Weighing the scales: student budgeting

By Eric Wise, Staff Writer —

It can be very stressful working and being a student, it can be doubly stressful if you have to worry about budgeting money, too.

“Working and going to school is definitely a challenge when it comes to time management, because they both take up huge blocks of time during the day,” said Ashley Prak a junior from Chattanooga.

The University Echo conducted a survey of students budgeting habits, and whether or not students work while attending school. The survey lead to 55 responses from current UTC students.

The results show that 60 percent of the students surveyed have a part-time or full-time job while attending school. Moreover, 63.6 percent of students surveyed currently use some sort of budgeting method.

“I try to budget. I get paid bi-weekly. I typically put back a certain percentage — usually about 20 percent — into savings on payday, and divide the rest up between the two weeks to survive,” said Prak.

When asked what methods students choose for managing their money, 60 percent said that they use a banking app on their phones or computer to watch and manage their finances. Another popular method, checkbooking, attributed to 20 percent of student budgeting methods. The other 20 percent was made up of other responses such as using excel, marking bills in a planner or setting mental limits.

“My parents take care of my rent. But when it comes to budgeting, I know that with work I’m going to make at least $700 a month. I budget for bills, utilities, food and gas from there. I try and make an effort to save money, however usually remaining money is spent on hanging out with friends,” said Will Hoffman, a senior from Nashville.

When it comes to budgeting, students have to prioritize how their money will be spent. Student who took the survey were asked to indicate the most important factors when budgeting. Students cared most about how much money they currently had with 41.7 percent of students indicating their current financial situation as their biggest concern. The second largest factor was the cost of an item — a bill or potential purchase — with 30 percent of students indicating that as a major factor when budgeting. The other 28.3 percent of responses was split between the value of a student’s next paycheck and whether or not friends were a factor in a purchase.

Students were asked to choose the top three categories of where most of their money is spent. Food ranked number one with 85.5 percent of the vote. School and bills took the number two and number three spots, reflectively.

“[Budgeting works] when I am being really strict on myself about it. I definitely think budgets in college are doable, it just takes the right amount of discipline,” said Ashley Prak.

Alina Hunter-Grah

Alina Hunter-Grah

News Editor

Alina is a junior Communications major with a minor in Political Science from Clarksville, Tenn. Alina is also the official Chattanooga Correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville, Tenn. Alina dreams of being an investigative journalist or political reporter.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>