Mapping Your Future: Practice budgeting skills with summer job earnings



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Practice budgeting skills with summer job earnings

By Catherine Mueller

June 01, 2021

A summer job offers many benefits for students in addition to the money earned.

Of course, there's the opportunity for work experience, but students can also practice some important life skills with their summer jobs.

One of those life skills is managing a budget (sometimes called a spending plan) for those summer earnings.

To create a simple budget for summer earnings, students should do the following:

  1. Write down your goals. Think about what you want to accomplish with your summer earnings.
  2. Determine your income. If you know how much you will work and have already received a paycheck, you can use that to determine your income. If not, you may have to estimate your earnings for now, and then adjust your budget later when you have more information.
  3. Determine your expenses. If you are a student living at home, you may not have many regular expenses, but you may want to budget some of your earnings for entertainment or eating out with friends and family. You will want to save a portion of your earnings to accomplish some of those goals you listed in step 1.
  4. Create your budget. Think of your budget as a "spending plan," a way to be aware of how much money you have, where it needs to go, and how much, if any, is left over.
  5. Track your budget. Make sure you regularly review how close you are staying on budget. If your income is not enough to cover your expenses, adjust your budget (and your spending!) by deciding which expenses can be reduced.

By learning how to create and track a budget now, students can make mistakes without the serious consequences that might occur later in life should a financial mistake be made. By practicing budgeting now, students establish good financial habits that last a lifetime.

Find more information on creating a budget at mappingyourfuture.org/money/budget.cfm and use our budget calculator.