Dog Days: Summer Spending in College

Dog Days: Summer Spending in College

Welcome back to another edition of the blog: Your favorite bi-weekly word press written by 2 hat guys (we’re balding get over it). 

In another edition of The Dog Days of Summer, I will be presenting my findings on a study I recently conducted: Is summer the most expensive season for college students country-wide? Let’s dig in.

Let me start by saying, this is looking into college kids who stay on or near campus during the summer. If you go home, congrats, mommas boy. You save money. We get it. 

To start, let’s categorize each spending area for most college students. While this may seem like a complicated process, our simple minds are pretty easy to predict. I’ve found 4 tried and true spending categories that exhaust most of our bank accounts. 1) Food 2) Entertainment 3) Stupid Sh*t 4) Alcohol.

I like to think of college as a 4-year vacation, where you drink, party, make friends, and the only thing you’ve gotta do is learn for maybe 5 hours a week. It’s a sweet setup, especially when everything is handed to you on a silver platter (shoutout UT dining hall). Most of us have it set on food during the year, right? We’ve either got meal plans on campus, an apartment meal plan, a fraternity or sorority cook, or a set up with your parents on groceries. Food’s an afterthought during the school year, but everything gets tossed to the side during the summer. 

I’ll bring some perspective from my setup. I currently live in my fraternity house at Texas (sick brag for a 5th year, right?). We’ve got it set up, Food is good Monday-Friday, and on the weekends we eat out. However, summer is a whole different element, and the closest thing I have to a kitchen is my microwave and mini-fridge that is barely big enough to hold a 12 rack.

Without that glorious meal plan or set up with groceries, you’re left bone dry. You’ve gotta either learn how to cook or eat out. Based on the research I am BSing on the spot… you’re looking at a 400% uptick in money spent on food at a baseline. 

Throughout the fall and spring, entertainment comes with ease. Sporting events, parties, formals, bar tabs, you name it- most of your fun is already catered to you a la carte. And every damn person I know takes it for granted. I forgot that it costs so much just to go out and have a classic Friday send. That casual fall bar tab you swear you met former WWE Jimmy Wang Yang? Oh yeah, that’s at least $80 in the summer. The semi-formal you took that Tinder date to because your crush backed out last minute? $100 night minimum for a date during the summer. 

Onto the one constant, stupid sh*t. Regardless of the season, your spending habits on unnecessary things will never change. I can’t explain why, but I have a massive problem with drunk spending. I’ll get 2-3 packages a week in the mail, and most of the time, I don’t remember ordering it at all. One day a life-sized blowup alligator came in the mail, and I don’t even have a pool? Someone take away my Amazon account. 

And last but certainly not least, alcohol. Being conservative with it, alcohol expenses over the summer tend to increase upwards of 1000%. This is especially the case if you’re in some sort of social organization in college. Beers you steal from a freshman mixer on a Wednesday turn to a casual $15. Thinking about setting up a nice little downtown send? Those bottles aren’t gonna pay for themselves. If there’s one thing the school year is plentiful of, it’s free alcohol. With everyone gone for the summer, you’re left to get drunk on your own accord. 

After a detailed analysis, it is a conclusive fact that summers in college will turn you into a big spender. That summer job may make you feel like you’re rolling in cash, but the reality is you’re probably spending it just as fast. 

So what does this all mean? Well, I have no idea. I’m no philosopher. More of a reflection, take advantage of all the kick-ass moments college brings you, especially when they’re free. Maybe think twice for the rest of the summer before you spend that $40 on Uber Eats. Your savings account is probably starving.


  • Connor (Big spender guy, never home guy, love ya mom guy)

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