GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The best things in life are free and you can take that advice to the bank!  
But recent grads are going to need a lot more than old sayings and motivational mottos to get them out of debt.  They need a plan!
WFMY News 2's money expert, Ja'Net Adams is helping you do just that with these three essential steps graduates need to take with their money.
"There are graduates that are hitting the stage all over the country and they are realizing that everything is all on them now; especially their finances," said Adams who wrote the book, Debt Sucks: A College Students Guide To Winning With Money So They Can Live Their Dreams.  
Adams shared three tips to help college graduates pay off debt.
1. Live like a college student:
You have lived like a college student for four years what is living like a college student for a few more years so you can pay your student loan debt off.  For example a student comes out making $3000 a month, but lives on $1500.  That means they have $1500 a month to go to paying off student debt. $18,000 a year to paying off debt.
2. Don't live fancy
Look for unconventional places to live for your first place.  Instead of going to that fancy $1000 a month apartment, look for places that are owned by regular people who may only charge you $800 for more space.  They just need occupants.
3. Don't lose it!
Although you may have a new salary and making more money than ever don't go and get buy now pay later furniture, a new car, or a new wardrobe.  Build up a 6-12 month emergency fund so you are prepared for whatever comes your way.
Adams says for many graduates, the financial reality of having to pay back four years of loans is just starting to set in.
"Start your life after college the right way financially because it is all on you now."