Hello everyone! My last blog was about raising your credit to get on track to buy a house. I have lived in South Lake Tahoe my entire life and know very well how difficult the slow season can be. Like myself, most year round residents have 2 jobs to keep everything afloat. While this may help, we are still very dependent on tourism to keep the kind of hours we need to stay above water. This can be compounded by weather conditions like lack of snow as well. I am a driver for Asiago’s Pizzeria as well and I’m sure you know that with a service industry job, tourism makes a huge difference in your paycheck. With that in mind here are some tips to help you be prepared to sail through the slow season with no worries. Besides, this is the time of year when Lake Tahoe Locals get to relax and have a little fun, nobody wants to spend it worrying about bills and paychecks.
Take advantage of the busy season to squirrel away money for later. Try to save any vacation time for the slow season so you’re not missing out. Volunteer for overtime and be ready to fill in for your co-workers at any time. Having that extra cash can go a long way toward building up your savings.
Get Out There and Help
Volunteering during the slow season can be good for the soul as well as the wallet. You have a chance to make new connections and learn new skills to apply to your current job or possibly work for your desired agency in the future. There are a ton of local agencies that need your help. You can find a list of great opportunities here.
Pay Bills Early
One of the best ways to give yourself a little bit of a cushion during the slow season is to pay your bills early. I feel it’s a good idea to try and get a month ahead on things like rent and electricity. Then if you have any unforseen issues like car trouble or just a lack of work, you have a whole month to figure things out.
Put it Away!
I make little rules for myself to help me save money. If you have a job where you make tips it’s a good idea to put some of that away each day. You’d be amazed with how fast your savings will grow by just putting 10% of your tips in your bank account each day. Another rule I have is that I save all of my dollar bills. One of my friends took an empty wine bottle and put every dollar bill she came across in it for 2 months. It works really well if you can find a fancy bottle at the attic and use that. It works really well as a deterrent to getting into this part of your savings until you really want to. If you have a job where you only get a paycheck try to put away whatever you can comfortably manage. Be careful though, overextending yourself may cause you to dip into your savings. Which can create bad habits that are difficult to break. Another good rule is to assess every purchase you make to see if there might be a way of reducing cost. Reducing waste can go toward savings too.
Yearly expenses can get in the way if you don’t think ahead. Things like registration and taxes can be an enormous burden during the slow season if you can’t afford to get them taken care of. It’s a good idea to put these larger expenses in your calendar with a reminder about a month before hand to give yourself time to prepare.
I hope these help you Lake Tahoe Locals. Share your own savings tips, what helps you thrive? This town is great not only because of the natural beauty and excitement, but because of all of our awesome people that work so hard to keep it going. Tahoe locals are a strange and wonderful breed so it’s important to watch out for one another and keep our community full and happy. Lake Tahoe is growing rapidly and this requires us to constantly evolve and be involved in our futures and the future of Lake Tahoe.
By Ally Ritchie