What Young Workers Should Know About Saving During Their Summer Job

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
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WASHINGTON – America Saves for Young Workers kicked off the summer hiring season today by sharing five savings tips for high school and college students beginning their summer jobs.

The national campaign is partnering this summer with 37 youth employment programs in 26 cities across the country to offer its free program. America Saves for Young Workers teaches young workers how to save money automatically through direct deposit and start a savings habit early in their careers.

“Young people tell us they know it’s important to save, but no one has shown them the simple mechanics of how to do it. America Saves for Young Workers changes that,” said program manager Amelia O’Rourke-Owens. “Equipped with a traditional savings account, paycheck, direct deposit, and a savings goal, young people can and do save successfully.”

An independent study of America Saves for Young Workers proved that after being introduced to these tools in an online program, youth employed for the summer were more likely to save, opened more savings accounts, and continued to save throughout the year. 

As students across the country prepare for the first day of their summer job, America Saves for Young Workers offered the following five tips:

1. Make a savings goal and write it down: Savers with a plan are more than twice as likely to make good or excellent progress meeting their savings needs, and are more likely to reduce their debt or be debt-free, according to recent research from America Saves and the American Savings Education Council.

Your savings plan should include what you’re saving for, how much you will save each month, and how many months you will save for. Create your savings plan today by taking the America Saves Pledge, and you will receive custom text messages or email messages with savings reminders and tips on how to reach your specific savings goal.

2. Use direct deposit: Don’t give yourself a demotion by lowering your pay with unnecessary check-cashing and ATM fees. Currently, 82 percent of the American workforce uses direct deposit, where paychecks are deposited directly into bank or credit union accounts on payday.

If your employer offers direct deposit, bring a voided check with you to orientation or your onboarding to sign up.

By opening an account at a traditional bank or credit union and setting up direct deposit through your employer, you will avoid fees for things like cashing checks, making deposits, or checking your account balance.

3. Save automatically: The easiest and most effective way to save is automatically, preferably though split deposit.

If your employer offers direct deposit, it is likely also an option to split your paycheck between a checking and separate savings account.

If your employer doesn’t offer split direct deposit, contact your bank or credit union to set up automatic monthly transfers from your checking account into your savings account.

4. Open a savings account through a bank or credit union: Keep your savings safe in an insured bank or credit union savings account. Having a separate account for your savings will help keep the money out of sight and out of mind, limiting the temptation to spend it.

Just as importantly, deposits to bank and credit union accounts up to $250,000 are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration, which means you save risk-free.

You will also earn a small amount of interest on savings account deposits. If you are able to shop around for the best rates, look for interest rates on the higher end of the scale of about 1 percent for traditional savings accounts. 

5. Roll with the punches: Savings is a process, not an amount or one-time thing. The most important thing about saving in your summer job is developing a savings habit that will last a lifetime. So if you need to use your savings for an emergency or overspend one month, don’t give up entirely—just resume your savings plan when you receive your next paycheck.

Continue to save when your summer job is over. Over six months after completing the America Saves for Young Workers program, well over half (61 percent) of youth reported making a deposit into their checking account in the previous month, despite less than 40 percent being formally employed. Monetary gifts, side gig income, and tax refunds are great opportunities to save throughout the year.


America Saves for Young Workers (ASYW) is an initiative of America Saves that promotes workplace savings for young adults.

America Saves is a national campaign of the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America to motivate people to set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically. Using the research-based principles of social marketing and behavioral economics, the campaign supports lifelong saving habits that begin with taking the America Saves Pledge.

Learn more at americasaves.org and americasavesforyoungworkers.org.


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