Budgeting for Teens with Summer Jobs

Most teens take on summer jobs for two reasons. One is to earn enough money to enjoy vacation fun to the fullest. They also work to save some of that summer money for school and other expenses during the fall semester.

The best and most obvious way to budget your income from a summer job is to live at home while you’re working. If you’re frugal and your parents are generous, you can stack up an impressive nest egg by autumn.

However, many vacation jobs require living away from home for the entire summer. If that’s your situation, some advice may help you budget your money. If you’re frugal, you can successfully do it in ways that will still allow you to end the summer job with some substantial savings.

Expenses-paid jobs: If you’re lucky enough to get a job where room and board are provided, such as on a cruise ship, summer camp or mountain resort, budgeting will be fairly easy. Just take advantage of all the free stuff and limit your spending to occasional fun events that require money.

Expenses-not-paid jobs: Those in cities far away from your home usually include retail shops, restaurants, city and beach resort hotels, theme parks, construction, road work and similar jobs. If you need to find a room or apartment near your job, it’s best to find other teens to share living quarters and expenses.

Eat out rarely: If your summer job doesn’t provide free meals, you’ll need to find ways to economize on food. If you’re living with or are near other teens on the same job, pool your resources. Buy food at local markets and eat together. Restrict your dining out to very special occasions.

Cheap entertainment: If you want to budget money earned during your summer job, don’t use up big chunks of it to attend $100 rock concerts or go to $25 first-run movies. You can find plenty of cheap and free entertainment with community outdoor concerts, holiday celebrations, dances and sports events.

Rent DVDs and watch them with other teen summer workers in the comfort of your couch. Top it off with a barbeque on the beach or in the park, where your only costs will be beverages and burgers.

Teens with summer jobs may feel free to spend all the money they earn during that fun season. However, when the weather turns cool again, most would prefer to have some cold cash banked away for the future.