How Teachers Can Get Out of Debt This Summer
Most of us are excited about summer finally arriving. If you’re a student, teacher, or school administrator, you’re probably more excited than the rest of us -- after all, this means a few months of well-deserved fun, sun, and no alarm clock.
But while you should definitely take time to recharge and enjoy a break, there is an even better way to spend your summer: paying off credit card debt. Luckily, with a few smart moves and the ease of the gig economy, you can turn your “days off” into “debt-free.”
Here are six ways that you can use your summer to dig yourself out of debt.
Go to Camp
If you’re a teacher, your ears might already be enjoying a reprieve from endless questions and squealing. One of the best things that you (or anyone with free time for the summer) can do to earn extra cash, though, is to go to camp… as a counselor.
Camps vary based on location and focus, and can either require a few hours out of your day or a few weeks away. In exchange for your time and guidance in the lives of little ones, you’ll net yourself a pretty penny. For instance, the average summer camp counselor through the YMCA snags an extra $22,000!
How much of your credit card or student loan debt could you pay off with that kind of cash?
If you have kids of your own, camp is an even better option. Your children can often attend for a discounted rate (if not free-of-charge), saving you even more cash on their summer activities. Plus, you’ll be nearby if they need you. It’s a win for everyone.
Be an Academic Tutor
If you’re teaching students during the school year, you’re an ideal tutor. Depending on the subjects in which you’re strongest, and the ages you feel most comfortable teaching, using your summertime to tutor can mean serious income.
There are academies where you can tutor students in a variety of subjects, taking on as many hours as you’d like. You could also scan job boards (especially on sites like Care.com) where parents are seeking private tutors to help their children over the summer. While the average summer tutor’s salary is $23,000, you can easily find private gigs in certain subjects that can pay as much as $80-100 an hour. Even working as a private tutor for a few hours a week could result in thousands of extra dollars over the break.
Turn Your Hobby into a Side Hustle
Maybe you’ve wanted a side hustle in the past, but just didn’t have the time. Or perhaps this is the first time that you’ve truly considered turning a skill, interest, or hobby into a lucrative gig.
Either way, the summer break is the perfect time to get the ball rolling.
If there’s a craft that you’re skilled in, use this time to market your talent. Take finished products to craft fairs or farmers markets, advertise in your area, or set up a website and online shop. You have a few months to not only find your target market and cater to it, but also build up a clientele without any added distractions.
Who knows? You might get in such a good groove before Fall, you’ll keep your side hustle during the school year, too. How much could a second job in your spare time transform your finances?
Rent Out Your XYZ
We live in a world dominated by apps and the idea of peer-sharing. We hail rides from strangers, stay in the homes of strangers, and order food and groceries to be delivered by strangers. Why not take advantage of that and rent out your own items/services?
There are plenty of things that you can rent out in order to earn extra cash this summer, and many of them won’t even require extra time of you. You can rent out a spare bedroom on Airbnb, earning enough to pay off debt and cover some of your rent. You can rent out your vehicle when you don’t need it through a site like Turo, enabling you to even earn cash on your car when you’re on vacation.
Have space in the garage or basement? Rent it out for storage through companies such as Store at My House. Own designer clothing or high-end camera equipment? Sites like StyleLend and ShareGrid have you covered.
Of course, you can also consider driving for Uber or Lyft, or even using an app like Roadie to make cash on your commute or your next big roadtrip, by delivering other people’s stuff. That’s a bit more time-consuming than letting someone stash their cluttered boxes in a corner of your garage, though, so keep that in mind.
If you have it and it’s worth money to someone else, chances are that you can capitalize on it and use it to pay off your debt this summer.
Clear the Clutter
So, you suddenly have a little extra time at home. Why not kill two birds with one stone, clearing out the clutter while you also make some cash?
If you have outgrown clothes, unused sporting gear, or furniture that you no longer want, sell it. Summer break is the perfect time to get rid of everything that you no longer need, saving you space, a headache, and interest charges on your credit card debt.
Use eBay to sell clothing (especially outgrown children’s clothes), small electronics, and games for a pretty penny. Have large furniture, equipment, or sports gear? Look to Craigslist or your local Facebook yard sale groups.
When you’re done, you’ll have made a big dent in your debt balances and cleared out even more space – which you can then rent out through Store at My House!
Set a Budget for the Fall
One of the most important things about getting out of debt is to avoid getting into even more of it. The debt cycle is an easy, vicious one, and even the smartest of people can fall victim.
Use some of your extra time this summer to prepare and plan your budget. Whether you implement it now (ideal) or wait until school starts back up in the fall, take some time to really look at your finances. Trim unnecessary costs, calculate your bare bones expenses, and do some soul searching about the bad habits you need to break.
With a little effort (and a lot of extra sunshine), you can be well on your way to debt-free by the end of the summer. And with a little forward planning, you can also set yourself on the path to financial freedom in the future.