Working a Side Hustle This Summer? 4 Smart Things to Do With Your Earnings

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  • Many people work a summer job, when high school or college isn't in session.
  • Tempted as you may be to enjoy your money, here are some options that will benefit you more in the long run, like investing in your future.

Put that income to good use.

If you're a high school or college student, you might look forward to the summer as a time to kick back and relax. But if you won't be taking class during the summer months, then it pays to look at getting yourself a job -- if not a full-time gig, then at least a side hustle that earns you a decent amount of money.

Not only that, but if you're going to work a summer side hustle, it's important to put that cash to good use -- even if you'd rather use it to go on vacation, upgrade your wardrobe, or do something similarly gratifying. Here are a few smart things you can do with your summer earnings that are apt to benefit you a lot in the long run.

1. Build or boost your emergency fund

Even if you're a student still living under your parents' roof, it pays to have money socked away in your savings account for unplanned expenses that your folks aren't prepared to cover. If you have your own car, for example, the cost of maintenance may be on you. If your vehicle ends up needing a costly repair, your savings could bail you out.

Plus, once you wrap up your studies, there's a good chance you'll end up living on your own and having many bills to cover. And so the money you earn and save this summer could actually buy you more financial security once you enter the working world.

2. Pay off credit card debt

If you've landed in credit card debt, the sooner you pay it off, the less money you'll end up throwing away on interest. Plus, shedding credit card debt can improve your credit score. That's an important thing, because younger people often struggle to build up a credit history. And so the last thing you want is a negative mark on your credit report at a time when you may not have so many positives.

3. Save to cover tuition costs

Many people have to borrow money to cover the cost of college. But if you take your summer job earnings and use that money to cover tuition costs and other fees, you won't have to borrow as much.

4. Invest in tools that make your studies easier

Would an upgraded laptop make it easier to do research and get papers done? Would a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones help you better focus on studying and eliminate the many distractions that come with living in a dorm? Tools like these could make your studies go more smoothly and, just as importantly, help you excel academically. And so it's worth using your summer earnings for that purpose.

Spending your summer working a side hustle is a great way to not only score extra income, but also gain job experience at a young age. That's something that might benefit you a lot once you're ready to apply for a full-time job. But it's also important to put your earnings to great use, and all of the above items fit the bill in that regard.

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