Jessica Moore and her husband, Matt, quickly obtained jobs in their areas of study upon graduation. The Moores critically review each dollar earned and spent with self-made spreadsheets. Visits to the vet for their pets are meticulously planned to keep their budget balanced.
"We don't go out -- we stay home and watch a movie, you know, because it's free," Jessica said. "We play a lot of board games too."
In college, Jessica obtained federal student loans and scholarships, and she worked part time in Ankeny at a Chili's and participated in work study programs. But she still came out with $23,380 in loans, which will escalate to more than $33,000 by the time she pays interest. Matt walked away with $32,090 in private loans, although he worked throughout his collegiate career for the campus police.