Working for the weekend is just the beginning.
Summer jobs are a great way to practice responsibility and jumpstart saving habits that will last long beyond the dollars earned.
On top of teaching invaluable financial skills like budgeting and saving, summer jobs boost resumes and college applications, all while building character and responsibility. Not to mention, a summer gig means hard-earned cash for all the fun splurges.
Here’s a quick list of summer job ideas to warm up your search.
Whether it’s scooping double cones, flipping burgers, or hostessing or serving at the nice sit-down place in town, there are plenty of ways to earn cash in food service. Food service work provides opportunities to work with others, perform under pressure, and develop customer service skills.
Getting paid to soak up some rays by the pool might sound too good to be true, but lifeguarding comes with CPR certification and will teach patience, time management, and sharpen observation skills.
Babysitting and Nannying
For anyone who loves spending time with littles, babysitting or nannying could be a great gig. Having a driver’s license and CPR certification are big perks for landing these jobs — and landing work that will teach responsibility, adaptability, and communication.
Any smarty-pants could use their brain power to help other students sharpen their studies over the summer. Tutoring stands out on college applications and is a plus for anyone curious to try out teaching as a potential career path.
What’s more fun than working at your favorite store? Other than the discounts that come with it, of course. Retail offers a crash course in working under management, dealing with customers (read: patience), and time management.
Whether it’s mowing the neighbors’ lawns, bagging leaves, or pulling weeds, lending some muscle to yard work around the neighborhood is always a good way to spend the day. In addition to a healthy sweat, yard work teaches the importance of elbow grease and endurance.
Remember loving summer camp when you were younger? Pay it forward by counseling the next generation. Develop leadership skills that will last just as long as the memories — and look great on any college or future job application.
They might be rare, but paid internships provide beyond-valuable experience. Start with friends and family and ask if any of their workplaces are looking for a little summer help around the office. An internship gives an inside look at what it’s like to work in the real world while jump-starting a resume.
It’s payday — now what?
Few feelings compare to receiving your first paycheck. It’s proof of your hard work, right there in your hands (or your bank account). So what do you do with all that dough burning a hole in your pocket? You could spend it on something special right away, or, consider how to make your money do more for you. With a little bit of thinking ahead, you can create a plan for your money that has room for both treating yourself now and looking out for yourself in the long run.
Budgets: A new best friend.
Along with any summer job comes the freedom and responsibility of budgeting — a great tool for managing your money, no matter your age or income. Good budgeting gives us room to both save and spend.
Some items we budget for are not-so-fun (rent, groceries, car insurance, etc.), some are super fun (clothes, entertainment, etc.), and other items seem blah at the moment, but are a lifeline when their time comes (retirement, emergency funds, etc.). Even for teens and younger adults without expenses like rent and utilities, developing a habit of budgeting for everyday necessities like gas and tacos, plus extras like new shoes, video games, and more is a great place to start.
As you’re budgeting and considering what your hard-earned money is meant for, don’t hesitate to dream big. What do you want that requires saving up? Maybe it’s a car of your own, college tuition, an overseas vacation, or maybe you’re still brainstorming. Either way, a budget can help you set money goals and save for them. Even if you aren’t saving for anything specific to start, consistent saving gives you the freedom to jump on opportunities that appear down the road, like a spontaneous trip with friends or a new phone upgrade. While saving might feel stuffy and restricting at first, it offers flexibility and freedom for your future self.
A checking account is another great tool for tracking your budget and spending. Fortera has a checking account designed specifically with teens in mind called Flex Checking. With five dollars and a guardian’s signature, anyone ages 13 - 17 can open their very own checking account. Flex Checking makes it easy to move money around while also keeping it super secure.
Money — earning it, spending it, saving it — is something we can learn more about at any age. That being said, the habits we learn early in life are priceless, and can only help set us up for success in the long run.