Student Life

How Students Spend and Save

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 14, 2013

How Students Spend and Save
So much for the theory that millennials live their lives sponging off their parents!
There’s a new survey out and the findings may surprise you. Citi, a leading bank, and Seventeen, a monthly teen magazine, conducted a survey of more than 1,000 high school seniors and college students to learn more about students’ spending and saving habits. According to the findings, students are taking an increasingly active role in managing college costs.
The survey found that nearly four out of five students are working their way through school – 19 hours per week on average, with the majority also taking responsibility by using their own funds for college expenses. As a result, the cost of college is a large factor in choosing a school to attend. 77 percent of students reported that cost played an important role in determining what schools they’d apply to or attend. For the most part, students are trying to take control of their finances. Nearly 62 percent of students have adopted a budget to help them keep track of expenses and a whopping 77 percent pay their own credit card bills.
Additionally, the majority of students also use their own money for spending cash (80 percent), clothing (71 percent) and to and from school travel expenses (59 percent). However, parents still chip in, though it is for items that may be deemed necessities. The survey found that students are in the minority when it comes to paying for books (45 percent), computers and laptops (45 percent) and food (41 percent) without their parent’s help.
What are parents most likely to help pay for? Shockingly, cell phone bills! Nearly 60 percent of students reported that their parents pay for their talk and text time. College tuition is a bit more of a divide. The findings report that 22 percent of parents pay for tuition, 18 percent of student pay on their own, 16 percent benefit from scholarships and 41 percent pay with financial aid. When it comes to housing, 30 percent of parents pay, 31 percent of students pay their own way, 5 percent use scholarship funds and 15 percent use financial aid to cover costs. Not so surprisingly, 61 percent of students said that college is a lot more costly than they had anticipated. Of all the concerns students have in common, money-related problems are at the forefront of their minds, even more so than making friends (21 percent) or planning to further their education (41 percent). What do they do to handle these worries? Many adopt money-saving behaviors, like (95 percent) utilizing student discounts, buying used textbooks (94 percent), choosing to grocery shop over eating out (88 percent), utilizing coupons and online discounts (81 percent), sharing housing (76 percent), walking or biking instead of owning a car (72 percent), renting textbooks (72 percent) and working longer hours (71 percent) to increase funds. As a tech-savvy generation, students also usetools as often as possible to budget and manage expenses. Students often use computers (59 percent) and mobile devices (41 percent) to manage their finances. In terms of banking, 69 percent have checking accounts, 67 percent have savings accounts and a mere 31 percent have credit cards. Don’t get too excited: although only one out of five students has a credit card at the beginning of college, more than half (55 percent) have obtained one before graduation. The best news? Despite having all of the aforementioned expenses and worries that come along with them, 94 percent of students believe that college is a good investment. So much for the theory that millennials live their lives sponging off their parents!

What do you think of the study’s findings?

You Might Also Like

Fastweb makes finding scholarships a breeze.

Become a member and gain exclusive access to our database of over 1.5 million scholarships.

By clicking, I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.