5 Tips for Financial Survival This Summer

5 Tips for Financial Survival This Summer

After a long, challenging and unusual school year, kids – and their teachers (and parents!) – are likely looking forward to the summer. Unfortunately for many, this won’t be a typical summer; the ongoing pandemic continues to affect camp operations, pool and beach openings, and more. While some teachers are accustomed to the “summer paycheck gap,” it means significant lifestyle shifts for others who may have been furloughed or laid off, or even recent graduates who have yet to land a job. Here are five financial survival tips for the summer – and beyond.

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1. Prepay your bills. For teachers who were handed a lump sum summer paycheck at the end of the school year, the higher (than usual) available balance in your checking account can make it easy to start spending. Resist the temptation! Instead, if possible, call your utility companies and pay ahead for cable, electric, gas, etc. Consider doing the same for your mortgage or rent, car payments, and any other monthly bills. You’ll have far fewer bills to worry about and you’ll be in a better position to effectively budget for the rest of the summer.

2. Set up a separate savings account.After you’ve prepaid some of your summer bills, sit down with all of your planned expenses for July and August and budget accordingly. Then consider opening a dedicated savings account for summer spending. Transfer money into your checking one month at a time; this will help ensure you’re not overspending or dipping into emergency funds. For example, Affinity offers a SmartStart Savings, with no minimum balance or opening deposit requirements.

3. Use gift cards.Many local grocery stores offer extra fuel points or other reward incentives for gift cards purchased in the store. Using gift cards for usual purchases, not to mention gifts for others (it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays!), can help you save money on things like fuel or food. Also, starting now, you may want to save any gift cards you might receive throughout the year and put them aside for next summer.

4. Have a garage sale.Clean out those closets and cabinets! You may also have classroom décor or other supplies that you don't plan to reuse next school year. There are many apps and websites, as well as online and social media-hosted communities (check out ThredUp1 or Mercari2, as examples), that can help you sell things without worrying about enforcing social distancing or dealing with treasure hunters showing up in your driveway at 6 a.m.

5. Consider a summer side hustle.Balance the costs (childcare, for example) and benefits (extra income) of a part-time job. Perhaps you can virtually tutor some neighborhood students or maybe after your garage sale, you discovered your talent for decluttering—let others know your skills are for hire! Get creative and make some extra cash.

Clearly, COVID-19 is impacting vacation plans and accounts this summer season, but there are ways to help ensure the next few months are full of fun and sun, not stress. Whether you’re a teacher who has managed the “paycheck gap” before or you’re newly unemployed, these tips can help you establish healthy money habits year-round.

                                                  

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.  

1 Retrieved from https://www.thredup.com/

2 Retrieved from https://www.mercari.com/