I'm about to start my first "professional" internship/job, but I will be getting paid. I will be making around $1100 every 2 weeks and saving around $8800 during the whole summer. This is more money than I have ever had to deal with at a time.

Is the best way to save money and still have some spending cash giving myself a weekly allowance? Or should I set money beforehand for the things that I plan on buying (ie: I want to buy another keyboard 50$, I want to have enough money to go out for food at most twice a week 60$, etc)

Also, right now I just have a regular checking account. Should I be getting some other kind of account to make/save more money? Should I be using a bank at all (keeping money in a safe instead?)

Thanks for your help.

  • Congratulations!
    – poolie
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 0:03
  • 1
    Are you in the US, and do you receive financial aid? If both answers are "yes", then you should take into account that a very large chunk of that income will be considered when calculating financial aid for the following year. If you're already close to graduating, though, it shouldn't make a difference. Commented May 22, 2013 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


It's not that long ago that I was in this situation. Here's what I recommend:

  • Get a savings account.
  • Make a budget. There are a zillion budgeting resources on the web that can help you get started.
  • Include savings in your budget. If you're in college and your expenses are minimal (your food and board may be paid by your parents, for example), then try to set an aggressive saving goal of 50% or more. This will become money that you can spend when the summer ends or when you want to splurge on something big.
  • Include a "fun money" in your budget. This is money that's not earmarked for any particular thing, but which you can spend on small, incidental purchases and impulse buys. If you don't do this, you'll probably find that some amount of money gets spent on these things anyway, but your budget will be broken because you didn't account for it.
  • Set up direct deposit for your checking/savings accounts. Have your budgeted savings amount sent directly to your savings account. This will reduce the temptation to spend your savings right away.
  • Thanks for your answer mate. From personal experience, what is a good "fun money" budget?
    – nopcorn
    Commented Apr 19, 2011 at 21:30
  • @MaxMackie, that really depends on what your spending habits are like, and what's in the rest of your budget. Given the numbers you've shown above, I'd go with about $50-100/week, which should still leave you plenty for savings and other mandatory expenses. Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 12:29
  • Regarding fun money and fun activities: College will take up quite a lot of time if you want to do it right. That means that there are way more fun things to do than you have time for anyway, so why not pick one of the less expensive fun activities? :)
    – Lagerbaer
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:14

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