Soak Up the Sun without Breaking the Bank

Mackenzie Smith, Guest Columnist

Anyone else humming Sheryl Crow when they think about getting away for spring break? Just me? Aside from creating your Spotify playlists and googling party spots, we have to talk about money.

  1. Job Availability – If you want to take off to Hawaii (we can all dream) for a week, make sure your boss knows not to schedule you. It would be stressful to spend the days right before your trip struggling to get your shifts covered, and you need to have a job to come back to in order to show off your killer tan to your coworkers. If you are going the “stay home and rack up the dollar bills” route, then your boss needs to know you are available for the extra hours.
  2. Budget Changes – You are either losing income for the time you are gone, or gaining more income than normal. Either way that needs to be reflected in your monthly budget, as well as the budget for your trip or new savings goal.  
  3. Costly Details – When you plan for a road trip, it’s not just the gas money, it’s the wear and tear on the car that gets you closer to oil changes and other maintenance dates. When you aren’t going to class every day and instead drive to work then you spend more gas money. Most of the time those details aren’t a big deal but the little things add up and being prepared never hurt. 
  4. Schoolwork – Professors aren’t supposed to give you a ton of homework over spring break, but if there is a paper due that you’ve been putting off then consider taking the extra time to catch up. As consuming as getting the extra paycheck or escaping the winter weather may be, you are here for school, so it would be kind of nice for you to make sure that graduating is still a priority, for your bank account and your sanity.
  5. Burnout – You’ve been going hard last semester and the first part of this one, so it’s not impossible to acknowledge that some breathing room might be needed. Sometimes, fun friend things are relaxing and sometimes they are just go go go. Aim to have at least part of your break to just take a breather and get ready for the home stretch. Now is a great time to regroup all aspects of your life, not just financial. Enjoy your week and remember that even if you don’t have the money for gas, you don’t have to be stuck at home watching TV. Go outside and soak up the sun; it’s free!