Money Diaries

April 23, 2019

  With Generation Z’s powerful hold on the economy, the Trojan Tribune decided to have three teenagers track their spending habits for a week. Senior Bella Brinkman, Senior Katie Parsons, and Sophomore Andie Hansen agreed to record each purchase made throughout the week, including the time of day, monetary value, and circumstances surrounding the purchase.
  According to Forbes, members of Generation Z aged 16 to 21 typically spend money] on transportation, entertainment, restaurants, technology, and appearances.
  “I think my spending habits are normal for a teenager—mostly food and gas,” said Brinkman.
  According to Brinkman, tracking her purchases reminded her to spend less money on food and coffee. “I could start making coffee at home or packing snacks for school,” said Brinkman. “I’m not really surprised, more annoyed at myself.”
  Parsons said she was surprised at how little she spend throughout the week. “It feels like I usually spend at least $30 a week; in reality, I realized that I only do that once every few weeks—especially when I’m hanging out with people,” said Parsons.
  “The case could also be that I’m not spending my own money. If I go out with my parents, they’re the ones who do all the buying,” said Parsons. “During this specific week, I went out, but other people would buy the food and wouldn’t take my money.”
  Hansen said that she feels good about her spending habits; at the same time, she realizes that not everything she buys is necessary.
  “I realized how much I spend with my debit card without me being able to physically see it,” said Hansen. “I did not expect to spend as much as I did.”


Bella Brinkman

DAY ONE 12:00 AM Gluten free pancakes and sausage for brunch. This was the day after my 18th birthday so my friend and I went out to brunch to celebrate. The usual brunch places were all busy in Wayzata, so we went to the Wayzata Country Club where I am a member. DAILY TOTAL: $20

DAY TWO 5:00 PM American Eagle jumpsuit and romper. Spring break is coming up and I wanted some new clothes before I went to Mexico. I also had been working a lot so I could afford to splurge a bit. I was a bit disappointed that after 2 hours in the mall I only got a jumpsuit and romper. I’m excited to wear them. DAILY TOTAL: $62

DAY THREE 8:00 AM Apple. I was really hungry before school and wanted something to eat, so I stopped by Lakers. 10:00 AM Rice Krispie treat. I was hungry again before 2nd block so I stopped by the vending machine. 10:00 AM Iced caramel latte. I went to the College of St. Benedict for an overnight. We got there thirty minutes before we were supposed to arrive, so my brother and I wandered around the town and found a cute coffee shop; it would only make sense that I got a coffee while I was there. DAILY TOTAL: $5.25

Elisabeth Oster
Elisabeth Oster

DAY FOUR 9:00 AM Vanilla mocha. I did not sleep well the night before as I was sleeping on an air mattress—even after my coffee at breakfast I was still tired. Even before my day started, I needed another boost so I stopped by a coffee stand on campus. 1:30 PM Key chain. It was finally time to leave St. Bens. By the time it took my brother and me to go to the gift shop and the bathroom, I had managed to lose the car key THREE times. So we went back to the bookstore and I bought myself a keychain for it. 7:00 PM Money I owed. Basically, the week before I had used my dad’s credit card for a day and needed to pay him back in cash. DAILY TOTAL: $25.25

DAY FIVE 7:00 PM Tip for hairstylist. I got my hair cut this day. My mom paid for the cut but I needed to tip in cash so I tipped 20 percent of my own money. DAILY TOTAL: $10

DAY SIX 8:00 AM Daily parking. My brother didn’t have the parking pass in our car; currently, our car would get a boot as this would’ve been the third time not having a pass, so I paid for the parking. 7:00 PM Gas. On our trip to St. Ben’s, we stopped to get gas. My brother paid on his card and I was hoping he would forget to ask me for the half I owed him for gas. He didn’t—so I paid him. 8:00 PM Pizza. My family was ordering Davanni’s pizza for dinner. Since I don’t eat gluten, I needed a gluten-free pizza and that isn’t Davanni’s speciality. I bought my own from Dominos. DAILY TOTAL: $36

DAY SEVEN 8:30 AM Iced caramel latte. On Saturdays, I nanny a two-year-old for 6 hours. I knew that before a whole grueling day with a toddler, I would need a little caffeine in my system. 6:00 PM Mint tea. I went down to Caribou later in the day to do some homework but wasn’t feeling coffee so I bought tea instead. DAILY TOTAL: $10


Katie Parsons

DAY ONE I didn’t spend money that day. Track went late, so I went straight home to eat dinner and then didn’t leave once I got home. I also had morning practice so I didn’t have time to go shopping or buy food beforehand. DAILY TOTAL: $0

DAY TWO 12:00 AM Chipotle burrito. I was out for lunch before a Compass field trip and I wanted Chipotle so our group went. If I hadn’t bought this burrito I wouldn’t have had lunch that day which would not have worked out seeing I needed protein and nutrients because I had track that afternoon. DAILY TOTAL: $9

DAY THREE I didn’t spend any money today. I got to school super early for a workout and then left school late and went straight to a friend’s house so I didn’t necessarily need food or any other things that I needed to buy. DAILY TOTAL: $0

Elisabeth Oster

DAY FOUR 9:30 AM Breakfast. I spent $1 today; I didn’t have breakfast that morning and I worked out, so I needed food. DAILY TOTAL: $1

DAY FIVE 10:00 AM Oreos. I was out and about and wanted some Oreos so I went and bought some with friends. DAILY TOTAL: $3

Elisabeth Oster

DAY SIX 6:00 PM Swedish Fish and Smart Water. I actually was going to go out and get Caribou after my track morning practice, but I decided to take the healthier route and just drank water instead. I guess that got cancelled out since that night I bought snacks. DAILY TOTAL: $5

DAY SEVEN I didn’t leave my house today so I didn’t spend any money. DAILY TOTAL: $0



Andie Hansen

DAY ONE 4:30 PM Pasta Dish. I bought food from Noodles with my friend because we both needed to eat before going to the movies which she paid for. DAILY TOTAL: $9.95

DAY TWO I didn’t spend anything on this day because it was a Saturday and I stayed
home doing homework and just ate from what I had in my house. DAILY TOTAL: $0

Elisabeth Oster

DAY THREE I also did not spend money today because it was the weekend and I decided to stay at my house and focus on studying. DAILY TOTAL: $0

DAY FOUR 9:00 AM Superfan shirt. I bought a t-shirt to support my friend and the softball team for their upcoming season. DAILY TOTAL: $10

DAY FIVE 4:30 PM Wrapping paper. I went to Target because I needed to it to wrap my sister’s birthday presents last minute. I had to purchase this, otherwise I would have felt extremely bad that we didn’t wrap her presents. DAILY TOTAL: $26.50

Elisabeth Oster

DAY SIX 4:30 PM Hot chocolate and cake pops. My friend and I went to Starbucks to celebrate the end of the term and I ordered some treats for both of us. DAILY TOTAL: $6.30

DAY SEVEN 7:20 AM Gas. I went to BP to fill up my car tank, otherwise I would’ve run out on my way out with my friend. DAILY TOTAL: $30.82

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