5 summer job savings tips

Last year, over half of young Americans 18- to 24-years-old were employed during the summer.

That's tens of millions of young people who are starting or looking for summer jobs this month. To kick off the hiring season, America Saves for Young Workers suggests the following five savings 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.

Are you trying to save money? Let America Saves help you reach your savings and debt reduction goals. It all starts when you make a commitment to yourself to save. Take the first step today and take the America Saves pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. And it doesn’t stop there. America Saves will keep you motivated with information, advice, tips, and reminders to help you reach your savings goal. Think of us as your own personal support system.


Ask your employer about direct deposit and save automatically: http://bit.ly/2rO49sH via @AmericaSaves #savingstips

Tweet this now

Take the Pledge

I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same

Take the America Saves Pledge

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | October 21, 2014

    Impulse buys are an easy way to blow your holiday budget. Make a plan & stick to it! http://ow.ly/CVJZf

Saver Stories View all »

Getting Out of Debt

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

In 2004, Tonya Shelton was facing financial ruin. Barely making more than minimum wage and having lost her home to an unexpected family crisis, Shelton and her family were forced to live in a rundown hotel.


Another Dream Realized

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | November 7, 2014

Mary Brown was already a disciplined individual when she came to Wisconsin Saves coordinator Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) in last summer. She had successfully completed her bachelor’s degree with the assistance of her husband and son, and was now ready to tackle her next big dream – homeownership.


Inspired to Build Savings By Starting Small

Written by Great Lakes Michigan Saves | April 19, 2016

With little-to-no money in the bank and living on a limited income with her adult daughter, Sharon wasn’t sure if building up savings for her future was even possible. “At my age, to put debts behind me would be a relief,” she said, but she wasn’t quite sure how to even get started with a savings plan. That all changed when Sharon attended the Great Lakes Michigan Saves Pay Yourself First Saver’s Summit during America Saves Week.


Receive Updates

Sign up for Texts

Written by Tammy G. Bruzon | July 15, 2014

Sign Up

Sign up for Emails

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Get Emails

Take the Pledge

Written by Super User | September 16, 2013

Start Saving