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How To Make The Most Of Your Summer Side Hustle

Leslie Tayne

Warm weather means seasonal part-time jobs are cropping up in abundance! Whether you're driving people around, renting out surfboards at the beach or scooping ice cream on the weekends, summer is a great time to make some extra cash. But instead of blowing it all by the time the calendar flips to September, consider these tips to make your summer side hustle work for you all year long.

Set Aside A Certain Percentage of Your Paycheck

Decide ahead of time how much of your part-time paycheck you want to pocket and how much you can afford to put away. If your side hustle is serving as supplemental income to your full-time job, you will hopefully have a little wiggle room to save a good chunk of your part-time income. Putting away 50 percent is a good benchmark to start with, but if you can manage even more, you will reap the benefits for months to come.

If you already have a robust savings account that you're comfortable with, you can simply add this money there. Or you can open a new account specifically for the funds you're putting away from the summer to keep better track of just how much you're saving. This can also be beneficial if you're saving this money for something specific, like a vacation or a home renovation project, and want to keep it separate from your general savings. If your part-time employer offers it, you may be able to automatically have a certain percentage of your paycheck set aside from your direct deposit.

Invest It!

If you're setting aside part of your paycheck, but are looking to be a bit more adventurous than putting it into a static account, you may want to consider investing your extra money. If your part-time paycheck isn't exactly fit for royalty, look into some affordable stock options, pick up some savings bonds from your bank, or even add a little extra to your retirement fund. Even the smallest amount now can help you in the long-term.

But if you're looking at a more significant chunk of change, you may be able to consider investing in real estate or higher profile stock options. In today's world, there are so many resources online to research investment opportunities, but you may also benefit from sitting down with a financial advisor to discuss your investment options.

Space It Out

If you're setting aside a certain percentage of your paycheck all summer, but don't have a certain purpose in mind, you can space out your savings to benefit you all year by making a plan to allocate extra money into your checking account each month. For example, if you save $1,200 from the summer, you can essentially give yourself $100 extra each month for the next year. If you feel comfortable, you can typically set up an automatic transfer from your savings account to your checking account on a monthly basis. With this budgeting method, you can avoid spending all of your summer savings at once, and it will feel like you're giving yourself a gift every month.

Pay Down Your Debt

A very sensible option for your supplemental income is to put it towards paying down your debt. If you have high credit card bills, having this extra money is an excellent opportunity to lower or completely pay off those killer balances. If you are paying off student loans, consider using your part-time paycheck to contribute more than your minimum monthly payment. In both cases, you will be doing yourself a favor by reducing the amount of interest you will have to pay in the long run.