Credit: Tina Su

More bang for their buck: WHS students and saving money

With the diverse experiences, ages and jobs at Wayland High School, there comes a wide range of salaries and budgets. With the pandemic finally easing up, many previous restrictions have been lifted, opening up more options for students looking and applying for jobs.

Most students agree that their biggest expense comes from going out with friends, specifically gas if they have a car. They also spend a lot on food, especially at places like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and other fast-food restaurants. Many other students’ biggest expense is clothes, especially online stores, given the easy accessibility they offer.

“[When] I see a new style come in, I [feel as though I need to buy it], so [a lot of my money] goes [to clothing],” freshman Olivia Todd said.

Because online purchases have been so normalized, students often find themselves making impulsive purchases. With endless options, quick delivery and the ability to purchase things with just the click of a button, online shopping and Doordashing food causes many students to find their savings depleted at a rate much faster than they anticipated.

“I [regret buying] about 30 or 40 tank tops because I don’t wear them,” Todd said. “I’ve wasted too much [money].”

As the bills add up, many students are forced to find jobs to pay off their expenses and make more money for future purchases. Parents are unlikely to fund many unnecessary purchases, so students, with free time over the summer and desperate for money, have recently been scrambling for job applications and interviews before the school year ends. Common jobs include working as a camp counselor, babysitting and other various minimum wage jobs at local businesses.

“Over the summer, I am planning to be a counselor at a day camp in Wayland called Summer Adventure. I saw that [they were] looking for counselors, so I applied for the job online,” sophomore CC Haddad said. “I have not worked a formal job before.”

Wayland is home to many unique and generous businesses and homeowners that are actively scouting for high school students to work over the summer. For example, lifeguarding at the town beach, washing plates at local restaurants, and other freelance jobs, such as mowing lawns or other house and yard work.

“I’m working at the Wayland Town Beach as a gate guard,” sophomore Tasha Janoff said. “I found out about a job from a friend, so I applied and went to the training.”

Although spending too much money seems to be a big problem amongst high school students, many are trying to limit themselves from what they buy and are trying to make efficient progress in their money management journey.

“I plan to save most of what I make this summer,” sophomore CC Haddad said. “Right now, I am not saving up for anything in particular, but I want to save money in case I need it in the future.”

As students begin to bring in bigger paychecks, they hope to see the amount of money in their savings account rise as well. A big part of this is thinking more carefully about purchases, small or big. Many students find that the small purchases they make can add up quickly.

“To make smart purchases, it is important to avoid buying things impulsively, and [to] instead, take a few days to think about what you want to buy before you buy it,” Haddad said.

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