Summer is the time of year when many people head out on vacation or otherwise treat themselves. While spending a little to help support your well-being isn’t inherently a bad idea; wasting your summer job money on frivolous things might be a decision you later regret. This is especially true if you don’t typically work all year-round and need that money to last for more than just a few weeks or months.
Luckily, coming up with a solid plan to make the most of your summer job paychecks isn’t particularly challenging. If you want to make sure you spend (and save) your money wisely, here are some tips to help you do just that.
Create a Budget
When it comes to financial wellness, a budget is your best friend. It helps you track how much you need to dedicate toward living expenses, debt payments and other obligations. Then, you can easily see how much you have left over.
Usually, creating a budget in Excel is enough to keep an eye on your spending. But, if you prefer the technology-based approach, you can also choose one of the many apps that essentially do the same thing. Some of the apps also connect to your bank account, so you can monitor your income, set spending limits, categorize your expenses and keep an eye on all of your activities with greater ease.
Watch Out for Small Purchases
While buying a coffee at a café doesn’t seem like a big deal, if you do it every day, you can spend a lot of money without really noticing it. For example, purchasing a $5 latte each weekday leads to a total of $25 a week. Over the course of a month, that’s $100 or more, depending on the number of weekdays in the month. For a year, your cumulative latte spending hits $1,300.
It’s important to be aware of how all your small purchases add up. While the totals might be small when you hit the register, over the course of weeks, months or a year, how much you spent may surprise you if you don’t keep track.
If your summer job paychecks more than cover your must-handle expenses, make sure to stash away a little cash for a rainy day. Having an emergency fund – even just $1,000 – can be critical for your financial well-being. That way, if you get saddled with an unexpected expense, you don’t have to use debt to handle it.
Don’t be afraid to start out small when you save either. If you can put aside $10 a week, you’ll have $520 by the end of the year. While it doesn’t sound like a lot, it creates a foundation, and you can keep saving until you get the total to a comfortable place.
Being careful with your summer job money is usually the best approach. Otherwise, you might find yourself struggling when that job ends, leaving you in a precarious position. If you’d like to know more, the experienced staff at CPS Recruitment can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our personal finance expertise can benefit you, or search our open Upstate NY jobs for yourself.