Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
Summer breaks from school are often a time for relaxation, regrouping, and recreation! Itís a time to sleep late, to catch up on reading lists, favorite TV shows, and maybe a video game or two. You probably already have a list in mind of the things you can do for free this summer. What about the stuff you canít do for free?
You might need some extra cash. Pool passes, recreational center passes, movie tickets, ice cream parlors, concert tickets . . . need I go on? They all could require money. Itís time for you to make a budget and brainstorm some ideas for earning extra summer money.
Make a budget on paper. Start your budget by listing the things you know you will be doing this summer that could require cash. Passes, tickets, new clothes . . . anything you can think of that will require YOU to pay for them with your own money. Add next to each item the actual or estimated price. (If you are old enough to drive, donít forget to add in maintenance costs/gas for the car you will be driving.)
Next, search your mind for those abstract summer plans youíve been dreaming about. Abstract means existing in your mind, an idea, nothing is yet set in stone. This could include new summer movies, music or books. Think about any summer birthday cards, gifts or snacks you might need to buy for parties.
Donít worry if you canít think of everything you want to do this summer. This exercise is just a way for you to analyze and consider the budget you have to work with for summer activities.
Now ó where do you get the money?
If you have a part-time job, budget so that you have some FUN funds after you take care of your financial obligations. Donít forget to budget for any lunches or dinners you might also need to eat out.
What if you donít have a part-time job? You might not even be old enough yet to work. Don't panic, this is where you get creative.
Brainstorm ways you can earn money. Start at home by asking for extra chores such as cleaning, babysitting, or yard work. Ask your parents if there are other chores you can do to earn some extra money. ASK to earn! Donít expect your parents to fund your summer plans. By earning money, you will show that you are responsible.
You might also think about asking relatives and neighbors if there are any odd jobs you can do to earn some money. Be creative in suggesting things you could help with like dog walking or watering plants. There is even the lemonade stand idea. Seriously, you could add a new twist with some baked goods or fruit cups!
Make sure you balance your summer to do list with both things that are free to do and those that will cost you to do. By doing so, you will increase your activity list.
Please let me know your creative ideas about earning summer money. Share them in the Teen Site Forum. You can also stop by to say hello!
Ready, Set, Summer!