Tips and Trends, Trends

BC-Employed Students’ Spending Trends

Whether your parents bought you those Tom Ford sunglasses you just had to have or you saved all of your Christmas money to buy the newest Apple product with the extra camera lens and two extra minutes of battery life, there eventually comes a point where we all get hit with that dreadful question: “When are you going to get a job?”

While some may start working during high school or possibly before, many students have their first legitimate job during their college career. From serving freshmen flat top burgers at Mac to transferring phone calls in one of the many offices on campus, there are plenty of ways to make that highly coveted $13.50/hour salary. For every job on campus, though, there are an endless number of ways to blow that money. To see where Boston College–employed students spend their money, I reached out to 14 different students who are actively working on campus to hear the ways in which they spend their cash. The question I asked my participants was simple: “Where does the money from your paycheck go?”

Food Delivery Apps

While I expected an array of answers, one thing remained constant in almost every single one of their responses. Many students said they spent their money on possibly one of the greatest inventions of modern technology: Uber Eats. I guess the salad bar at Lower and the few hours the Chocolate Bar is open every week just doesn’t cut it for BC students.

Every single one of the students I asked, with the exception of three, reported that Uber Eats is the main cause of their spending. One even noted that the main reason he works is to cover his weekly Uber Eats orders where the bill averages around $18 per order.

I didn’t find this trend surprising at all. My first paycheck came from my job as a Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center ambassador during the second semester of my freshman year. What followed was an astonishing total of 67 Uber Eats orders throughout the span of a single semester. The only thing that stopped me from getting to 100 orders was when the delivery rate jumped from $1.99 to $13.95 when I looked at the menu for too long.

Clothing Expenses

I noticed several people emphasized the amount of money they spend on their wardrobe. Maybe this explains all of the Canada Goose jackets and the not-so-white Air Force 1s we see around campus. A sophomore who works at the gym said he spends most of his money on clothes and excursions into Boston.

My first time walking on Newbury Street felt absolutely magical. The restaurants, the stores, the lights—it was almost too good to be true. What triggered me into spending was seeing all the kids my age with two to three bags each. The girls with their Lululemon and Aritzia shopping bags, the guys with their Nike and Champion purchases—it all seemed so overwhelming. By the time I hopped on the Green Line back to campus, I had three Ralph Lauren shopping bags of my own.

Necessities 

Another expense that frequently arose were the necessities—such as toiletries, groceries, school supplies, etc.—that often cause our late-night runs to Target in Watertown. Most of my participants mentioned they order these items online rather than trekking to the store. This is a great tip for those of you who are ever caught in between your busy schedule and needing to buy necessary items.

Reflections

Some of the other responses I heard included paying off credit card bills, streaming subscriptions, and even plane tickets to and from home. 

Maybe you’d expect BC students to save or invest the majority of their money—especially those in CSOM—but when it comes to where many BC students put most of their money, it seems Uber Eats takes the cake.

Trends Writer,

Steven Javier Dumeng

Featured Graphic by Liz Schwab / Heights Editor

February 14, 2022
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