• Document: STUDENT BUDGETING AND SPENDING BEHAVIORS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
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OC10089 STUDENT BUDGETING AND SPENDING BEHAVIORS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY Matthew J. Stollak, St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, USA Amy Vandenberg, St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, USA Kevin Steiner, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA Jessica Richards, St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, USA ABSTRACT Free from the comforts of home, many students are experiencing being on their own for the first time. One of the challenges they face is budgeting. This becomes particularly problematic when an expected budget item changes. This study examines how students at a small Midwestern liberal arts college meet the budgeting challenge. Do students plan and budget for discretionary items differently than required items? Through our sample, we assess student behaviors and discuss the implications for practice. The manner in which college students manage their money is based on several factors such as age, personality traits, and knowledge (Norvilitis et al., 2006). College students are in a unique situation because they have restricted incomes and high expenses; therefore, they manage money differently (Micomonaco 2003). The more knowledge students have about their financial responsibility and status the less likely they are to be in debt (Norvilitis et al., 2006). In “Borrowing Against the Future: Practices, attitudes and knowledge of financial management among college students” Minomonaco finds college students tend not to have a budget or calculate credit card bills based on their actual spending. For example, there was a significant amount of students that did not know their SES or how much they would owe in student loans when they graduate (Minomonaco 2003). Also, only 36% of students with credit cards reported paying off their credit cards bills monthly (Norvilitis et al., 2006). Although, college students are concerned about their future financial status; 67% of freshmen at four-year OC10089 colleges or universities have concerns about paying their tuition. This is the highest amount of concern expressed in over a decade (Gordon 2010). There are many groups of students that accumulate and perceive debt differently, for example, how they used credit cards. Women are more likely to report having a budget then men (Norvilitis et al., 2006), but women more frequently accumulate higher amount credit card debt and total debt (Minomonaco 2003). Also, majority students perceive themselves as more in control of their finances than minority students perceive themselves (Minomonaco 2003). Some variables did not show differences in the accumulation of debt but perceptions varied among groups. Demographics variables, GPA, and number of hours worked did not play a role in the amount of debt acquired but, students with a higher GPA and/or those who worked more were more worried about their financial status (Norvilitis et al., 2006). In our study, we look at the printing budget put in place by a small Midwestern liberal arts college. Through 2007 students were allowed unlimited printing from campus computers. Beginning in the fall of 2008, students were charged 4 cents per page printed from a campus computer. Students were also given a printing allowance provided by the school of 14 dollars, the equivalent of 350 pages. Any printing over 350 pages the student would be charged 4 cents per page. Through a survey we evaluate the changes and behaviors of student printing and budgeting. The printing system changed for the classes of 2010 and 2011 from unlimited printing to having a budget. For the other two classes surveyed, the class of 2012 and 2013, the budget was always in affect while attending the college. We assess how the printing budget affects these classes differently and determine OC10089 the implications of a printing budget, particularly against other spending habits. METHODOLOGY An 18-question survey was developed, and a link to the survey was distributed by e-mail to 2,050 undergraduate students at a small, liberal arts college. Students were asked to complete the survey on line. PRELIMINARY RESULTS Of the 2,050 students, 550 responded and completed the survey (26.8% response rate). Of the 550 students, 374 were female (68%). This is slightly higher than the college breakdown of 57% female. In terms of class standing, there was an approximately equal breakdown of responses. Seniors made up 28.3% of respondents, followed by juniors (25.8%), sophomores (23.5%) and freshman (22.4%). FINDINGS Male – Female Differences We first examined whether there were significant differences between males and females on whether they had a monthly budget for expenses. We found that females were more likely than males to create a monthly budget (t = -2.25, p = .025). In a similar vein, we examined whether there were significant gender differences in dining out. Males were significantly more li

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