Student spending

Employment drives spending habits


Photo by Photo by Sreelikhi Vangavolu

Jakub Mierzejewski, senior, believes he is a wise spender because his job has given him more knowledge of how to be a smarter spender. Having a job teaches and forces students to learn to be more responsible with how they spend their money, according to Mierzejewski.

Sreelikhi Vangavolu , Staff Writer

Teenagers are spending over 60 percent of their money on unimportant, materialistic things. But where are these students getting their spending money?

According to a recent Bear Facts Student Media survey, 68 percent of students rely on their parents for money, but a select few are earning their own, through a job. Getting a job early helps students learn important skills, teaches them ways to be a more efficient spender, Jakub Mierzejewski, senior, said.

“Besides making your own money and learning the value of currency, jobs teach students crucial life skills and expose them to many different opportunities, such as networking and experiencing a future profession,” Mierzejewski said. “The younger students learn to problem solve and think critically, the better off they will be in the future, and the they will make the world a better place.”

Having a job forces students to be responsible with how they spend their money, based on how much they are earning, according to Mierzejewski.

“I’ve always been taught the importance of money and the power money has in today’s society, so my view hasn’t really changed,” Mierzejewski said. “What has changed is the way I spend my money. I feel more freedom now because I can go out and get whatever I want within responsible limits, of course [due to my job].”

Mierzejewski says that along with gaining new experiences at his job, his perspective on money also changed drastically.

“Money is definitely more valuable and important in my life now that I make my own, at my own job” Mierzejewski said. “Working for hours on hours just to spend everything in two hours at the mall is not something appealing to me, and only after I got a job did I realize how easy it is to spend money rather than to make it.”

Out of the 54 percent of students with a job, Mierzejewski believes learning how to be a wiser spender, and having a job which he is passionate about gives him a better taste of his future, as a job holder.

“On top of five AP classes, playing hockey at a club level, and being social media editor for the high school yearbook, I work as well. All of these activities together challenge me and my schedule everyday, but at least I know I am growing as a versatile and adaptable human being,” Mierzejewski said. “I always wanted to be a doctor, and recently I found out that dentistry is an interesting subject I enjoy. So, I got a job at a dental office to familiarize myself with the field and expose myself to the task of a general dentist.”

Unlike Mierzejewski, 79 percent of students depend on their parents for money for necessities, but are expected to pay for other tasks, says Ashley Lueder, junior.

“My parents expect me to pay for my gas once a month, and expect me to buy [any extra] clothes and shoes other than the ones they buy me,” Lueder said. “But they do buy me things that are needed for my everyday life, like school supplies, food, and clothing. I think it teaches me to be more wise when it comes to spending money.”

Students like Lueder, who get their money from their parents understand the value in having a job, but don’t think it’s necessary, Tiffany Pham, sophomore, says. Pham says the only thing stopping most students from getting their own job is their age.

“The only other thing is that since I can’t get my license yet it’s harder to get a job to get money and pay for things,” Pham said. “But once I get my license I’ll definitely find a job, and start earning my own money.”

Whether someone has a job or not is not the end all be all, Pham says. All that really plays a role in the long run is if it makes you a better person, according to Pham.

“I just think that as long as you know how to spend your money, where you get it doesn’t matter,” Pham said. “But I think having a job is good because it teaches you how to be more responsible and helps you learn more useful life skills.”