Published: Sept. 20, 2017 By

Summertime in college is the best. It’s one of the last times in your life that you will have a long stretch of time off to do as you please. Oftentimes, summer also means getting a job to fund living expenses for the school year.

Growing dollar bills in the groundStretching your summer savings to make sure they last through the school year can be a challenge. Even though you worked all summer, you may have a modest nest egg. Concerts, nights out and trips must all be carefully considered.

Let’s look at some ideas to stretch those hard-earned summer camp dollars.

Create a budget

The first step to financial planning is learning how to budget. One way to budget is to divide your savings over the amount of time you need them to last. Factor in breaks and vacations, including the month-long winter break.

Look at what you have. Is it enough for all of your expenses? Do you need a job or internship this year to help supplement your summer haul? If so, better to start planning now then to scramble for a job when the money runs out.

Find on- and off-campus jobs through Student Employment, or read more budgeting tips from CU Money Sense.

Avoid big purchases or buy used

We all have that friend who spends the majority of their summer savings in the first month of school. Don’t be that person.

If you need some new outdoor gear, a computer, car or other big-ticket item, shop for used items on Craigslist, eBay and through word of mouth. You can typically save well over 50 percent off the list price by picking up gently used items. Developing the habit of shopping for used items now will save you lots of money in the future.

Seek out free, low-cost activities

Many activities on campus and in town are free for students. Hiking, for one. Movies on campus. Many campus organizations offer free meals to attend one of their events, and you can learn something cool in the process!

Finally, get involved. Join a club, assume a leadership role, work a campus job, volunteer, attend an event, go to the gym, or play an intramural sport (potential fee involved for intramural sports). By staying busy, active and engaged you’ll hardly miss spending money to have fun and you’ll be bettering yourself for future employment opportunities. 

CU Money Sense is your campus resource to help with budgeting, student loans, debt, saving, credit, investing and even retirement planning.​