Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

What do students really spend their money on


You’re walking through the mall and pass by a store window that makes you pause.

A shining, bright light is glowing behind a black leather jacket. It’s calling your name, it’s a “I must have it” item.

Do you walk in and buy it or walk away? If you’re like most college students, you probably walked in and made an impulse buy.

What do students spend the majority of their money on? It is expected for students to buy different things; though in reality there are a couple of items the majority of students can’t seem to refrain from buying.

According to “a student spends more than $13,000 per year on average, 19% of which is discretionary. That adds up to a substantial $211 per month of discretionary spending.”

 “Students probably wouldn’t stop spending unnecessarily because a lot of people’s parents support them at least to some extent,” Elyse Blechman said.

Parents have a contribution of an average of $154 a month, according to

Other students such as Anthony Herrera, freshman business major, shared views similar to that of Blechman.

“Students spend their money on drugs and alcohol when they go out at night,” Herrera said.

Even though the stereotypical college student spends money on alcohol, Andrea Albert, freshman political science major, offered insight into how students are spending their money.

“I feel like everyone spends their money at Starbucks and on Red Bull. In college, caffeine is something you can not live without,” Albert said.

It’s hard to save money while attending classes and constantly eating food on the go. Students such as Corbin Marak, sophomore political science major, try to find ways to save their money.

“A big thing is to decide if it is something you need or something you want,” Marak said.

For example, though college students need to eat, they do not need to eat fast food or food from restaurants.

This is why it is so difficult for students to save their money; even buying lunch between classes a couple times a week is a way to spend money almost unconsciously and automatically.

Entertainment and personal care are other large expenses for college students. They spend $474 million in music sales, $658 million in theatre tickets and $341 million on video games, according to

Students can and should attempt to budget their money. By reducing expenses over a large period of time, the overall outcome should be self rewarding.

Along with a personal budget, you can write down everything you buy right after you buy it. This essentially has the same effect on your spending as counting your calories. It will force each purchase to be done consciously.

Simple tricks to prevent the justification of an unnecessary expense could be to bring a lunch or a couple of snacks onto campus each day. This will gradually reduce the desire to buy lunch.

Purchase a coffee machine and make your own coffee. In a short amount of time the overall cost will be reduced dramatically.

Not only are you aware of how other students are spending their money, but now you can consciously become aware of your spending as well. Restaurants, Starbucks, alcohol, etc. do not need to be an everyday expense.

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