Your summer savings plan

Your summer savings plan

Make your finances easier next school year by setting a goal to save more cash over the summer.

You’re in the final stretch before the end of the school year, and if you’re like a lot of your classmates, your bank account might be running on empty. If you don’t want to miss out on the fun, then you need to figure out your money.

A busy class schedule, hours of studying, and a plethora of extracurricular activities can make earning money during the school year challenging. So, to make sure you’ve still got some money left over for next year, here are six actions to take to help you put your summer earnings to good use.

1. Identify how much you need

Start your summer off by taking a trip down Credit Card Memory Lane and totaling up your spending during the spring semester. Then, go back through any cash withdrawals to roughly figure out how much cash you spent. Double this total amount for two semesters and give yourself a cushion of a few hundred dollars for something that might be on the agenda next year that you didn’t do this year (like studying abroad or having a car on campus). The final number is how much money you should strive to have in your bank account come fall.

2. Set smaller goals

It might seem unrealistic that you could save that much in a matter of months, especially since you’ll have expenses over the summer, too. Instead, try breaking that number down into smaller, more achievable goals. Maybe that means you set a weekly or monthly goal for yourself. For example, how much money do you need to save per week to meet your goal by the end of the summer? How many hours of work does that come out to, given any potential summer spending? This will make your overall savings target seem more manageable.

Source: FlexJobs via Business Insider, 15 high-paying jobs college students can do in the summer

3. Figure out what to cut

If the above number still seems out of reach, there are a few things you can do. For one, you can examine your expenses, either for the summer or next year, for anything that you can cut back on just a little. Start by eliminating as much unnecessary spending as possible — we’re talking iced coffees, eating out, streaming subscriptions, and movie theater snacks. If you have a Wells Fargo checking account, Budget Watch can help you identify the areas where you may be overspending (and can cut back on). And there is no fee for this service.

4. Ask for help

If the above tips still aren’t getting you to your money-saving goals, then it may also be worth talking to your parents about your situation. Go into the conversation open, honest, and with a clear-cut plan already in place. This will show them that not only are you being proactive about the situation but also exactly where you’re coming up short. They may be happy to help you out when they see how much work you’re putting into saving and being responsible.

42% of students say debt has been their biggest concern about attending college. One way to give yourself a cushion during the school year? Your summer savings.

— The Princeton Review, 2018 College Hopes & Worries Survey Report

5. Automate your saving

Use technology to keep on track and motivated. One way to achieve your summer savings goal is to make saving automatic. If your summer job offers direct deposit, use that to help you. If that money is going into your checking account, consider setting an automatic transfer every other week or once a month from your checking account to your savings account to help you set some money aside in a place you’re less likely to touch. You can even track your progress with My Savings Plan®.

6. Celebrate your wins

Even as you’re being smart about your spending, make sure to reward yourself along the way. Your savings plan should make you feel empowered and excited about what’s to come. When you hit mini goals, treat yourself without spending a dime — explore something new in your town, have an at-home spa day, or just relax and binge watch that show you’ve been meaning to catch.

Once you’ve stockpiled some cash and know you won’t blow your budget, splurge on that ice cream cone you’ve been craving or those headphones you’ve wanted all summer — you deserve it.

Want to read more about Saving for the future?

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