During the summer, students have more time to pursue hobbies that were difficult to indulge in during the fall and spring.
Although, this change may require one to make financial adjustments.
Whether it be because one has less courses to pay for or because one has more free time, there are a variety of reasons that could prompt students in the summer to spend their money on more non-college expenses, such as entertainment or luxury items.
Tim Foster, student assistant at Tech Red to Black and personal financial planning graduate student from Roswell, New Mexico, said students’ spending during the summer tends to change because of different factors.
“There’s more free time and less structure,” he said. “Definitely, those who are just working part-time during the summer tend to have more time on their hands.”
The need to go back home and fulfill more social obligations with friends and family are other reasons Foster said students tend to spend more on non-college expenses. He said one’s spending habits could vary depending on if that person is working.
“Students who are covering their own expenses, tend to work more during the summer,” he said regarding how some students do not spend a lot on entertainment and luxury during the summer.
Regardless of the season, having to deal with tuition may be another factor that determines how a student spends their money and free time during the summer.
Joshua Hernandez, unit coordinator in the Tech School of Law financial aid office, said spending habits depend on a student’s situation, which can consist of dealing with college and living expenses and one’s personality.
“Summer could come around, and they really put a lot in the fall and spring, so they just want to rest,” he said regarding students who work hard to pay off college expenses. “I think that’s just going to be the natural flow for students in how they are with money and budgets.”
Despite one’s amount of college expenses, Hernandez said when a student is more cautious with the amount of money they spend during the fall and spring, they are more likely to continue being cautious in the summer.
“That’s probably going to follow through to the summer,” he said regarding the qualities of students who are careful with their money. “When a student doesn’t have that innate characteristic about them, then they are going to spend whether it is fall, spring or summer.”
When there are more opportunities to unwind during the summer, a student on campus may spend their money at local entertainment spots or restaurants.
In addition to students’ spending habits changing during the summer, local businesses may see some changes in how they promote their products and services to college students.
Timothy Fitzgerald, associate professor in business economics in the Tech Rawls College of Business, said some local businesses will change their way of thinking when selling to college students during the summer.
“I would believe that consumption patterns change during the summer,” he said. “But the biggest thing businesses are going to notice is that half of the students are gone.”
Because there are less students living on campus or in Lubbock during the summer, Fitzgerald said some businesses may need to alter their selling strategies to reach college-aged consumers.
“Restaurants, bars and other businesses around recognize that,” he said regarding how businesses know that the few students on campus during the summer just want to enjoy the season and spend more on entertainment.
Some businesses adjust their strategies depending on if it is the summer or the week when students are coming back to Lubbock for the fall, Fitzgerald said.
“It’s kind of a natural adjustment a business promotes on a couple of different levels,” he said regarding how some businesses may try to promote items that will be beneficial for students moving back onto campus.
Despite how student spending and business strategies change during the summer, a student may need to know how to manage their finances during the summer to avoid overspending and losing money.
Zunaira Khalid, personal financial planning doctoral candidate, said summer presents students the opportunity to save money regardless if they have a full-time or part-time job and are taking classes.
“I know some students, they tend to work full-time during the summer, so that during the long semesters when they are busy, they have some cash or tuition savings,” she said. “Summer definitely presents them with such an opportunity.”
To effectively save money during the summer, a student first needs to develop a budget and spending plan to follow, Khalid said. Since developing a financial plan takes time, she said the summer, which is when students are not too busy, may be a good time to save money for later.
“Summer is a relaxation period,” she said. “So, students or people can definitely look at where they stand right now and plan for the future.”
When one reflects on his or her finances during the summer, Khalid said he or she can decide what type of job they need in the fall and spring and what expenses will be the most prominent.
Regardless of the importance of saving money during the summer to avoid issues that result from overspending, Khalid said a student must start developing the saving plan around spring break to get ahead of any busy schedules that may arise.
“In summer, just reflect on the past and plan for future semesters,” she said. “In the summer, you are not required to take that full-time load, and the expectations are a little less during the summer.”