Student Spending on Non-Essentials

College students are often depicted as “broke” but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending money.

A research study from found that college students spend more than $60 billion each year on every day needs. The study didn’t just include standard school supplies, it also accounted for “non-essential items” like clothes, alcohol and entertainment.

Moises Salinas, a sophomore computer science major, said one of his biggest financial struggles is paying for school. Rebecca Grech, sophomore civil engineering major, becomes stressed by the money management responsibility living in the city requires.

“At times it can be hard living in the city with so much to do, try, and see and not spend money. Also thinking about loans that are just adding up. It’s the little things that really add up,” Grech said.

For college students balancing their money or simply getting through the week are constant battles.

“I try to see if something is cost effective, if I’m getting my money’s worth. I usually look for sales or promotions. However, when going out it really depends on my mood and varies each week” Grech said.

Paula Espitia, a freshman marketing major, and Maryanne MacIsaac, a freshman English and French double major, have similar ways to evaluate if their purchases are worth it.

“For clothes, I think if I can make three outfits out of one piece, I buy it. If not, then no. For food, I think if it’s worth the money I’m spending on. I don’t buy a five-dollar coffee, there’s free coffee at Locke’s” MacIsaac said.

“For clothes, I try to compare the item in different websites, there’s always something cheaper, I also look at the quality and the brand but if it’s a necessity, I just buy it” Espitia said.

For Salinas, his biggest expense is food. Ranging from $12-$15 while other students agreed on spending more than $30 on going out every week. Other key money expenses are clothing and transportation, those interviewed agreed on spending more than $20 on a weekly basis going downtown.

This can ultimately become a hassle for those who currently don’t have a job.

“I worked 4 jobs over the summer and through the past three school years, my money has been on my savings accounts and I’m slowly putting it into my checking account. I pay part of my tuition” MacIsaac said.

This often leads her to consider her expenses even more as her parents don’t buy her anything while in school. “If I want something, I have to buy it myself” MacIsaac said.

A lack of a steady income, the constant rising price of transportation in NYC, college loans, and paying for college are some of the factors students across Manhattan College struggle with. While college prepares students for the real world, surviving without money is almost a life test in itself as a college student.