(illustration by Nathan Hertzler) The 9:50 AM bell rings for break, and I rush over to my friends. If I were to sum up our fifteen minutes of socializing in a few phrases, it would sound something like “I’m so weak,” “she just flamed you” “let’s hang Friday” and my personal favorite, “I’m so […]
(illustration by Nathan Hertzler)
The 9:50 AM bell rings for break, and I rush over to my friends. If I were to sum up our fifteen minutes of socializing in a few phrases, it would sound something like “I’m so weak,” “she just flamed you” “let’s hang Friday” and my personal favorite, “I’m so broke.”
How often do you hear the word “broke” while walking through the halls of high school or at a weekend outing? This word seems to be permanently ingrained in most high schoolers’ vocabulary. This is likely due to the draw of having the trendiest technology and fashion, the constant desire to dine out, and the skyrocketing prices of the cost of teenage life.
It is proven that teenagers tend to ignore budgeting habits in comparison to their parents and elders and are much more lenient with their money. So how do they live so “lavishly” as many would say? I talked to some Christian Brothers seniors about how they manage their spending habits in their everyday lives.
Sophie Mattos (‘19) enjoys spending her weekends out and about with friends. However, the social butterfly shares that she does not spend a lot of money on the weekends.
“When I spend money, it’s normally on food unless my friends and I feel spontaneous,” Sophie says. “I don’t necessarily eat out frequently, but I do get fast food a good amount of the time, like a quick McDonalds or Taco Bell run.”
Although not the healthiest choice, these quick meals are definitely a good way to eat out at a reasonable price.
Sophie admits that she usually has money on hand to spend as she has found that refereeing soccer games an easy way to make great money.
“I 10/10 recommend reffing,” Sophie says. “I make $25-35 each game and each game solidly lasts an hour, so if you ref four games in one day, you have made $100 in 4 hours, and at a normal job, you would only make around 50-60 in four hours, so it’s a great way to make money and you make a lot for what you do.”
Sophie doesn’t have the common desire to “fit in” by keeping up with new trends affects her spending habits
“I don’t feel the need to fit in,” she claims. “I have found a really amazing friend group who never makes me feel the need to buy new things just to fit in.”
“Plus, I don’t have the money to spend on expensive, new, trendy things,” she confidently explained. “I am happy with what I have.”
On the other hand, Haley Strack (‘19), like most other high school students, is not as frugal with her money as Sophie.
“I’m really bad at limiting myself,” Haley admits. “Chances are, if I have money, I’ll spend it”.
Haley spends significantly more money as a high schooler as compared to her middle school habits. With a time-consuming job at Cycle Life in Land Park, Haley earns most of her own money and is often tempted to spend it all during her free time.
“I spend my money mostly on food and drinks and small activities,” she says. “I really like cute eating spots downtown, which can be pretty expensive. When I splurge and go shopping or buy concert/festival tickets, it can get pricey.”
Although Haley has a job of her own, her parents still help her out financially.
“I never pay for my own gas,” she claims. “My parents buy my clothes and give me money for food sometimes.”
Must be nice, Haley.
Emmanuel Moyo (‘19), better known as the king of Chick-fil-a, also has some pretty generous parents when it comes to money. If you have seen him around campus at lunch, he is usually carrying a plate of cafeteria pizza; if you follow him on social media he is often snapping pictures of his Chick-fil-a number three meal. Slightly jealous, I was curious how he gets the money to buy all this food.
“My parents supply me with about $30-40 a week,” he shares “I use this money primarily on eating.”
He does admit that although he is grateful for this allowance, he has to manage it carefully so he can make it last through the week.
“If I get Chick-fil-a one day, I will skip a few days before I eat out or buy lunch again.”
Emmanuel has a prominent role on campus as ASB Secretary, and many students look up to him. I asked Emmanuel if he tries to keep up with any trends and if he thinks this affects his reputation.
“I literally have an iPhone 6s, and I still have my original Apple headphones, not AirPods,” he confesses. “I really do not care about trends — if I like something, I like it. I have no need to fit in. People like me for me.”
Budgeting is a critical life skill and teenagers are getting their first taste of the need for money management as their independence increases. Although Sophie, Haley, and Emmanuel seem to be on the right track, there is certainly much room for improvement. Unfortunately, our trusty parents will not always be there to lean on for financial support. These are surely the years to master skilled spending as adulthood is calling and the many expenses of living are just getting started.