Managing your finances over the summer (Alice)

So, you’re finally saying goodbye to dreaded exams and last-minute deadlines for a few months and you’re looking forward to the millions of summer festival and holiday plans you made with your friends…

The only problem is – how are you going to afford it all?

The sweet, smug feeling of being unemployed over summer probably lasts a good week or so… or until you go to pay for a bev in Wetherspoon’s and your card embarrassingly gets declined. Awks.

If you’re like me and your loan won’t cover you over summer, maybe it’s time to think about getting a summer job. Waitressing, bar work and retail are some of the most popular choices for us students, and I was lucky to work at New Look all throughout uni. Not only does it give you a bit of money to allow you to do fun things over summer, it also teaches you the value of work (and how to smile through dealing with stroppy customers).

But, if you’re also like me who used to get paid one day and live like a payday millionaire the next, then there’s a few tips I’ve learned over the past few years on how to manage my finances whilst away from uni.

First of all, if you’re contracted to work a certain number of hours a week/month, total that money up so you know exactly how much income you’re going to be receiving.

Then, I used to write down all the plans I had made for that month, and how much money roughly they were going to cost me. Sometimes I’d overcompensate, so that if I didn’t spend as much money as I thought I would, it would be a bonus and I’d feel like I’d saved money, rather than spent too much.

I then decided to open an ISA account with my bank, so that any money I hadn’t budgeted for that week for things such as bills, rent, socialising etc was immediately transferred into my ISA as a way of saving (or an emergency fund as I usually used it as!) This meant that I could feel more relaxed about my money situation, as I knew I had a little something to fall back on.

If your job doesn’t give you the luxury of set shifts or set number of hours each month, simply look at it from a week-to-week perspective. If you get more money one week than another, make sure that you save some of that money from the first week, so you’re not struggling when the second week comes around.

If you’re really, really organised then spreadsheets could be a good way of managing your finances, you just need to find a way that works for you. But whatever you do, make sure that you enjoy your summer!

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