Know how much you can afford to spend and the types of things you want to spend on.

Set a budget. It can be a super simple budget written on paper or you can take the time to create it in Excel. Just know how much you have left for spending after you pay down the expenses that are critical, such as rent. Obviously no one can plan perfectly but you also need to factor in unexpected purchases in your budget as well for this reason.

Be aware of your credit card. Check the balance weekly and do not simply forget about it just because it is summer.

If you make a lot of transactions and it’s hard for you to keep track of how much you’re spending I would recommend checking your purchases online weekly. In this day and age many credit cards allow for you to log into their website and view transactions approximately 2-3 days after they are made. If you are not spending that much you can bump this down to checking every two weeks or at the very minimum monthly. Have a look at your bill before paying it so you know that there are no mis-charges and that you are hyper aware of how much is coming out of your pocket.

It’s okay to have fun but plan ahead.

Everyone wants to have fun in the summer and we encourage that you do as well. Part of having fun financially is being responsible with your money during the most difficult time to be responsible with it. You will be glad when it’s over that you do not have to pay all your expenses back plus 20% interest. Buy things that are within your limit. No you do not need that hundred-dollar t-shirt that has your band’s logo in small print on the back. Unless you can afford this easily opt for a smarter alternative.

Set a goal to come out of the summer in the green rather than in the red (even if it’s only slightly it’s better than taking on debt).

Being in the green means that you made more money than you spent or that you have a positive balance at the end of the summer. There is really no need to take on additional debt. If you’re planning to travel during the summer try to save up in advance in the months prior.

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