Now that exams are over for post-secondary and high school students alike, the season of hunting for summer jobs en masse begins. Many of you will be spending the summer months serving coffee or waiting tables, which is great—post-secondary is very expensive, after all. But you don’t want to completely waste your time (or your money), right? There are ways to get the most out of your summer job without going insane and/or broke.
1. Keep Track of Your Hours
In order to avoid any possible confusion, write down your hours in the notes section of your phone or on a calendar to make sure that you’re getting paid the amount that you’re due. Being shorted on your paycheque is no fun at all, but it’s even worse when you don’t realize that you’ve been shorted.
2. Make a Budget
From road trips to beach visits to backyard barbeques, there are so many things that you can do during the summer. However, most of those things cost a lot of money. Make sure that you’re watching your bank account and paying attention to how much money you have. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go out with your friends; just don’t spend a bunch of money every time you do.
3. Know When to Say No
I know it’s a bummer when your friends go out without you, but if you want to actually have money by the end of the summer, you have to say no sometimes. Don’t take off three weekends in a row just to hang out, since you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for shifts. And shifts = money. Taking a few days off here and there is fine, but keep it under control and only book days off when you really have to.
4. Take Shifts When You Can
If someone asks you to take their shift or to switch shifts with them, don’t blow them off unless you’re totally incapable of working that shift. When it comes time for you to go on a weekend beach trip with your friends, you’ll be grateful that you have someone who owes you one.
5. Have “Me Time.”
Spending 8 hours a day smiling your way through rude customers or irate supervisors is tiring. Be sure to take some time before or after your shifts to chill out and relax a little bit. You deserve it!
6. Pay Your Bills First
This goes hand in hand with budgeting. If you have rent or phone bills to pay, make sure you take care of those before you spend money on fun stuff. Groceries, too! Food is more important than that totally awesome gadget you’ve been eyeing.
Overall, take care of yourself and watch your money. When school starts up again, you’ll be happy that you actually have money to cover all of your expenses. Just be careful not to burn yourself out with work—remember to take it easy, relax, and soak up some sun!
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.