The Changing Economics of Student-Loan Debt: How to Pay It Off and Startup

President Obama may soon sign into law piggy_graduate-590x393a new student-loan bill that reduces rates for brand new borrowers. But the rising cost of college will surely continue to hit students where it hurts: Their future.

College students who funded their education with borrowed money, left school in 2011 with an average $26,600 in student-loan debt, up 5 percent from $25,250 in 2010, according to the latest report from the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success.

Saddled with such a hefty debt load, many young entrepreneurs might put off or even forgo starting up, as launching and failing may put them in an even worse lurch. For those who proceed, they’re forced to juggle heaping monthly payments with the costs of starting a business. It’s a challenge some shy away from, but there are routes millennials can take to startup without student-loan debt wrecking their companies.

Click here to read more about how young entrepreneurs can eliminate or reduce their debt loads.

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Living an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle On a Budget

Combating a number of medical problems, greenliving-e1349182295634including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and severe reactions to chemicals and artificial products, Kimberly Button decided to adopt eco-friendly living habits in 2001, which not only improved her health but also paid off financially. She started using natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda, which meant no harmful chemicals and no fragrance residues. She also gave up sodas and prepared drinks and began drinking only water.

A lot has changed in the 12 years since Button, a freelance journalist based in an Orlando, Fla., and author of “The Everything Guide to a Healthy Home,” modified her lifestyle. Over the past decade, enhanced technology and growing consumer demand for natural products and organic foods have transformed the way many U.S. manufacturers do business. Even the razor business has gone green: Schick, for example, now sells a $10 “intuition naturals sensitive care razor,” with a shaving solid that’s made from natural Aloe and Vitamin E. The product’s packaging is manufactured with no artificial colors and is 100 percent recyclable.

Looking to go green? Click here for effective ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle without wrecking your budget.

Laid Off? Here’s How to Get Your Finances in Order

A layoff can leave you frustrated, 46527388-laidoff-manconfused, distraught. You might panic at the thought of having to find a new job in this tough market. But a job loss doesn’t have to mean your expenses spiral out of control—so long as you take the right steps to reposition your finances.

If you’ve recently been let go, you’re not alone. Although the unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent in September, major layoffs have taken place this year, including 8,700 employees from Pepsi, 9,000 from IBM, and 14,200 from American Airlines. In the month of September alone, U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 33,816 jobs, according to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas.

For an article for U.S. News & World Report, I examined what steps the recently unemployed should take so that they don’t jeopardize their financial stability.