How Students Are Spending $$$ During The Holidays Compared To Their Income

Does your holiday budgeting add up?

It’s no secret that living in 2023 is expensive. It’s also no secret that plenty of people are feeling the added pressure during the holidays, especially when it comes to finances. Gen Z students are no exception. But what are students supposed to do on a limited income?

HerCampus gathered some interesting data on the spending & saving habits of students when it comes to the holidays. See how you stack up compared to what other Gen Z students are doing.

Spending & Saving

Of the nearly 1,250 students surveyed, almost half of them make less than $10,000 per year. While this isn’t necessarily surprising since being a student is a full-time (albeit unpaid) job in and of itself, it’s worth noting that nearly 75% of students save in advance for holiday shopping, with over half of respondents saving for at least one to two months.

The most common price point for saving? Anywhere between $100-300. As far as how students are paying for gifts, the top answer is with a debit card (75%), followed by cash (50%), credit card (50%), gift cards (27%), and “buy now, pay later” services like Klarna (15%).

And when all else fails? Almost half of students are willing to pick up an extra job or side hustle to help pay for the added holiday expenses. In a similar vein, to really stretch their dollar, nearly 70% of students shop Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales.

Shopping Trends

When it comes to shopping, there’s a wide range of answers. The overwhelming majority do their shopping from stores (90%), but over half also enjoy giving DIY gifts. With regard to purchases made, nearly 85% shop for fashion items, while only 47% would get electronics.

Obviously, most students do their shopping online (92%), but less than half use apps like TikTok Shop or Instagram shopping. And only 34% would trust such apps with their payment information. There is a nice mix of retailers supported, however. About 74% shop in big box stores like Target, but nearly 60% also make an effort to support small businesses.

90% of students buy gifts for their parents and 77% for siblings, but 76% of students also buy gifts for friends and roommates.

It’s clear that Gen Z students are under just as much pressure during the holidays to give gifts to the people most important in their lives, regardless of how long they have to save or what extra work they have to take on to make it happen.

Remember to shop with Student Beans to save on all your purchases!