Show me the money

Nov 112003
Authors: Jamie Way

As college students learn to manage their money, they are

burdened with the chore of balancing tuition with recreational


Students must choose where to make cuts.

“We just go to the bulk foods and eat out of those, because we

can’t afford food,” said Carissa Stastny, sophomore fashion and

merchandising major.

Stastny says that while she spends a lot of money on gasoline,

the majority of her funds go toward clothing. She estimates that in

any given month, she spends approximately $400 on new outfits.

“I don’t prioritize,” Stastny said.

Sophomore Jesse Brooks, English and political science major also

has difficulty managing his money.

“I spend all the money at the beginning of the month, and then

I’m broke the last two weeks,” Brooks said.

Brooks spends the majority of his money on food. He estimates

that he spends a total of $270 a month on food, $120 of which is

spent on eating out.

“I eat all the time,” Brooks said. “I’m a growing boy.”

Brooks also spends a fair amount of money on going out and


“I probably buy a bottle and a 30 pack a week,” Brooks said.

Although sometimes freshmen have slightly less responsibility

due to the fact their room and board is generally paid in advance.

They still face the difficulty of balancing their expenses.

“I think it’ll be a lot harder next year, because now all my

food and stuff is paid for,” said Matt Carlson, open option


According to the CSU Web site, students are expected to spend

around $4,375 each semester excluding tuition. The budget is based

upon surveys that produce the average living expense for students

and is considered to be “modest but adequate.” It allots $1,000 for

“incidental personal expenses.”

Christie Leighton, assistant director in Student Financial

Services, said some students have difficulty budgeting. She said

that eating out could be an area where students can cut back.

“Cooking at home is a lot less expensive,’ Leighton said.

Leighton said that many students try to take out large amounts

of financial aid and others take an alternative route by trying to

cut expenses as much as possible.

“When trying to find a place to live, look around and find

something reasonable,” Leighton said.




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