It’s June, which means summer has arrived, along with heat waves and longer days. But even if you’re burning up in the warm weather, you don’t have to burn through your cash to survive the summer.
To keep your financial cool, take some time to check in on your money and plan ahead for what’s next. It’s the perfect month to adjust your budget for the summer and revisit your financial resolutions (remember those?). The end of another school year means it’s also time for college students and graduates to plan out their next steps for their student loans.
Here are four money moves you can make in June to stay focused on improving your finances.
1. Budget for summer fun and child care
June is the time for summer vacations, evenings with your friends, and outings with your family. “I’m always tempted to blow my budget when summer rolls around — from dinners out on rooftop patios to spontaneous road trips with friends,” said Tori Dunlap, who offers personal finance and career advice at Victori Media.
Resist the temptation of carefree spending, however. Failing to plan for these costs means you’ll pay for them later. If you budget for them instead, you can have summer fun that’s affordable and guilt-free.
“Starting to save in June for the rest of your summer outings is key to making sure you don’t overspend,” Dunlap said. “Think in terms of saving now for an adventure later — you’re not depriving yourself; you’re just gifting future you some awesome summer nights!”
Parents with young children probably will face the additional task of paying for more child care now that school is out. Finding an affordable summer camp or babysitter is a good start. But you also should review your budget and consider where you need to cut back to cover these extra costs.
2. Revisit your 2018 financial resolutions
With the year halfway done, it’s the perfect time to revisit your financial resolutions for the year — even if that means coming to terms with missed opportunities or money mistakes you’ve made so far.
“If you blew your 2018 money goals way back in February, it’s not a lost cause,” Dunlap said. “Getting good with money, like anything else, is a step-by-step process. There is still plenty of time to make good financial decisions and strides towards your goals.”
Take time to think through your goal-setting process and find the lessons there, Dunlap suggested. Consider why you didn’t stick to your financial goals. Were they unrealistic, or did you need a better plan in place to execute them? Re-evaluating your resolutions can help you see what you can do to get past obstacles and make financial progress.
Armed with these insights, set a money resolution for the rest of 2018. “Pick one or two major things to focus this summer on,” Dunlap suggested, such as finding a new financial resource or improving your budget. Limit yourself to just one money priority to keep yourself motivated and focused on improving your finances.
3. New grads: Make a plan for your student loans
If you recently donned a cap and gown and received a college diploma, congratulations! Now, start thinking about your student loans and how you’ll repay them.
“You’re more responsible for your own finances now than ever before,” said Ann House, an Accredited Financial Counselor and director of the Personal Money Management Center at the University of Utah. “It’s important to create a budget that not only works for your starting salary but takes upcoming student loan payments into consideration as well.”
Don’t worry — there’s still time for college graduates to get their finances in order. Federal student loans have a six-month grace period after graduation before repayment begins.
Spend this time finding all your student loans, setting up payments, and working out a student loan contingency plan. If you don’t find a job right away, don’t panic. “Work with your servicer to find the repayment option you can qualify for,” House said. You might be able to temporarily pause or lower your student loan payments if you plan ahead.
Lastly, consider paying off your student loans ahead of schedule. “You will save interest and free up money in your budget sooner,” House pointed out. Use our student loan prepayment calculator to see how extra payments could help you get out of debt faster.
4. Current college students: Take stock of your student debt
“At the end of your spring semester, [review] the amount of debt you are taking on and what the minimum payment will be” on your loans so far, House advised. That will give you a chance to make sure you’re not borrowing too much.
“Think about the industry you plan to enter after graduation, as well as your desired lifestyle, to evaluate if you can afford that payment,” House suggested. Generally, your student loan payments are affordable if they’re 8% or less than your monthly income.
Start looking into student aid options for this fall. In particular, pay attention to the federal limits on student loans. When college costs are higher than these limits, you need to look for other options to pay for college. By looking ahead, you’ll have time to research other borrowing options, such as Parent PLUS Loans and private student loans.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB) or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC (TCM), which are not affiliated entities. Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. All loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Other terms and conditions apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of TCM and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.69% – 10.94%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|3.97% – 12.97%3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Discover|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit PNC|
|4.00% – 13.00%6||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SunTrust|
|4.72% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|4.19% – 12.06%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|