It’s summertime, school’s out, and all you want to do is have fun.
Unfortunately, summer fun can often lead to summer spending. Before you know it, summer will be over, and you’ll have saved nothing of what you earned at your summer job. Here’s how you can save your summer job earnings without cutting out your activities!
1. Automate your savings
Once you land your summer job, you’ll have a good idea of when your payday will be. From there, you’ll be able to calculate how much you’ll be making each paycheck on average.
Automating your savings with your bank can make saving money easy – and before you know it, you’ll forget you’re even doing it. Each paycheck, plan for a certain portion of your pay to be automatically moved into another savings account (preferably an account you don’t have immediate and constant access to.) Setting this up is simple: just ask a representative at your bank to help you get started.
By doing this, you’ll learn to live with less automatically, you’ll always know how much you have for yourself (versus how much needs to go in savings) and your money in your separate account will begin to grow, especially if you don’t touch it till it’s time to go back to school.
2. Make a budget & stick to it
Once you figure out how much you plan to save each paycheck, make a budget and stick to it. Determine what sorts of things you have to or will want to do this summer, and how much those things will cost.
This may include your rent and groceries if you’re living on your own. If you have the luxury of living at home, allocate how much money you will absolutely need for entertainment or activities throughout the summer. Think about things like school expenses that you’ll need to pay for on particular dates, so you don’t leave yourself short for the most important things.
3. Think ahead
If you have particular events like concerts, or birthdays that you know will happen on certain days, maybe you should spend less the week before, so you have a bit more flexibility with your cash when you need it most.
Thinking ahead will help ensure you don’t have to miss out on the events you value most, just because you blew your month’s “entertainment” budget on a spontaneous event a few weeks before. Decide what the most important things are to you throughout the summer.
4. Don’t live outside of your means
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to say “yes” to everything. The truth of the matter is, just because there is money in your bank account, doesn’t mean you should necessarily spend it.
Having a bit of fallback money is always helpful in case unforeseen circumstances pop up (which they always do). If you can’t afford something, or you didn’t plan ahead of time to save for something may end up costing you a lot, you need to know how to say “no”.
Weigh out your needs and your wants. If there’s something you really want to spend your money on that you didn’t budget for, take a step back and think about whether or not you really “need” it. Can you live without it or wait until you do have the money for it?
By automating your savings, making a budget, thinking ahead, and not living outside of your means, you’ll be on your way to saving money for when you head back to school in the fall, while still enjoying the summer!