Question of the Day: What do High School Students Spend Most of Their Money On?

Sep 02, 2014

OK…here goes.  I will try and provide personal finance teachers with a short (less than five minutes) problem that they can provide to their students.  The goal:  to build student’s media, data and financial literacy skills.  Here’s to hoping my creative juices allow me to come up with something for 180 days..

Since most teachers seem to find budgeting a good fundamental topic early in the school year,  this question should be relevant to many.  Ideally, all students will have access to technology to research this question.    This was the best article that I came across to answer the question (appeared high on Google search to “how high school students spend their money.”):  University of Michigan study on high school spending habits

Good opportunity to discuss:

  • Difference between males/females
  • Importance of savings
  • Students can share their own experiences about how they spend money and whether it fits the students profiled in the UM study
  • Summarizing research reports


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.