money for college. 

The average amount borrowed, according to 2019 statistics from Nitro College, is more than $37,000. And many professions require taking on graduate school debt that tops six figures.

That’s a huge burden on new graduates just starting out in their careers. Fortunately, there are a variety of programs to help with repayment, including forgiveness, cancellation, and loan repayment programs (LRPs) specific to your chosen career. 

Career-specific programs can help reduce or even eliminate student debt in exchange for your years of service and expertise.

There are over 100 federal and state-based programs that offer student loan forgiveness, cancellation, or repayment assistance related to your profession. But while millions of borrowers could qualify for these programs, only a small fraction take advantage of them. 

For example, about 35 million Americans are employed in the public sector and could have their student loans forgiven through the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Yet less than one million have applied as of a 2017 estimate from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

That could be because many graduates aren’t even aware these LRPs and forgiveness programs exist. So, to help you get started on paying off your student loans as quickly as possible, we’ve put together a list of programs available for certain career fields. 

If you decide to apply for any of them, make sure you understand all the eligibility factors and program requirements.

Careers That Offer Student Loan Repayment or Forgiveness

Both the federal government and private organizations offer job-specific forgiveness and repayment programs. 

Generally, federal programs are available to professionals working in public-sector or high-need areas. These jobs often aren’t the best-paying or most desirable, so these programs are an incentive to attract highly qualified workers to jobs that might otherwise go unfilled. Hopefully, what you sacrifice in income will be made up by debt repayment or forgiveness.

Here’s a list of career paths that offer student loan forgiveness or repayment.

1. Public Service Employee

Nurses Doctors Coordinate Hands Team Hospital

Anyone who works in a qualifying organization, such as a government agency or nonprofit, can get loan forgiveness through the PSLF program. It was designed to encourage people to work in the public sector and covers the most careers of all job-specific forgiveness and repayment programs.

PSLF is available to any worker in a government organization — federal, state, or local — as well as nonprofit organizations. Just a few of the job types that could qualify include public teaching, military service, social work, public safety, law enforcement, public health services, public library services, and public interest law.

To qualify for PSLF, you must make a total of 120 payments while working for a qualifying nonprofit or government agency. These payments don’t need to be consecutive, but it does mean you need to work in a qualifying job for an overall total of 10 years. 

After making the required number of payments, any remaining loan balance will be forgiven. Unlike regular forgiveness with income-driven repayment, you won’t have to pay taxes on the remaining balance.


2. Federal Agency Employee

Federal Agent Nyc Secret Service

In addition to PSLF, federal employees also have access to a lesser-known LRP: the Federal Student Loan Repayment Program. To attract and retain highly qualified employees, federal agencies are allowed to offer job candidates this special job perk. 

In exchange for a commitment to work at the agency for a minimum of three years, federal agencies can pay up to $10,000 per year toward a new hire’s federal student loans. The total assistance given cannot exceed $60,000.

Depending on how much you owe, this program has a slight advantage over PSLF. If you owe $60,000 or less, you could have your entire balance wiped clean without making any payments toward your loans or needing to wait 10 years for forgiveness of the balance. 

You also won’t have to stay at the job for 10 years. Instead, you could have your balance paid off in as few as three years or as many as six.

However, the program isn’t without its caveats. For one, if you leave your job before your three years are up or are fired for misconduct or poor performance, you’ll have to pay back any money the agency paid toward your loans. 

And regardless of whether you complete the term or not, you’ll have to pay income tax on the amount paid toward your loans. 

Additionally, not all government jobs offer this perk or the same repayment amounts. 

Only federal loans are eligible for the program, but all types of federal loans are covered, including FFEL Loans, Direct Loans, and PLUS Loans.

If you’re a parent who borrowed a Parent PLUS loan to help cover college tuition for your child, you can qualify for this program. Very few options are available to help Parent PLUS borrowers manage payments. 

And, unlike with some forgiveness and repayment programs, you don’t need to have finished your degree to qualify.

However, many agencies require a degree and sometimes specific degrees. They all tailor their plans to recruit highly qualified candidates to hard-to-fill positions.

There’s no formal application for this program. Instead, you’ll need to ask your potential or current employer if student loan repayment is a benefit offered through that federal agency. 

If you ask, your employer will at least consider your request. But whether it’s given to you is decided on a case-by-case basis.

More than 35 federal agencies offer this perk, including all 15 cabinet-level departments and over 20 independent agencies. If you’re interviewing for or a federal agency that doesn’t, ask them if they’ll consider providing this benefit if you accept the position. All federal agencies are eligible to offer it.


3. Teacher

Portrait Teacher In Classroom With Students

Teaching generally requires an extensive amount of higher education. That could range from a bachelor’s degree to a Ph.D., depending on the position. Yet even those who teach at the college level often aren’t paid enough to account for the high cost of their education. 

As a college-level English teacher, I know this struggle firsthand. I borrowed well into the six figures to finance my Ph.D. (a requirement for teaching college), yet my starting teaching income was a meager $25,000.

Average teacher salaries are just over $30,000 for preschool teachers, $60,000 for elementary and middle school teachers, $62,000 for high school teachers, and $80,000 for postsecondary teachers. 

It’s easy to borrow more than the average annual teacher salary for only a bachelor’s degree, but many teachers are required to get masters and doctorate degrees. Fortunately, there are a few programs that can help them repay their loans.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Most teachers — as long as they work full-time for a public or nonprofit school or college — qualify for PSLF. The program is a major boon for teachers who struggle with low pay while attempting to pay off high student loan debt.

Although the program hasn’t functioned optimally in the past, in October 2021, the Department of Education announced a huge and ongoing overhaul of PSLF that should make the program easier for borrowers to get forgiveness now and in the future.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

If you teach in a low-income school district or work in a teacher shortage area, you qualify for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. You could receive anywhere from $5,000 to $17,500 depending on the subject you teach and your years of service. Only math, science, and special education teachers are eligible to receive the higher amount of $17,500.

To qualify, you must work full-time for at least five consecutive academic years at a school that serves low-income students. To find out if your school qualifies, search the directory at Federal Student Aid.

You must also be a “highly qualified teacher.” That includes having a bachelor’s degree and state certification as a teacher and passing state tests that prove subject matter knowledge.

Only federal Direct and FFEL loans qualify. You cannot have Federal Perkins or Federal PLUS loans — either Parent PLUS or Graduate PLUS — forgiven under this program.

It’s possible to qualify for both Teacher Loan Forgiveness and PSLF, but any years of service that count toward Teacher Loan Forgiveness can’t be counted toward PSLF. So you need to crunch the numbers to see which is of greater benefit to your situation. 

Also, if you’re an AmeriCorp volunteer (see No. 14 below) any period of time you spend working toward their repayment benefit isn’t counted toward the years required for Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

Perkins Loan Cancellation

Although your Federal Perkins Loans aren’t eligible for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, they may be eligible for cancellation under the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation Program. To qualify, you must teach at a low-income school, in a subject area deemed by your state to have a shortage, or as a special education teacher.

Perkins Loans cancellation is gradual. For your first and second years of teaching, you get a cancellation of 15% of your loan for each year of teaching, including any accrued interest. For the third and fourth years, it’s 20% for each year. And for the fifth year, it’s 30%. That adds up to a total of 100% cancellation if you continue teaching at a qualified school for five years.

Note that the Federal Perkins Loans program ended in 2017. It’s no longer possible to get this loan, but if you already have Perkins loans and you’re a teacher, this is one way to unload them.

State and City-Based Programs

Additionally, there are state and city-specific loan forgiveness programs available to teachers. To discover what’s available in your area, search the AFT directory.


4. Doctor/Physician

Doctor Smiling Arms Crossed Office

Although most doctors can expect to make well into the six figures, paying for the education to get there can take a significant chunk out of even a large paycheck. 

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the median medical school debt for 2016 graduates was $190,000. On a standard 10-year repayment plan, that’s a monthly student loan bill of over $2,200. 

Fortunately, doctors in need of debt relief have options, including PSLF for those who work in public health.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Programs

For those interested in working in shortage areas, the NHSC offers a number of LRPs for health care professionals.

  • NHSC Loan Repayment Program. The NHSC offers student loan repayment assistance of up to $50,000 to physicians and other health care professionals through their Loan Repayment Program. In exchange, doctors must work full-time in an NHSC-approved shortage area for two years. The payments are tax-free and disburse immediately on starting work. Even better, after the initial two-year service agreement, participants can renew their contracts annually to receive continued repayment assistance. The length and amount of assistance depend on the area of service. Higher-need areas qualify for larger loan repayments.
  • NHSC Rural Community Loan Repayment Program. In exchange for providing substance use or opioid treatment, health care providers can receive up to $100,000 in student loan repayment assistance through the NHSC Rural Community LRP. Participants must work at a rural NHSC-approved substance use disorder treatment facility for three years. Priority is given to sites that have received Rural Communities Opioid Response Program funding.
  • NHSC Students to Service Program. For medical students completing their last year of school, the NHSC offers a Students to Service Program. In exchange for a commitment to provide primary health care at an NHSC-approved site for three years after graduation, the NHSC provides up to $120,000 toward both educational costs and student loans.
  • NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program. In exchange for working three years in substance use disorder treatment at an NHSC-approved site, the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program pays up to $75,000 toward student loans. You get priority if you have a DATA 2000 waiver, serve in an opioid treatment program, or have a license or certification in substance use disorder interventions.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers repayment assistance of $50,000 annually to health care professionals in exchange for performing medical research funded by a U.S. nonprofit. 

Like other repayment assistance programs, the NIH LRP was created to attract top talent to an underserved field — in this case, biomedical or behavioral research.

Through eight different programs, health researchers receive repayment assistance while either employed with the NIH or eligible organizations outside the NIH. The programs are organized around broad research areas but aren’t intended to fund individual research projects. Rather, the intention is to support applicants in building a career in medical research.

Indian Health Services (IHS) Loan Repayment Program

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a federal program for American Indians and Alaska Natives. In exchange for a two-year commitment to work in a health facility serving indigenous Americans, the IHS Loan Repayment Program repays up to $40,000 in student loans for health care professionals. 

After the initial two years, participants can renew their contracts annually to receive additional benefits until their full debt is repaid.

Military Student Loan Repayment Assistance

The military offers a number of scholarships and repayment assistance programs to health care professionals. Although there may be some differences in maximum payout amounts, whether you join the Army, Navy, or the Force, all three branches of the military offer similar scholarship and repayment programs for health care professionals.

  • The Health Professions Scholarship Program. Qualified medical, dental, nursing, and veterinary students can have their full tuition and expenses paid by a branch of the military, plus receive a monthly stipend of $2,200 or more. Students are also eligible for a $20,000 sign-on bonus. Students “repay” the scholarship by serving in the military for one year per year of scholarship.
  • Financial Assistance Program. This LRP grants up to $45,000 per year in repayment assistance, as well as a monthly stipend of $2,000 or moreq to military members enrolled in an accredited residency. Once you complete your residency, you must complete a year of service for each year you received assistance, plus one additional year.
  • Health Professions Loan Repayment Program. Qualified participants receive up to $40,000 per year paid directly toward their student loans, minus federal income taxes.

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)

In addition to branches of the military, the VA, which provides medical care to veterans among other services, provides repayment assistance programs.

  • Education Debt Reduction Program. Through the VA’s Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP), doctors and other health care professionals who work for the VA receive up to $200,000 in repayment assistance. Payments are made over a five-year period, up to a maximum of $40,000 per year. The VA uses the EDRP program as a recruitment incentive to fill positions in difficult-to-recruit specialties.
  • Student Loan Repayment Program. The VA is one of the government agencies qualified to offer repayment assistance as a recruitment bonus. As federal agency employees, VA doctors are eligible for up to $10,000 per year in repayment assistance, up to a maximum of $60,000 through the VA’s Student Loan Repayment Program.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Faculty Loan Repayment Program

For health professionals who serve at least two years as a faculty member at a health professions school, HRSA’s Faculty Loan Repayment Program offers up to $40,000 in student loan repayment assistance. To qualify, you must come from a disadvantaged background.

State-Based Programs

A number of states offer LRPs for physicians. Many of these are through the NHSC’s State Loan Repayment Program. These programs provide incentives for doctors to practice in shortage areas.

Additionally, some states have their own loan repayment assistance plans (LRAPs) for doctors. Similar to the NHSC programs, these typically offer student loan repayment or other special pay incentives for doctors who commit to working in high-need areas. 

For a list of state programs, visit the database maintained by the AAMC.


5. Nurse

Group Of Nurses At Hospital

A nurse’s income can approach or even exceed six figures, depending on the type of nursing. The highest-paying jobs require graduate degrees. 

And according to a 2017 report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, more than two-thirds of nursing students borrow anywhere from $40,000 to $150,000 to get these degrees. That’s a serious bite out of even a six-figure paycheck.

Many of the programs for doctors and physicians are also available to those in nursing. 

These include:

  • PSLF (if you work in public health)
  • The NHSC programs, except for Students to Service
  • The NIH LRP
  • The IHS LRP
  • Military scholarships and LRPs
  • VA LRPs
  • The HRSA Faculty LRP

Additionally, there are a couple of other nurse-specific programs to help nurses pay off their debt as quickly as possible.

Nurse Corp Loan Repayment Program

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program repays up to 85% of the student debt acquired to get a nursing degree. In exchange for a two-year commitment to work in a nursing shortage area or as nursing faculty at an eligible school, participants can have 60% of their debt repaid. 

At the end of the initial two years, they can apply for a third year and receive another 25% of debt repayment assistance. 

Note that this assistance is not tax-exempt, so any assistance you receive is reduced by the amount of income tax you’ll need to pay.

Perkins Loan Cancellation

If you’re a nurse and have any Federal Perkins Loans, you can get up to 100% of them canceled. To qualify, you must be a registered nurse and work full-time. 

You also have to apply to the program, either through the school you borrowed from or your student loan servicer; enrollment isn’t automatic. 

As long as you qualify, your Perkins Loans are gradually discharged over a period of five years.

State-Based Programs

Most states offer loan forgiveness and repayment programs for nurses in exchange for working in a shortage area. You must be licensed to practice in a state to qualify for its loan repayment programs. 

There’s no centralized database specifically for nursing, so search your state to see if any programs are offered in your area. 

The database maintained by the AAMC is a good place to start.


6. Dentist

Boy Getting His Teeth Cleaned Dentist Chair Office

Believe it or not, dentists often find themselves in far worse student debt than physicians. According to the American Student Dental Association, the average debt load for 2018 dental graduates was a monumental $285,184. 

Like physicians, dentists can make well into the six figures, but it’s not nearly enough to make repaying loans of that size easy.

As with other professions, PSLF is an option if you work for a nonprofit or public service agency. Additionally, many of the same programs available to physicians are also available to dentists. 

These include:

  • Military scholarships and LRPs
  • VA LRPs
  • The IHS LRP
  • All of the NHSC programs, including Students to Service
  • The HRSA Faculty LRP

State-Based Programs

Many states have their own programs designed to encourage dentists to work in high-need areas. 

For a full list of state-specific student loan repayment assistance for dentists, visit the database maintained by the American Dental Education Association.


7. Pharmacist

Pharmacist Giving Medicine To Customer Pharmacy

As with many other health care professions, pharmacists have the potential to earn six-figure salaries. But getting there often requires taking on six-figure debt. 

According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, 2018 pharmacy graduates borrowed an average of $166,528 to get their degrees. 

Fortunately, assistance is available for pharmacists.

Anyone who works full-time for a public agency or nonprofit qualifies for PSLF, including pharmacists. Pharmacists also have access to some of the same programs as other health professionals. 

These include:

  • Military scholarships and LRPs
  • VA LRPs
  • The IHS LRP
  • The NHSC programs, except for Students to Service

State-Based Programs

Many states have programs to repay a portion or all of a pharmacist’s student loans if they work in a shortage area for a certain period of time. 

Although there’s no database maintained specifically for pharmacists, a search of the database at the AAMC is a good place to start.


8. Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist Rehabilitation Physiotherapy

A career as a physical therapist requires a doctoral degree (a DPT). Physical therapists can earn, on average, $88,000 per year, yet the amount of money required to finance a doctorate degree often far exceeds this amount. 

According to a 2017 survey conducted by The American Physical Therapy Association, the average DPT graduate borrows $96,000 to finance their education.

Some of the same programs available to other health care professionals are also available to physical therapists. 

These include:

  • PSLF
  • VA LRPs
  • The IHS LRP
  • The HRSA Faculty LRP
  • The NIH LRP

Additionally, many hospitals and private health care facilities use loan forgiveness as a recruitment incentive for physical therapists. 

To find out where these are available, ask during your hiring interview or contact the American Physical Therapy Association.


9. Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Therapist, or Social Worker

Child Psychologist Emotion Emoticons

The vast majority (91%) of psychologists with doctor of psychology degrees (Psy.D.) graduate with student loan debt in excess of $200,000, and 77% of those with doctor of philosophy degrees (Ph.D.) borrow more than $75,000, according to a 2014 study by the American Psychological Association.

Debt-relief programs available to psychologists and other mental health workers include:

  • PSLF
  • The NIH LRP
  • The IHS LRP
  • The HRSA Faculty LRP

The NHSC Programs, except Students to Service, are open to those with a variety of different psychology and social work degrees. And Health Professionals Loan Repayment is available for military clinical psychologists.

State-Based Programs

Many states offer repayment assistance to those who work in mental and behavioral health, as long as they’re willing to work in underserved areas. 

Although no database exists specifically for state-based mental health repayment programs, start with an online search to see if your state offers anything for graduates with your degree.


10. Veterinarian

Veterinarian Cat Stethoscope Doctor Vet Clinic

Getting a degree in veterinary medicine can cost nearly as much as one in human medicine. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), 2016 veterinary medicine graduates borrowed an average of $143,758 to finance their education. 

But while the average vet salary comes close to six figures, they aren’t paid nearly as well as the average physician. Fortunately, there are a variety of LRPs and forgiveness programs for veterinarians.

Even though vets work on animals and not humans, they are still health professionals. Thus, a few of the same programs available to other health care workers are available to them. 

These include:

  • PSLF
  • Military scholarships and LRPs
  • The HRSA Faculty LRP

Additionally, there are a few vet-specific assistance programs.

USDA Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a repayment assistance program for veterinarians. 

The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program pays up to $75,000 toward your student loans, dispersed in amounts of $25,000 per year over the course of your service. In exchange, you must work as a vet for three years in a region designated by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) as a shortage area. 

One of the great benefits of this program is that, unlike many other LRPs, you can use this money toward private as well as federal student loan debt.

Not everyone with veterinary debt is accepted into this program. NIFA only grants awards to a limited number of applicants. Also, the primary focus of the program is on veterinary medicine for livestock raised for food.

State-Based Programs

Many states offer repayment assistance to veterinarians who are willing to work in underserved areas. 

Although no database exists specifically for state-based veterinary medicine repayment programs, it’s worth it to do an online search to see if your state offers anything for veterinary graduates.


11. Lawyer

African American Woman Lawyer In Front Of Supreme Court

As many law graduates are aware, no one ever expects law school to be cheap. In fact, according to 2021 statistics from Nitro College, law school debt, at an average of $140,616, rivals that of medical school. 

Worse, the average salary of an attorney is about half that of an M.D., which makes paying it off that much harder.

Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of student debt repayment assistance and forgiveness programs for lawyers, including PSLF for those who work in public law or for a nonprofit.

School-Based Programs

Dozens of law schools, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and NYU, offer loan repayment assistance programs. 

Programs generally require you to have full-time employment at a public service law firm and have an adjusted gross income of less than $60,000, although programs vary from school to school.

The amount of student debt law schools repay varies widely. 

For example, the University of Notre Dame Law School repays up to $15,000 annually for 10 years to lawyers working in public law who make less than $70,000. 

The University of Virginia covers 100% of student debt for lawyers who make less than $65,000 per year, and a portion of the debt for those who earn between $65,000 and $85,000. 

Although you need to speak with your school directly for the most up-to-date information, Equal Justice Works has a comprehensive booklet on repaying law school loans that includes a list of schools offering repayment assistance.

U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program

As a participant in the federal employee LRP, every spring, the DOJ opens its Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program to attract top talent. 

As with other federal agency employees, in exchange for a three-year commitment, lawyers at the DOJ can receive up to $60,000 in repayment assistance, paid in $10,000 annual increments.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program provides repayment assistance to qualifying public defenders and prosecutors who agree to work in public law for a minimum of three years. 

Amounts vary depending on where you live. Assistance is payable in increments of up to $10,000 per year and cannot exceed a maximum of $60,000.

Applicants to this program must apply through their state and follow the procedures of their state-designated agency.

Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The Herbert S. Garten LRP repays law school loans up to $5,600 per year for three years. 

Attorneys must work at a qualifying organization for the full three years, and not everyone is selected. 

The agency uses a lottery system to choose 70 attorneys for the program each year.

Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps

For those interested in joining the JAG Corps, the Air Force pays up to $65,000 toward student loans. 

The payments are made directly to the lender over the course of a three-year period starting after the first year of enlistment. A JAG attorney must remain enlisted for four years to receive the full benefit.

If you remain with JAG after the initial four-year period, you also become eligible to receive up to $60,000 in cash bonuses, depending on the number of years of service. 

Although this money can be used any way you want, you could certainly apply it to any remaining student loan balance.

State-Based Programs

Many state and local repayment assistance programs are available for attorneys. To see if one exists in your area, do an Internet search. 

The American Bar Association maintains a list of state programs, but you must be a member to access this information.


12. Active-Duty Military

Military Mother Soldier With Daughter Hugging Balloons

Not only does the military offer repayment assistance for lawyers and health care professionals, but it also offers assistance to many other types of enlisted soldiers.

The College Loan Repayment Program

The College Loan Repayment Program (CLRP) is offered as an enlistment incentive for new military recruits. The program is for enlisted personnel only and is not available to officers. Additionally, not every military occupational specialty (MOS) is eligible. 

The list of eligible MOS’s changes quarterly, but all recruiting officers have it. Although there are basic similarities, each branch is authorized by Congress to administer the program as it sees fit to meet its recruitment goals. So there are differences among each branch.

Generally, the military annually repays one-third of eligible student loan debt or $1,500 (whichever is greater) in return for a three-year service commitment. Payments begin at the end of the first year of service. 

Congress has set the total maximum allowable amount of repayment to $65,000, minus taxes. But each branch of the military applies their own maximums. Below is specific information on what each offers.

  • Army. The Army College Loan Repayment Program repays the maximum. To qualify, you need a score of 50 or higher on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and must serve in an eligible MOS.
  • Army Reserves. The Army Reserve College Loan Repayment Program pays up to $50,000 of a soldier’s student loans, paid annually as 15% of your outstanding debt or $1,500 (whichever is greater). To qualify, you need a score of 50 or higher on the ASVAB, must serve in an eligible MOS, and must enlist for a minimum of six years.
  • Army National Guard. The National Guard College Loan Repayment Program pays up to $50,000 of a servicemember’s student loans. To qualify, you need a score of 50 or higher on the ASVAB, must serve in an eligible MOS, and must enlist for a minimum of six years. In return, the National Guard will annually pay 15% of your outstanding student loan debt or $1,500 (whichever is greater) for each year of service.
  • Navy. The Navy College Loan Repayment Program pays the highest amount — up to $65,000 toward your student loan debt. One-third of your student loan debt or $1,500 (whichever is greater) is paid annually for each year of service. If your balance ever drops below one-third of your initial debt, the Navy will pay it off completely. To qualify, you must have a minimum score of 50 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) and enlist in an LRP-qualifying position.
  • Air Force. Unfortunately, the Air Force no longer has a CLRP for new enlistees. The only repayment benefit it currently offers is for JAG. However, they do offer tuition assistance for any enlisted member interested in furthering their education.

0% Interest Rate

In addition to the above repayment options, enlisting in the military comes with some other student loan-related benefits. For one, if you’re on active duty serving in an area of hostility and receive special pay, you can get 0% interest on your federal student loans for up to a maximum of 60 months. This interest rate can be applied retroactively.

You also can defer making payments on your federal student loans while on active duty. Some private lenders also offer this benefit.

Additionally, for qualifying federal loans, no interest will accrue during the deferment. While it’s not exactly repayment assistance, it will help you keep your costs down temporarily, hopefully making it easier to pay off your loan more quickly down the road.

Veterans Total and Permanent Disability Discharge

If you were permanently disabled while serving in the military, all of your student loans can be canceled through the Department of Education’s total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge program. 

To qualify, you’ll need to provide a letter from the VA stating either that you have a service-connected disability that’s 100% disabling or that you’re totally disabled based on an individual unemployability rating.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

And, of course, as government employees, all military service personnel qualify for PSLF.


13. Automotive Workers

Automotive Factory Worker Painting Car Assembly Line

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) offers loan repayment assistance through its SEMA Loan Forgiveness Program. 

Any employee of a member company can apply annually for an award of up to $5,000. Awards can be used to repay loans already acquired or as scholarships for further schooling.

To qualify, you must have earned a degree or certificate from a U.S. college, university, or technical school, graduated with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and you must complete an application demonstrating your passion for the automotive industry.


14. Volunteer

Peace Corps Website Magnifying Glass

While not exactly a career, volunteering opportunities can help with your student loans. In exchange for your service, certain volunteer organizations grant repayment assistance. In most cases, as long as you work full-time, your efforts count toward PSLF.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA)

Sponsored by AmeriCorps, VISTA is a program created to fight poverty in the United States by placing volunteers in nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and faith-based groups. 

Examples of VISTA projects include organizing shelter and job opportunities for victims of disasters and creating an adult literacy awareness campaign.

Programs include a living allowance, but the biggest perk of fulfilling a one-year term of service is the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use this to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary institutions or to repay qualified student loans. 

The amount of the award is equal to the maximum amount of the Pell Grant for the fiscal year in which your term of national service is approved. Thus, the amount of the award changes from year to year. It also varies by amount of service (whether you work full-time or part-time). 

For example, for the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2021 — Sept. 30, 2022, the award for one year of full-time service is $6,495.

The Peace Corps

If you prefer to travel abroad for your volunteer service, the Peace Corps is another great option. It sends Americans all over the world to help with people’s most pressing needs. 

Projects include everything from teaching digital literacy to boosting entrepreneurship. I have a friend who served her term in Jamaica teaching environmental sustainability.

In exchange for your service, volunteers can defer their federal student loans, have their service count toward PSLF, or receive partial cancellation of their Perkins Loans.

Additionally, at the end of the program, volunteers are given a $10,000 stipend to help them adjust to life back home. The money can be used however you want, including as payment toward your loans.

And while it’s not repayment assistance, through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program, returning Peace Corps volunteers can receive tuition assistance toward graduate school studies.

Teach for America

The Teach for America program is designed to recruit and develop strong teachers who are passionate about educational equality and excellence. Teachers serve in inner-city or rural areas with economically disadvantaged populations. 

You don’t need to have a teaching degree; any undergraduate degree from an accredited college is sufficient. You also must have graduated with a minimum 2.5 GPA and be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient.

Teach for America participants receive a salary, typically between $33,000 and $58,000, and benefits. In addition, their work counts toward PSLF.


15. Other Careers

Stem Jobs Science Tech Engineering Math

Most states offer repayment assistance for a variety of careers. While the most common are for doctors, nurses, teachers, and lawyers, many states offer assistance for additional occupations. 

For example, the Alfond Leaders Program in Maine offers repayment assistance to those in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers.

It’s worth checking out your state’s programs to see if there’s one that could apply to your situation. To find them, search for your state’s name plus your profession plus “student loan repayment assistance.”


Should You Choose a Job for the Forgiveness Benefit?

Despite the possibilities, you may want to think twice about taking on a certain profession only for the forgiveness benefits. Many of these programs come with tradeoffs. 

While you could potentially have thousands — or even tens of thousands — of dollars in student debt repaid on your behalf, you’ll likely have to work in a rural or disadvantaged area where your salary is significantly less than it would be elsewhere. You have to decide if the repayment benefit or the higher salary would net you more in the long run.

If you’re still in school, you should know that programs change all the time before you take on a lot of debt in anticipation of getting a program to help you pay it. For example, the Air Force used to have a CLRP, but it was discontinued in 2019. 

Additionally, if state or federal budgets are tight, funding for a program could easily end. For example, Maine’s Alfond’s Leaders Program is currently under review and may not continue.

Many of these programs have strict legal obligations, including contracts and a minimum employment term. They can also be difficult to qualify for due to strict eligibility requirements. Most apply only to federal loans and not private student loan debt. And some repayment assistance is tax-exempt, while other assistance is considered income and taxed accordingly.

Finally, some programs can be combined, while others are mutually exclusive. 

For example, if you participate in the military CLRP program, your years of service while your loans are being repaid don’t count toward the G.I. Bill, which pays for a certain amount of continuing education depending on your length of service.

However, if you’re already working in one of these professions and have graduated with a significant amount of student debt, it can definitely be worth your time to at least research if any of these programs can benefit your situation — especially if you’re already working in an underserved area.


Final Word

Depending on your situation, student loan forgiveness or repayment assistance may or may not be for you. But, if it is, giving just two or three years of your professional life to a program you qualify for can make a life-changing difference in your student debt burden.

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Sarah Graves, Ph.D. is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, parenting, education, and creative entrepreneurship. She’s also a college instructor of English and humanities. When not busy writing or teaching her students the proper use of a semicolon, you can find her hanging out with her awesome husband and adorable son watching way too many superhero movies.

Source: moneycrashers.com

How to Save Money in College – 20 Ways

College is expensive. In the 2020-21 academic year, tuition and fees averaged $38,185 for students at private universities — that’s $152,740 for all four years!

The cost of public colleges for out-of-state students wasn’t much lower, with annual tuition and fees averaging $22,698.

The price tag is a bit smaller for in-state students at public schools (an average of $10,388), but all of these figures have kept climbing every year and show no signs of slowing down.

These numbers don’t include all the other necessary expenses of college life, such as room and board, books, supplies, clothing, and entertainment. At the same time, it’s difficult for college students to earn a lot during these years, given the demands of school.

Plenty of options exist for financing your time in college, including scholarships, loans, and part-time work. But even if you started to save for college early, trimming your expenses while you’re in college can mean owing less in loan repayments (and interest) down the line — and avoiding credit card debt.

Saving Money as a College Student

Luckily, once you adopt a money-conscious mindset, you’ll likely find there are many ways to save money in college. And building the habit of budgeting now can serve you well as you move on to life in the real world. Here are some tips for how to save money in college:

1. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

Lots of businesses and service providers offer special deals to students. You can buy clothing, shoes, and furniture for your dorm or apartment for less at certain retailers with a valid student ID.

Entertainment is another area where you can save. Some movie theaters offer discounts at some locations or on certain days. Some museums and sports events offer discounted access to students, as well. You may also find discounts on certain music and video streaming sites. And you can save on travel with discounts at certain car rental and car insurance companies, as well as on trains and buses.

2. Buy Your Books (and Other Necessities) Used

If you don’t need that new book smell, renting or buying used textbooks is a classic way to save money in college. You can find used books at many campus bookstores or certain online retailers.

Used books often come at a fraction of the price of a brand new book, and many are in perfectly good condition. Plus once you’re done, you can try to resell the book.

You can save by buying other items secondhand as well. You might try looking for used clothing and furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, or on sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, or even Facebook Marketplace.

3. Cook Meals at Home

Food eats up a big chunk of most people’s budgets — in normal times, Americans spend about 10% of their disposable income on food, and an increasing share of that has gone to restaurant meals.

College students with limited cooking skills and small kitchen spaces may be tempted to eat out for every meal. But restaurant tabs can add up quickly.

Shopping wisely for your own ingredients and making simple meals at home can help you save a lot of money — and leftovers from one home-cooked meal can be lunch the next day!

4. Serve as an R.A.

Becoming a resident assistant can not only be rewarding but also help you cut down on living expenses. R.A.s are a sort of big brother or sister in dorms, organizing social events, advising younger students, enforcing rules, and mediating disagreements. Many R.A.s receive free or discounted housing and meals, and some also get a stipend.

5. Cut Out the Extras

One of the best tips to save money in college is to look for areas in your budget where you can trim by choosing a less expensive option.

If you frequent coffee shops, for example, perhaps you can brew your own java a few days a week, or find a less fancy option with free refills.

Instead of always going out to bars with friends, maybe you can take turns hosting wine and cheese nights at your homes. If you belong to a fancy gym, search for lower-cost options on campus, join a sports league, or do your running outdoors.

Instead of a spring break trip to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, consider camping, hanging out at the local swimming pool, or volunteering. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

6. Pay Your Bills on Time

When you pay all of your bills by the due date, you can avoid unnecessary fees and help keep interest from piling up. If you’re worried about forgetting, you may be able to set autopay through your credit card, the service provider itself, or your bank.

Staying on top of bills not only avoids added costs, but may also help keep your credit report in good shape. That could help you qualify for better terms on loans and credit cards down the line.

7. Take Advantage of Family Discounts

You may have left home, but maybe don’t cut the cord completely just yet. Many phone and car insurance plans are cheaper if you sign up with family members, rather than as an individual. If your family is on board, this can be one of the easiest ways to go about saving money in college.

If you’re under 26-years-old, you should be eligible to stay on your parents’ health insurance plan, which may be less expensive than purchasing your own. And you might also see if your parents will unofficially keep you on various “family plans” by sharing their logins for things like video streaming services.

8. Sign up for Cash Back Credit Cards

If you’ve decided to use a credit card, you might as well earn some cash back while you’re at it. As long as you pay your bill in full each month to avoid fees and interest, you may benefit from a reward credit card. You could earn points that can be applied as a statement credit, sent to you in check form, or put toward merchandise or gift cards.

When signing up for a cash back credit card, look for one with a low or no annual fee that offers the highest amount of cash back possible. And remember, any benefits will likely evaporate if you do not pay your balance in full every single month.

9. Frequent the Library

Instead of purchasing books, look for them at your local or on-campus library. Your library may also offer magazines and movies so you don’t have to spend money on those, either. Many public libraries now offer digital loans you can download and enjoy instantly on your favorite device.

You might also consider using the library as a free and quiet place to study instead of spending money at the local coffee shop. To make your library experience even more enjoyable, invite friends to form a study group.

10. Give Up Your Car

If you live on campus, you may not actually need a car and all its associated monthly costs (insurance, repairs, gas, and parking, to name a few). Look into free campus shuttles and public transportation to get you where you need to go.

If you need to use a taxi or rideshare service, you can comparison shop to find the cheapest option, and if you’re looking to take a longer trip, split the cost of a rental car with friends.

11. Look Into Work-Study Options

Federal Work-Study is a program for students in financial need that provides student-friendly part-time jobs to help cover school expenses. Before enrolling in college, you can ask about different work-study programs that may be available.

Bonus: You’ll benefit from the work experience when it’s time to jump into the job market!

12. Look for Discounted Banking Products

Some banks offer college savings and checking accounts that don’t charge the same types of fees as normal accounts do. There may not be minimum balance requirement, either.

Look into different banks and what kinds of benefits they are offering to college students before making your decision.

13. Take Advantage of Free Campus Activities

Colleges often host a number of different activities for students throughout the week. There might be dances, plays and musicals, sporting events and more, all for free.

By choosing these activities instead of going off campus, you can have fun and save money at the same time.

14. Stay Focused

Though college can be a lot of fun, you also need to keep your eye on the prize (graduation) and stay on top of your schoolwork.

Taking more than four years to graduate could blow your higher education budget and negatively impact your earning potential. Some hyper-focused students even graduate in fewer than four years!

15. Buy in Bulk

This one requires a little price sleuthing, but for nonperishable items you use a lot of, you’ll typically save money buying in bulk. This is true whether you have access to a membership at a bulk goods store like Costco or Sam’s Club, or you’re choosing between package sizes at a superstore like Target or Walmart. If you can’t use or store an enormous quantity of, e.g. toilet paper, consider going shopping with a friend and splitting the goods.

16. Turn in the FAFSA Every Year

Every year, you need to fill out your FAFSA form to qualify for financial aid. If you don’t turn it in, you could be throwing away free money.

Though the form may be confusing, it’s worth asking your parents or college counselors for help filling it out.

17. Sell Your Textbooks

Once you’ve completed your courses for the year, you can take the books you purchased and resell them to get some of your money back.

To get the best possible price, compare quotes from your campus bookstore against the going online sale rate. Websites like Bookscouter.com help you compare prices before you list your books for sale.

18. Consider Printing Expenses

You may already pay for use of on-campus printers with your student fees. Don’t spend additional money on printers, ink, and paper if it’s cheaper to utilize the printing resources at the library or other places around your campus.

19. Look Into Local Restaurant Deals

To enjoy a nice meal out while saving money, keep your eye out for deals at local restaurants. Many establishments offer happy hour specials or special discount nights.

Apps like Groupon and Yelp can offer discounts on local dining with just a few taps.

20. Find the Free Food!

You can’t get cheaper than free. Departments and organizations on campus will often offer free food like pizza and sandwiches to entice students to attend their events.

Keep an eye out for signs around campus. You could score some free dinner and you might find some interesting people or a new hobby while you’re at it!

Other Ways to Finance College

Saving can get you far. But when it comes to actually paying for college, you have a few options if you or your parents haven’t saved enough to cover the costs in full. One of the most advantageous is to land scholarships or grants that will fund all or part of your tuition.

These are available through state and federal governments, universities, non-profit organizations, and corporations, and many are tailored to students of specific backgrounds or intending to enter certain fields. You can search for some opportunities on FastWeb , FinAid , and Scholarships.com .

One of the most common ways to pay for school is to take out federal student loans. You can apply by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), which will help the government and your school determine the amount of federal aid you qualify for.

Private student loans can help fill the gaps in financial aid.

Federal student loans are a likely part of the federal student aid package you receive. They come with fixed interest rates and certain benefits, such as a six-month grace period after graduation, income driven repayment plans, and options for pausing or reducing payments while you’re in school or facing an economic hardship.

The Takeaway

It’s wise to exhaust all your federal grant and loan options before taking out private student loans, since they typically offer less flexibility and fewer borrower protections compared to Federal student loans. However, if you need to fill gaps in paying for school, you can look into private student loans from various financial institutions.

When you apply for a private student loan with SoFi, the process is straightforward and fast. You can choose from several flexible payment options, and there aren’t any fees.

Qualifying for the loan, as well as the interest rate and terms you receive, depend on your credit history (or that of your co-signer) and other factors. You can check your rates before applying — in just minutes.

Looking for ways to make college affordable? Explore your private loan options on SoFi today.


SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs.
SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’swebsite .
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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Source: sofi.com

Feng Shui in Your Apartment: Simple Design Techniques to Bring Happiness Into Your Home

Feng Shui for apartments is not only about arranging furniture but bringing happiness and balance to your life.

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and felt like the space had really good energy? They arranged everything with a natural, intuitive flow and it just seemed to fit well together? That person probably designed their living spaces using Feng Shui principles.

What is Feng Shui?

Originating from ancient China, Feng Shui is the practice of arranging living spaces to create a balance between the space and its user. By directing energy or chi, it’s said to bring happiness, health and harmony.

Besides these benefits, many practitioners enjoy incorporating Feng Shui into the design and layout of their homes because of its aesthetic appeal. And you don’t need to have a giant house or lots of space to use Feng Shui. You can practice Feng Shui in apartments, as well, where it’s especially beneficial.

Apartments are typically smaller than houses, with less space. So, balancing the space and making the most of it is especially important. Curious about how you can use Feng Shui for apartments? Here are some tips for Feng Shui for apartments that will bring balance and harmony to your space.

Translated, Feng and Shui mean wind-water. This ties into Feng Shui’s connection to Taoism, a system of belief from ancient China centered around humans and nature living in balance together. Inspired by a historic text called the Book of Burial, Feng Shui was originally used to orient graves and tombs to align with energy forces and be auspiciously placed. But over time, its uses have evolved and changed, especially as Western cultures embrace the ideology.

The elements of feng shui and the Bagua map

The elements of feng shui and the Bagua map

Elements of Feng Shui

There are several different elements to the practice of Feng Shui. The first is about bringing Earth’s five main elements into your space.

1. The big 5

These, of course, are fire, earth, wood, metal and water. Each represents different values or qualities you’d like to incorporate into your home. For example, the earth is about being grounded in areas of life like relationships, while water’s flexibility and shifting qualities tie into career goals.

The principle is to have these five interconnected elements equally balanced throughout your apartment. However, you can also pick and choose what areas of your life you wish to improve and focus your energy on bringing those elements into your design and therefore, your life.

2. The Bagua map

Meaning “eight” in Chinese, the Bagua map refers to eight different areas essential to building a well-balanced life. These include knowledge, family and health. At the heart of the Bagua is you, the ninth element that draws everything together.

The Bagua map charts the flow of energy around your home and acts as a blueprint of the strength of each area. To have a perfectly balanced home, you want equal attention paid to all areas. As you learn more about Feng Shui, you’ll discover which parts of your home tie to which values. Placing certain types of crystals in different areas can also attract desired qualities.

3. The commanding position

The commanding position is one of the elements of Feng Shui that allows it to fit so well with interior design. It’s where you want to spend most of your time when you’re in a specific room. It’s the furthest spot in a room from the door and located on a diagonal.

Once you’ve found the commanding position in a room, that’s where you’ll place the most important furniture or item of the room. If it’s your bedroom, that would be your bed. Whatever item or piece of furniture you place in the commanding position, it should not be directly in line with the door.

Use the commanding position to place furniture

Use the commanding position to place furniture

How to add Feng Shui to your apartment

One of the best aspects of practicing the art of Feng Shui is that it’s not one size fits all. Whether your apartment is big or small, these Feng Shui design ideas can transform each space and bring balance, positive chi and happiness to your life and apartment.

Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your apartment. It’s where you start and end your day, so it’s a space for rest and centering yourself. It’s also a space for connecting with your partner physically and emotionally. So, you want to set the space up with the embodiment of all your goals.

  • Place your bed in the commanding position. Once again, this means it’s as far as possible from the door and place it on a diagonal.
  • If you don’t have a headboard for your bed, get one. Headboards represent support and are essential for bringing good energy into your bedroom.
  • Decorate in pairs. That means having two nightstands, one for each side of the bed. If you have lamps, get a matching pair. This creates symmetry and balance.
  • Avoid having furniture with sharp corners, large paintings and mirrors.
  • Decorate the room in muted, neutral tones like creams, off-whites and warm brown shades to promote relaxation.
  • Use warm lighting, nothing harsh and artificial-looking.
  • Keep electronics and work-related items to a minimum to both keep the space visually clean and also give your mind a break from screens.
  • Sorry plant parents, but try to keep plant life out of the bedroom. This is because plants have strong growth or yang energy, which offsets the peaceful atmosphere you’re trying to cultivate.
  • Reduce clutter and keep places like bookshelves and dressers clean and organized.

By keeping these clean and minimal, you’ll have excellent Feng Shui in the bedroom.

Living room

While the living room is not one of the most important rooms in your apartment in regards to Feng Shui, you still shouldn’t neglect it. The living room is where you gather with friends and family, nurturing the relationships and partnerships aspects of your life. Therefore, the living room needs to be a welcoming, well-balanced place.

  • Usually, larger pieces of furniture like sofas, couches and chairs act as the center focal point of a living room. Depending on your specific taste, think about where you spend most of your time when in the living room and then move that piece of furniture into the commanding position.
  • In many modern households, the living room is often arranged around the television. But don’t put the TV in the commanding position, as it distracts you from quality time with yourself or others. Place the TV in an accessible but not central position, like mounted on a wall where everyone can see it but it’s not the main focus.
  • Living rooms are great places to have lots of plants, inviting growth into the space.
  • Enhance the connection to nature and the outside world by inviting in lots of light and fresh air. Nine is a very lucky number in Feng Shui, so opening windows for nine minutes will allow stale, bad energy and air to leave while welcoming in fresh chi.
  • Declutter the space of excess, unnecessary furniture and décor to allow for good energy flow.
  • Similar to other rooms, be mindful of the colors you’re using in the space and what kind of energy they’ll attract or qualities they represent. This handy guide offers a great run-down of what different colors mean in Feng Shui and how to utilize them.

Make this space more about connection and nature, and you’ll be well on your way to good Feng Shui.

Kitchen

The kitchen is another key place for Feng Shui for apartments. It’s the place where you nourish yourself and attend to your health and well-being. Therefore, it’s crucial to invite good energy, happiness and success into this area.

  • The stove is a very important object in Feng Shui. Just as your bed and desk represent different values, qualities and areas of life, the stove represents nourishment, resourcefulness, prosperity and wealth. Be sure to place your stove in the commanding position of the kitchen.
  • Decorate with either white colors for cleanliness or dark, earthy colors and wood elements like cabinets or décor. Wood represents growth and development, while earthy tones are for stability.
  • If you can, have as many burners as possible on your stove. Burners represent opportunities for wealth and success in your career, so the more burners you have, the more chances to invite financial and career success into your life.
  • Keep the space clean, organized and free of clutter. This is especially true for the stove and fridge, as they’re the most important Feng Shui objects in your kitchen.

Just as the kitchen is where you feed your body, it can also feed your soul.

Home office

Your home office is ideally where you’ll get your work done and keep your affairs in order. So, you want the space to keep you focused, motivated and inspired.

  • Place your desk, which represents your career and work goals, into the commanding position.
  • Situate your office layout along the northern wall of the room. In Feng Shui, the north connects your success in your career and work.
  • Arrange your office to prevent furniture or objects from blocking the paths around the room. Objects that are restricting the flow of movement and just seem “in the way” can represent feeling blocked at work or that you place obstacles in your own way. Try to create an open floor plan to free your mind and workspace.
  • Using the Bagua mapping techniques, find out where the fame and wealth areas are around your office. Place objects tied to these areas, like plants for growth in wealth, to activate and attract more of these qualities into your work life.
  • You can also overlay a Bagua map onto your desk itself to identify problem areas and reorganize them accordingly, like adding a bonsai tree or small water feature.
  • As with all other rooms, keep your home office clutter-free, clean and organized. Messy spaces can get in the way of the positive energy you want entering your life and home.

Adding these elements into your home office will give you a calm and peaceful place to stay productive.

Use the 5 elements in your decor.

Use the 5 elements in your decor.

Key principles for Feng Shui for apartments

Even if you’re not able to utilize all the above design suggestions in your apartment, here are some key take-aways that will still help bring good chi into your apartment:

1. Avoid clutter

Overcrowded, cluttered rooms block the flow of chi, so it’s important to keep your spaces clean and organized. Eliminate extra furniture and furnishings. If you want to get rid of unnecessary clutter but are unsure where to start, follow the teachings of organization guru Marie Kondo.

2. Utilize the command position

Your bed, stove and desk are some of the most important Feng Shui objects in your apartment, so if you can place those in command positions, you’ll still be setting yourself up for success.

3. Incorporate balance in your apartment layout and design

Feng Shui stresses the importance of symmetry and balance in organizing your home to mirror those effects in your life. So, try to keep your spaces balanced in terms of where you place furniture and objects

4. Bring nature in

Connect to the outside world with fresh air and sunshine and use all five elements in your apartment.

Use Feng Shui to balance your life

Once you understand the principles and techniques of Feng Shui, they’re easy to incorporate in apartments of all sizes. Mastering the art of Feng Shui for apartments will not only make your living spaces feel and look better, but it will help direct positive energy into your life and set you up for success in all areas of your personal and professional life.

Source: rent.com

What We Learned in 2021 to Save on Home Improvements

We’ve been seeing our homes in a new light since the pandemic started.

Though this year we weren’t always cooped up inside our four walls, we continued to find projects to work on around the house. They ranged from minor redecorating to major repairs put on hold during the uncertainties of the previous year.

Here are our top eight stories from this year on how to save money on home improvement projects.

8 Ways We Saved Money on Home Improvements in 2021

1. Organize Your Home Without Overspending

Keeping your home tidy doesn’t require a trip to the Container Store to spend hundreds on various organizational tools.

Browse this list of cheap home organizing solutions for ideas on how to neaten up your pantry, linen closet, junk drawer and more. Some include upcycling items you already have at home.

2. Know Which Home Repairs You Need to Address Immediately

It may be financially convenient to put off certain repairs around the house, but ignoring some issues can cause major problems and increase the costs.

These eight home repairs are ones you shouldn’t ignore. Get on them ASAP to avoid extensive damage, safety hazards or health issues.

3. Keep Up With Routine Home Maintenance

One way to avoid expensive home repairs is to adhere to a schedule of regular maintenance projects. Letting little issues go untreated can lead to a much more serious — and more costly — problem to address later.

This article outlines four types of home maintenance priorities, including how frequently maintenance jobs should be done and an estimation of costs. Just putting aside $200 a month can help cover home expenses that come up.

4. Know When to Hire a Pro

Taking on home projects on your own doesn’t always save you money. If you take on something you can’t handle, you could wind up making a costly mistake that’s more expensive than hiring a professional from the start.

This article breaks down what types of home projects are safe to DIY and which you should leave to the experts.

5. Learn How to Hire the Best Contractor

Hiring a professional contractor for a home improvement project can be a significant financial investment. You want to know you’re hiring the right person for the job.

Here are six questions you should ask when hiring a home improvement contractor. Make sure everyone’s on the same page about the work before signing on the dotted line.

6. Remodel Your Bathroom on a Budget

Making your bathroom feel like a sanctuary is important — especially when you’re spending so much time at home. But bathroom remodels can be expensive.

These tips show you ways to improve your bathroom whether your budget is $100, $500, $750 or $1,000.

7. Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space for $100

Big landscaping projects can cost big bucks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to revamp your outdoor space for less.

This post shares six brilliant ideas for refreshing your yard or patio without spending over $100.

8. Spend Less at Restoration Hardware

Love the goods at Restoration Hardware but could do without the high prices?

This article shows six ways to save major bucks when shopping at this upscale home furnishing store. Never pay full price again.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com

11 Type A Personality Careers for the Highly Organized

My to-do list is color-coded. Blue, for example, indicates a pending draft. There are boxes for check marks, perfect for when a task is completed.

OK, so I have some Type A personality in me, but I’m proud of it. I like plans, checklists and being organized. I hate waiting in lines, wasting time and sloppy work. I bite my nails and overthink.

If that were a dating profile, I’d scare every man away. But truthfully, this Type A-ness inside me pushes me to get stuff done — like this post. (You’re welcome.)

So in the spirit of Type A personalities, I compiled a list of jobs for those of us — or those of us you know — who just want things to be perfect.

11 Jobs Perfect for People with Type A Personalities

These Type A job ideas (alphabetized, in list format) vary by type. Some offer full-time opportunities, while others allow for part-time work and flexible schedules. Some require you to look into jobs in your city and others — a lot, actually — let you work from home.

So get out your pen and pad, and start your research now.

A woman transcribes documents on her laptop.
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1. Captioner/Transcriptionist

From experience, I can say this is a Type A job all the way.

Captioners and transcriptionists require a knack for accuracy. There’s no half-hearting these tasks. Companies and people rely on your quick fingers and sharp listening skills.

Usually you are paid per audio hour, but that’s not equivalent to a real hour, as you’ll probably find yourself pausing and rewinding.

Video captioning is similar — except you’ll watch and listen. For example, Rev.com pays $1.25 per video minute.

You can find work on other sites, too. Consider TranscribeMe, Tigerfish, Quicktate and CrowdSurf.

2. Data Entry Clerk

Think: typist.

Some of these job descriptions include key, Type A-satisfying phrases such as “ensures consistency and accuracy,” “compiles and sorts information” and “must be self-motivated, organized and detail-oriented.”

Feeling qualified? You probably are. Pay ranges on a per-hour or per-project basis.

You can find office jobs as data entry clerks, but there are a number of specialized sites advertising work-from-home projects. These sites include Clickworker.com and DionDataSolutions.com.

Two women who were just married to each other walk in a field for their wedding portraits.
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3. Event Planner

Picture this: It’s your wedding day, you’re slightly panicked and you want everything to be perfect.

Cue the Type A planner. (That’s you.)

Event/wedding/meeting planning requires extremely organized individuals who know their way around a checklist or two. They have to coordinate and hire others to successfully execute an event or get-together.

You’ll likely need a degree and/or some experience, but you can always start under a “junior” status or assistant. (Read how this woman got started as a wedding planner with no prior experience.)

Find a number of event planner jobs on classic job search sites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder and SimplyHired.

4. Grocery Store Bagger

I’ve never bagged groceries (except my own… for fun), and I’m sure those of you who have are rolling your eyes right now, but I’ll never forget one bagger who called the experience “therapeutic.”

You’re filling bags by weight and food type. Preferably the frozen items are in one bag, right? The produce goes in another. The heavy objects are at the bottom whereas the bread goes neatly on top.

In my opinion, it’s a lost art.

Check out (get it?) Snagajob.com, a site that aggregates jobs hourly. You can also do a simple Indeed search or ask the manager at your favorite grocery store in town.

A woman cleans a hotel room.
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5. Housekeeper

A Penny Hoarder writer mentioned her stint as a hotel housekeeper.

“My manager got mad because there was fuzz on the toilet,” she said. Fuzz? “Like lint. From a towel.”

Definitely Type A material. If you can make a perfect bed with crisp edges and know how to handle a vacuum, this could be a way for you to bag some extra money.

But there are also more exotic options. Consider becoming a housekeeper at a resort, ranch, vacation rental or even a cruise ship.

And if your significant other is on the same Type-A level as you, tag-team it. Some places look for couples to maintain the grounds.

For jobs like that, visit Cool Works. For more “normal” gigs, search Indeed, Monster or  SimplyHired. Care.com also has personal ads calling for housekeepers. Also consider Task Rabbit.

6. Inventory Specialist

What’s your favorite retailer. The Container Store? Bed Bath & Beyond? Paper Source?

You could snag a job as an inventory specialist — also known as a stock associate or inventory aide. You’ll be able to flex your organizing and assorting skills by handling the store’s products.

To find a job, visit your favorite store’s career web page where you’ll likely be able to search by state. Or you can go to any job search site and search by retailer or location.

A librarian searches for a book.
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7. Library Specialist/Technician

Also consider: library associate, assistant, circulation attendant, clerk…

These jobs vary widely — part time and full time, hourly and salaried. Some require high school degrees, others require a master’s. Either way, these jobs offer substantial pay.

Start your job search at governmentjobs.com. You can search by title (see above) and your city.

8. Professional Organizer/Clutter Consultant

We’ve written about Tova Weinstock, a professional organizer and cleaner who makes $100 to $200 an hour for virtual consultations.

She’s a freelance organizer of sorts, who sets her own hours and also works with clients in-person to clean New York City apartments. Projects might last one afternoon or continue for four days at a time. Her clients fondly call her “Tidy Tova.” (I think I could be Clutter-Free Carson.)

If you’re interested in becoming the next Tidy Tova, the Profitable Organizer has some reading material for your perusing. Living Peace also offers resources.

A person proof reads a documents.
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9. Proofreader

I was a teaching assistant in graduate school and graded students’ proofreading and copyediting worksheets. The delight I got from editing students’ edits was insurmountable.

If you get the same joy out of words and punctuation as I do, consider becoming a work-at-home proofreader. It offers flexible scheduling and pays per page.

Freelance proofreader Caitlin Pyle offers this advice to those forging into the word business: “It’s important to remember you are paid per page! So if you get distracted or procrastinate and drag out those 50 pages over several hours, it may seem like you’re not making any money.”

That’s a great Type-A tip: Plan and execute, plan and execute.

Pyle runs ProofreadAnywhere.com where you can take a free introductory workshop. You can find gigs on freelance sites such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com.

10. Travel Consultant

Along the same line of work as event planning, travel consultants need to be able to stay organized while handling a number of tasks — hunting down the best deals, creating itineraries and establishing relationships.

You should probably enjoy your own vacations, too. So ask the hiring company about paid vacation, right?

Again, you can find these types of jobs on your classic job search sites.

A woman works on her laptop from home.
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11. Virtual Assistant

Sure, you could sit behind an old, cluttered desk and file paperwork and punch keys on the typewriter. (OK, so maybe that was the ‘80s.) But nowadays, many busy professionals want a virtual assistant, which means you’ll work from home.

Tasks and skills vary: customer service, data entry, research, social media management and website maintenance. Heck, you might even be able to get your hands on some file organizing. Either way, you’ll want to break out your trusty to-do list.

Look into VANetworking.com and Zirtual for specific virtual assistant sites. Also, read our article about virtual assistants for more information and resources.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Sell Your Business the Right Way (Don’t Make These Mistakes)

“My father, ‘Paul,’ is in a real panic over the sale of the carpet and home furnishing stores in the Pacific Northwest our family has operated for many years. He is 82, in good health physically, but fears the economy is about to turn sour and wants out of the business,” the email from “Dora” began.

“We have noticed a decline in his emotional ‘reserve’ when small problems arise in the business. He avoids dealing with them and caves in, for example, if a customer refuses to pay the balance of their bill. Inventing some artificial excuse, Dad just writes the balance off.

“Now he is negotiating the sale of the business with a potential buyer, and we are afraid of his feeling forced to take far less than what is fair. What do you recommend?”

Do not give in to the fire sale mentality

I ran my reader’s question by a pair of Southern Florida-based wealth advisers, Christopher and Michelle Mackin, a brother-sister team specializing in exit planning.

“This is a common problem we are seeing more often with our country’s aging population,” said Michelle Mackin. “A seller’s fire sale mentality is something that family members need to be aware of.”

I asked them to list what business owners often do wrong when it is time to sell.

Christopher: Fail to properly prepare for the sale

When you don’t prepare, it is likely you will not obtain as much money from the sale as what was anticipated. In part what leads to this is by failing to meet your “earn-out goals” if staff does not continue to perform as before.

Earn-out-goals are what the business must reach during a specified period of time and are different from the sale price.

Even with a firm price in hand, full payment is often subject to the enterprise having met certain financial targets. If these targets are reached, then the final payment is made.

We must not forget that proper preparation requires organizing your books and records, keeping taxes current, having addressed any pending litigation, and, importantly, being sure your staff will remain and want to see continued success.

Michelle: Go about selling your business alone without assistance

Without sell-side advisory support, you will likely not be able to maximize the dollar value of the sale. You could be conned out of your business!

Going it alone subjects sellers to unknown risks. A sell-side adviser digs into issues that can impact market value, as well as potential traps — litigation, things the seller might not even think of discussing with a buyer.

Sell-side advisory support includes:

  • An attorney who is experienced with mergers and acquisitions;
  • A business valuator;
  • An exit strategy adviser who oversees sales team members;
  • Possibly an investment banker, or business broker.

Christopher: Fail to know the number that you need from the sale

Lacking sufficient capital from the sale, you may not be able to sustain your lifestyle, have the retirement you had envisioned nor the funds to pursue a new chapter in your life.

Closely related to not having a concrete amount in mind is selling in a panic due to sudden health issues or death. This situation is a welcome mat to being conned.

Whenever possible, time to consider various options is your best friend.

Michelle: Advertise the sale of your business

If your customers see that your business is up for sale, will they continue doing business with you, likely afraid you are leaving?

Instead, work with a business broker who keeps things confidential and not broadcasting the planned sale to employees. Bluntly stated, you need to keep your mouth shut!

Business brokers have a network of buyers who they will reach out to and use non-disclosure agreements. This way, the world will not know you are selling — rather, only those entities that might have an interest in buying your business will be contacted.

Christopher: Assume that all buyers are qualified

Without doing your due diligence, the sale could fall through!  You would be back at square one.  Buyers must be pre-qualified for financing and have access to the funds they need for the purchase.

There are red flags that you must not ignore. For example, if the sale is contingent on other things happening, or the acquiring company says they can get financing as long as they meet a certain target. Hearing, “We’ve got it covered no problem,” but you have not been provided documentary proof.

This is why you need sell-side advisory support, where, for example, their attorneys will work with your lawyers and provide documentation proving they are ready to close the deal.

Michelle and Christopher: Failing to understand that seller’s remorse is common

You are selling something you have worked your entire life to create, so it’s only natural. Try to shake it off. Embrace where you are, what you have built and envision a future separate from your life’s accomplishments, which are now moving into the hands of someone who will take them to the next level.

Attorney at Law, Author of “You and the Law”

After attending Loyola University School of Law, H. Dennis Beaver joined California’s Kern County District Attorney’s Office, where he established a Consumer Fraud section. He is in the general practice of law and writes a syndicated newspaper column, “You and the Law.” Through his column he offers readers in need of down-to-earth advice his help free of charge. “I know it sounds corny, but I just love to be able to use my education and experience to help, simply to help. When a reader contacts me, it is a gift.” 

Source: kiplinger.com

10 Smart Ways to Save Money on Spices (Herbs, Too!)

10. Try Herb and Spice Substitutions

First Steps: Plan Before You Shop

With a little care, you can make sure your spice mixes or jars of dried herbs last a while.

Understand the Shelf Life of Herbs and Spices

Be aware, though, that some bulk stores have a minimum order, often . Bulk sections in health food stores like Whole Foods usually don’t have that minimum.
Don’t have any chervil sitting around the house? You can use parsley or tarragon. Ran out of cinnamon? Use nutmeg or allspice (but only a quarter of the stated amount). Thyme, oregano, and basil can often substitute for each other.
While you might read that certain spices only last six months or a certain amount of time, that isn’t exactly true. A lot of factors can influence the strength and shelf life of your spices. Time certainly is one, but the way spices are stored is another.

Know Just What You’ll Need — and How Much of It

A bonus: Hand-mixed spice and herb blends make great gifts.
And when you are buying bulk herbs and spices, look for stores that store them in glass jars, not plastic bins.

  • How much will you use? Maybe Grandma’s stuffing recipe calls for fennel seeds and this is the only time of year you ever use it. Don’t buy a whole container of anything you just need a pinch of. Instead, this is perfect for a store that sells bulk spices.
  • What do you already have? Costly panic buying at the last minute can be avoided with a little planning. It is well worth your time to pull out all your spices and see what is still good.
  • Don’t forget  the leftovers! Plan on making turkey tacos? You can mix up your own taco seasoning with chili powder, onion and garlic powder, red pepper flakes and oregano.
  • Are spice blends an option? Spice blends can save money if there are a lot of exotic ingredients in them that, individually, you only use a few times a year. And if it’s something you will use often, you might save money making your own herb or spice blend.

How To Tell If Your Herbs and Spices Are Still Good

“We do run specials at VSpicery,” says Kym Page Jenkins about her family spice store in Tampa, Florida. “We generate coupon codes for internet-only deals. We also discount as the order volume increases.”
Herbs and spices come from plants, but from different parts. Herbs are the leaves of a plant. Common herbs are basil, oregano, and thyme. Spices come from the roots, stems, berries, and other parts. Cinnamon is bark. Nutmeg is a seed. Though fresh garlic and onions are considered vegetables, once powdered, they are spices.
And these aren’t always the best places for less common spices. For that, hit up the immigrant stores.

How To Protect Your Spice and Herb Investment

It is the simplest test in the world: Just smell them.

  • Storing. Keep your spices and dried herbs in glass or metal jars stored in cabinets or drawers, away from light. Make sure there is a lid (not just a shaker top) on the jar.
  • Freezing. You can freeze herbs, but be very careful about freezing spices. Once you open a jar or bag of frozen spices, humidity gets into it and it should not go back in the freezer.
  • Labeling. When you buy herbs and spices, write the date on each so you can keep track of their age.
  • Organizing. Does cleaning out your spice cabinet turn up three little bottles of cream of tartar? Those little stubby bottles are easy to lose track of. A well-organized person might keep a list of all the spices they have. But a trick used in restaurants is just as helpful in the kitchen: group them by use. The three common category groupings are for savory foods; for either savory or sweet; for sweets. Grouping them this way makes what you need easier to find, and helps prevent double buying.
A little boy puts icing on gingerbread cookies.
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10 Clever Ways To Save Money on Spices

Just like brick-and-mortar specialty spice stores, it is easy to be leery of prices when shopping for spices online. Just adding the cost of shipping can bring spice prices to ridiculous amounts. But online retailers know that and have become responsive to cost cutters.
When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

1. Buy Bulk Spices

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

2. Shave Costs With Whole Spices

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

3. Make Your Own Spice Mixes

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

4. Try Dollar and Discount Stores

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

5. Save Money (and Shop the World) at Immigrant Grocery Stores

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

Spices in canisters at a store.
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6. Don’t Overlook Spice Stores

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

7. Buy Fresh at Farmers Markets

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

8. Shop the Bargains at Online Spice Stores

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

9. Look for Off-Brand Spices

When you sign up with Penzeys you get an email with lots of deals for dollar spices, and they keep coming. One recent email offered an ounce of steak seasoning rubs for and trial bags of spice blends and more for .95-.49.

10. Try Herb and Spice Substitutions

Since you can’t open the containers before you buy, make sure the color of the herbs and spices looks good. Retailers like Aldi’s, Target and Wegmans sell spices at prices a little lower than you’ll likely find at your local grocery store. These are great places for stocking up on spices that you use regularly.
Most offer free shipping over a certain amount (-50), and a few do offer discounts and free shipping on your first order (Spice Jungle, Savory Spice).
Whole spices that you grind as needed can be more economical. They last longer, too, and freshly ground spices in a dish really blooms the flavor.
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A store specializing in foods for immigrant cultures – whether Indian or German, Italian or African — might be the best place to pick up the right herbs and spices for your dishes.

12 Smart Tricks to Organize Every Room of Your Home

Woman organizing her home
Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

The late comedian George Carlin famously talked about “stuff” in what became one of his most epic stand-ups:

“This is my stuff, that’s your stuff … That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is: a place to keep your stuff.”

As we all know, stuff becomes a problem! We have too much stuff and need to find ways to keep it all organized. So, check out these hacks guaranteed to save time, space and money.

1. Organize your jeans with S hooks

Organizing jeans with S hooks
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

How many years have you folded your jeans neatly on a shelf? That’s great, until you’re suddenly running late and looking for your favorite pair — and they all end up thrown on the floor as you make a mad dash to the door.

Metal S hooks are less than $1 each at the hardware store and fit perfectly on any clothing rack to hang jeans by their belt loops. Now, you can see every pair in your closet, and they don’t get that annoying crease from being folded. You can even hang them in order from the skinny jeans you haven’t worn since 1997 to the fat pants you’ve been meaning to donate.

Here’s a 40-pack of S hooks at Amazon.

2. Use a pegboard to organize jewelry

Necklaces hanging on wall.
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

There’s nothing more frustrating than going into your jewelry box to pull out a necklace, only to find it’s in a tangled knot with 11 other necklaces. No one’s got time for jewelry drama like that.

Mounting a pegboard allows you to organize jewelry with hooks so you can hang each necklace individually, as well as ensuring your earrings always have a mate.

3. Stack bracelets on a paper towel holder

Bracelets
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

Chunky bracelets can take up too much space in drawers or jewelry boxes, so stack them on the rod of a standing paper towel holder for easy access. Here’s one at Amazon.

4. Use pool noodles as tall boot shapers

Boots held up by swim noodles.
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

Your tall boots will never slouch at the bottom of a closet again! Instead of shelling out money for expensive boot hangers, cut up a plastic foam pool noodle, slide the pieces into your boots and they’ll stand tall and perfectly in line.

While you can also buy these pool noodles at Amazon, you can often find them for a buck at the dollar store.

5. Roll up your tanks and tees

Organized teeshirts
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

Even if you fold tank tops and T-shirts neatly, it may take some digging to find the one you’re looking for. Rolling them up like little sushi rolls not only is a space saver, but it also allows you to easily reach for the one you want because they’re not piled on top of one another.

To get these orderly rolls, simply fold a shirt in half lengthwise, fold in half again and roll it up.

6. Use a shower liner with pockets to organize toiletries

Shower curtain organization
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

A single shower rack doesn’t usually have enough room for multiple shampoos, conditioners and all those bath and beauty products you have piled up, spilling into the tub.

A shower liner with pockets is an easy solution that will keep your products organized and out of sight after you hang a shower curtain in front of it. Here is one at Amazon.

7. Organize makeup brushes in jars of coffee beans

Makeup brushes in a stand
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

Dig those makeup brushes out of the bottom of your makeup bag and keep them cleaner and more organized — with coffee beans!

All you need is a container filled with some beans, and your brushes will stay standing and separated. Bonus: If you run out of java in the kitchen, you’ve got some reserves!

8. Transform a junk drawer with small plastic bins

Organized vanity drawer
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

Instead of blindly fishing through whatever you threw into your bathroom vanity drawer, keep items separated with small plastic containers. Secure each container with a small amount of museum putty on the bottom to keep it in place.

9. Put a clothes rack by the dryer for a no-wrinkle finish

Laundry
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

As soon as your clothes are dry or almost dry, having a rack nearby to hang up shirts and slacks makes it easier to go from dryer to closet — as well as a way to keep clothes from getting wrinkled by being tossed in a laundry basket.

10. Use a silverware tray to organize office supplies

Office drawer
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

Still looking for those batteries you bought not too long ago? Silverware trays are a great way to keep office drawers organized with spaces for household essentials, from tape and stamps to chargers and pens.

11. Display kitchen counter must-haves with a cake stand

Tray organizer
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

A decorative cake stand can be an attractive way to organize utensils, salt and pepper shakers, and all of your kitchen counter odds and ends in one place.

12. Use Mason jars in the pantry

Items in mason jars
Parker Wallace / Money Talks News

No more toothpicks falling all over the kitchen floor when you have a miniature Mason jar to keep them in one place! Since Mason jars come in so many convenient sizes, you can use them to organize all of your loose pantry products, from straws to spatulas.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Source: moneytalksnews.com