Everyone may have a different idea about how to enjoy the perfect summer break, but one truth remains: it’s no fun heading back to campus broke. Luckily, it’s not impossible to have a great summer break and still have plenty of cash left over.
Check out these tips to survive summer and sustain your budget.
Get a Job
Ok, I’m not your dad, but getting a job can go a long way in helping you financially survive the summer. Besides, how are you going to save money this summer if you don’t generate a cash flow?
Find a job that’s fun, something that gives you some life experience, or something close to your major. Or better yet, all three.
Although college is closer to the real world than high school, many college students don’t have the real-world pressures of full-blown adults. You can use these last few years of semi-adulthood to be picky with your summer job. Don’t settle for just anything. Hold out for something that fits you perfectly and your summer will be a blast.
Bank Account and Budget
If you haven’t opened your own back account, then today is the perfect time. If you live more than 40 miles away from campus, make sure you choose a bank that has branch locations in your college town. Many local banks will have more options suited for college students, usually with more benefits to fit your situation.
Since planning is one of the most important factors in saving money, spend some time on a summer budget. Let’s face it, whether you’re a freshman or a senior, college helps to prepare you for the real world. And the real world is a lot easier when you have a budget (and follow it).
Create a budget and pay yourself before you blow everything you have this summer. One of the hallmarks of successful personal finance is learning to save. Creating a habit of paying yourself first will have an enormous positive impact on your future self.
Cook for Yourself
If you don’t know how to cook, you’ll spend most of your time and money this summer waiting in the drive-thru. Even the best restaurant deals can be 3-5 times more expensive than cooking for yourself.
Look, no one is saying you can’t eat out this summer. But show some restraint. Stick to your budget and save money by going to the grocery store more than take-out.
Just about everyone likes to travel over the summer. It’s always a blast to get out and explore – no matter how fun the stay-cations sound. This summer, save money by traveling within your means.
Not everyone can afford the same summer vacation, and that’s okay. Spend wisely and have fun without going broke. And if your pockets are already empty, start saving this year for next summer’s travel instead of using your credit card.
Last Minute Money Saving Tips
Since we all like lists, here are several more ways for you to add some much needed savings to your summertime fun:
- Save on Gas – carpool with friends, ride your bike, or use the bus
- Use Cash – leave your cards at home and have a cash-only summer, you’ll spend less
- Always Keep Track of Your Spending – self explanatory
- Use Coupons and Discounts – don’t be afraid to use your internet powers to save money
- Save on Rent – use the summer to find a roommate to split living expenses next semester
- Pay Down Debt – if you have debt, start to pay it off
- Save on Data – how many different streams of internet are you paying for?
- Borrow & Check Out – don’t buy books that you’ll only need for a short time
- Sell Your Old Stuff – get some spring cleaning done in the summer, and walk away with some cash
- Make Your Own Coffee – at least 2-3 times a week, drink a home brew
- Avoid Summertime Fun Loans – don’t borrow money that’s not related to your education (this includes credit cards)
Remember, you may not have the same care-free summer you did 5 years ago, but you’re training to be a responsible adult. It’s time to get serious – sort of.