Students Save for Their Future

Lauren Rayner, Managing Editor

With teenagehood comes a whole new world of finance handling and navigating saving and spending with newfound paychecks. For most, that balance between splurging and saving up may be challenging at first but improves over time. When it comes to purchasing priorities, however, students Nikki Myers and Devin Frazier agree that food and clothing come first.

“It always goes towards food and necessities like my shampoo and conditioner or skin care products,” Frazier stated.

“When I’m spending money on things I want, I normally buy physical media like records and movies and also clothes a lot of the time,” senior Aubrey Kent added. Myers also spends a cut on gift-giving for others, which requires a decent saving ability.

On saving cash, the interviewees were unanimous in saving for their futures. “I’m saving for college tuition and my car payments,” Kent said, adding that she already spends a lot of money on gas. Cars are costly, as Myers and Frazier both mentioned saving up most of their money for their cars.

Frazier, who has been working at Target for a year and a half and about 5 days a week, says that $300 is saved from her paycheck and that the rest is spent. “A lot of my money also goes to whatever activities I’m planning on doing with my friends,” she explained. “Shopping, fast food, whatever it is that week.” she continued.

Kent, on the other hand, has been a Goodwill employee for over a year and expressed that most of her money went into savings. “I save about half of each check and usually spend the other half,” she said. “I have been pretty consistent about saving money for a couple of years.” 

Working at Walmart for 2 years, senior Nikki Myers works 22-25 hours a week. “I know I spend most of my paycheck. 20% of it always goes to savings,” she stated. “I don’t think I’m good with money yet,” she confessed, adding that “It goes to fast food most of the time.” Myers affirmed, “I have been saving up for a year now, so I’ve gotten a little bit better at least.”

When asked how they have found a balance between saving and spending, the difficulty aspect shines through. “My dad takes part of my money and keeps it,” Frazier admitted.

“I put about half of my check in savings and try not to touch it. I don’t want to make a habit of pulling money out of savings whenever I want to buy something.” Kent followed. Myers upheld her trouble saving money.

On improving with saving and spending over time, answers seemed more optimistic. “I’ve gotten better with saving, honestly, with my dad withholding part of my paycheck.” Frazier laughed. “I think I have been saving for 3 years though.” she shared.

“It is always difficult to save. There’s so much that I want to buy for myself.” Kent answered. “I still consider myself good with money, but if the paycheck is bigger I end up splurging on myself more” she added.

Pondering life before a job, it is clear that being put to work has been a wake-up call to the workers interviewed. “Before I got a job I was way worse with spending. I have a better understanding of money now that I work for it, so that’s probably a good thing.” Kent noted.

What students need, want, and work on saving for may vary from person to person, but the general consensus is clear: student cash ends up in the pockets of fast food chains and auto financers.