Everyone has a something they need to save their money for. Some college students may be saving for concert tickets, spring break, a car, or their tuition. Saving money in college can be difficult. During the school year, you may only be able to work ten hours a week, if at all. By the time you pay all your expenses, your money is gone. However, for many of us, the summer is almost four months of being stuck at home with nothing to do but work. This is a great opportunity to start saving money, as long as you learn to control your spending.
Summer gives us the opportunity to build up our finances, but it also presents the challenge of not spending it all. Budgeting can be especially important in the summer, when eating out daily is an option that is hard to say no to. You should begin making your budget by first listing out everything you spent money on each day for a week. This includes everything, the coffee you get every morning, gas, restaurants, groceries, etc. Multiply this by four to get the amount of money you spend each month. Be sure to add monthly expenses like rent, car insurance, and credit card payments. Finally, consider payments that may only occur once or twice a year, like car maintenance or tuition bills. Divide these yearly expenses by twelve in order to add it to your monthly budget. Compare your monthly budget to the amount of money you make a month. If you are spending more than you make, you need to either find ways to reduce your spending, or increase your income. Budgeting apps, such as Mint or Daily Budget, can be really helpful in tracking your expenses and limiting your spending. There are also automatic saving apps, such as Digit or Acorns, that will take small amounts of cash from your bank account to be saved based on your spending (See BuzzFeed News).
Saving over the summer can be a game changer. The most important thing is to make a plan and stick to it. Only got out to eat twice a week as opposed to everyday. Going to the grocery store and making your own food is usually cheaper than eating out. Instead of spending money on gas and parking to go to the beach, tan in your backyard or go to a lake or pond or community pool in your neighborhood. Summer is a great time to save money and is especially important for those who do not work during the school year. Those who do not work during the school year should look ahead and plan out how much money they are going to need once classes resume. So, while you are taking a break from school this summer, think ahead about what you need to save for and create a budget that works for you.