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Setting Goals & Budgeting for Summer Jobs

A summer job is a great way for teens to learn about money management. It’s a perfect opportunity to work with your teenagers on understanding the impact of setting goals, budgeting and saving their money. Let’s find out what kind of summer jobs are out there for teenagers and how to make the most out of the experience.

Our credit counseling advice is to get a summer job to learn financial literacy.

Our credit counseling advice is to get a summer job to learn financial literacy.

Summer Jobs for Teenagers

There are many types of summer jobs available to teenagers. Teens- it’s a good idea to know what you would like to learn during your summer job and what you feel comfortable doing. If you have a lot of outdoor allergies, gardening or landscaping is probably not the best idea for you. Do you want an office experience or to work with kids? Try to pinpoint a few jobs you would like to do.

Here are some examples of summer jobs for teenagers:

  • Office Assistant
  • Babysitter
  • Landscaping or Yard Work
  • Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
  • Waitress
  • Cleaning
  • Camp Counselor
  • Lifeguard
  • Retail

Setting Goals for a Teenager’s Income

Before you spend a dime of your newly minted income, take some time to think through what you want to do with your money. While you probably don’t have major bills to pay yet, perhaps a car or college is in your future. Maybe you want to go on a class trip overseas and your parents are only paying for half of it. Ask yourself a few of the following questions to start establishing goals for your income:

  • What do I want to accomplish with my money?
  • How much do I need?
  • Will I have extra money at the end or not enough?
  • Do I have a bank account ready?
  • Are these SMART goals?

Starting a Budget

Now that you have goals for your summer income, it’s important to track your spending and income in a budget. Simply put, a budget tracks the money coming in and the money going out. If you have multiple savings goals, you will create a line in your budget for each one to measure progress.

Without documenting on paper or tracking your cash flow online, it will be nearly impossible to successfully accomplish your goals. If you have never done a budget or need help getting started, visit ACCC’s Budgeting section for templates and guidance.

Summer jobs are a great way to earn income for upcoming needs, wants and goals. Put the time into tracking your financial progress to ensure your goals have the best chance at success. Establishing positive and responsible financial habits now will help you for years to come.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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