May 1974

How do you spend your money?
by Diane

   ....the most common source of income [for Maine South students] is a part-time job. During the school year, students have held jobs on weekends and after school. Now that summer is approaching most jobs will be extended to full-time employment.
   The majority of girls work as waitresses, clerks in retail stores, secretaries, and of course, to pick up a little extra cash, baby-sitters. One senior girl teaches piano lessons after school and on weekends, and another is a Sunday preschool instructor. Boys' jobs range from employment at a rent-a-car dealer to a construction worker doing miscellaneous jobs such as mowing the lawn, washing windows, etc.
   Nearly 40 percent of the students interviewed received a weekly allowance as their source of income. A junior boy who chose to remain anonymous commented, "I get big birthday presents that I coast along the rest of the year with." Then there are students who give the old "Hey-Dad-I-need-a-little-extra-cash-I'll-pay-you-back-later" routine.
   What do students do with their hard-earned money? Forty percent invest their earnings in either cigarettes or alcohol. The majority (82 percent) buy food, clothes, and use it just going out with their friends. Dates rank high on the top of boys' lists. Among other items bought are albums [music], tapes [music], books, magazines, and personal items (make-up, shampoo, razors, etc.) A number of students are in the process of saving for long-term goals such as college, vacations, radio and stereo equipment, and contacts.
   Sally '74 said she spent most of her money on gas. "When you start to drive and you see that gas gauge going down, you realize how expensive gas really is!"
    Albums are priced between $3.95 and $6.95 while 45's [smaller records with a single song on each side] around a dollar or so. A junior girl informed us that she used to be able to buy everything by babysitting two or three times each month, but with prices constantly rising, she has to baby-sit about 6 times a month before she can buy any albums and clothes.
   Eileen '75 buys antiques with her extra money. "We go to flea markets every two weeks or so. I have a whole lot of different collections."
   With prices as high as they are today, Finance for Beginners should be a mandatory course for all students.