College students are notorious for being broke. I cannot count the number of times each week I hear someone say, “Sorry, I can’t go out to eat/go to the movies/go to the clubs. I’m broke.”
However, maybe we college kids aren’t as broke as we think we are. Something that I find pretty interesting is that 66 percent of students receive funds from home each month, and the average amount of money received is $312. Another 49 percent of students have a part-time job and report an average monthly earning of more than $450.
So what do we spend our money on? Surprisingly, 40 percent of the average student’s money goes to discretionary spending, including 6.5 percent for entertainment, 6.7 for apparel and services, and 4.7 percent for travel and vacation. Another 26 percent of the budget goes toward room and board, two very important things if you don’t want to share a bridge with a few random rodents.
Unfortunately, 19 percent of the average student’s budget goes toward tuition and fees, while another 4 percent goes to books and supplies. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the average cost of one textbook was $57 during the 2008-2009 school year.
When I sat down and looked at my budget, I found I was pretty close to the average student. I received a scholarship this year, so considering that, only 15 percent of my budget went towards tuition. I found that I spend 8 percent of my budget on entertainment last month, which is a little higher than average.
I won’t bore you with more details, but I do encourage you to keep track of where your money goes. Once you see what you are actually spending and what you are spending it on, you can reprioritize if necessary. That way, if someone asks you to go out on Friday night, you won’t have to complain about how broke you are!