The Ultimate Guide to College Student Spending Habits for 2023

College is a time for learning, growing, and experiencing new things. For many students, it’s also a time for managing their own finances for the first time. From textbooks to meals out with friends, college expenses can add up quickly. So, what are college students spending their money on in 2023? Let’s take a closer look.

College Student Spending Habits for 2023

  1. Technology

Student Spending. In today’s digital age, it’s no surprise that college students are spending a significant portion of their money on technology. From laptops to smartphones and everything in between, technology is an essential part of the college experience. Here are some ways that college students are using technology and how much they’re spending:

  • Smartphones: On average, college students spend $500 on smartphones per year.
  • Laptops: The average cost of a college student’s laptop is $1,200.
  • Software and Apps: Students spend an average of $300 per year on software and apps.
  1. Textbooks

One of the biggest expenses for college students is textbooks. The cost of textbooks has been steadily increasing over the years, and it’s not expected to slow down in 2023. Here are some statistics on textbook spending:

  • The average college student spends $1,240 per year on textbooks.
  • 65% of students have skipped buying a textbook because of the cost.
  • 94% of students who skipped buying a textbook said it impacted their grade in some way.
  1. Housing

Whether living on-campus or off-campus, housing is another major expense for college students. Here are some statistics on housing spending:

  • The average cost of on-campus housing is $7000 per year.
  • The average cost of off-campus housing is $5,400 per year.
  • 62% of students live off-campus.
  1. Food

Food is another essential expense for college students. Many students choose to eat out with friends or grab food on-the-go, which can add up quickly. Here are some statistics on food spending:

  • The average college student spends $3,000 per year on food.
  • 57% of students eat out at least once a week.
  • 42% of students purchase coffee at least once a day.
  1. Transportation

Getting around campus and the surrounding area is important for college students. Whether it’s by car, bike, or public transportation, transportation is a necessary expense. Student Spending. Here are some statistics on transportation spending:

  • The average college student spends $1,200 per year on transportation.
  • 44% of students use public transportation.
  • 31% of students have a car on campus. Student Spending.

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  1. Entertainment

College is also a time for fun and entertainment. Many students choose to attend concerts, movies, and other events with friends. Here are some statistics on entertainment spending:

  • The average college student spends $800 per year on entertainment.
  • 65% of students attend at least one live event per year.
  • 48% of students have a subscription to a streaming service.

FAQs about College Student Spending Habits for 2023

Q: Are college students spending more or less in 2023 compared to previous years? A: It’s hard to say for sure, but overall spending habits have remained relatively consistent over the past few years.

Q: What is the biggest expense for college students in 2023? A: Textbooks continue to be one of the biggest expenses for college students in 2023. However, technology expenses are also on the rise.

Q: How can college students save money on textbooks? A: Some ways to save money on textbooks include buying used or renting, using online resources, and shopping around for the best deals.

Q: Are college students more likely to eat out or cook at home? A: Eating out with friends is a popular choice among college students, but many also choose to cook at home to save money.


College student spending habits for 2023 show that technology, textbooks, housing, food, transportation, and entertainment are all important expenses for students. With rising costs in many areas, it’s important for students to budget and find ways to save money. Whether it’s by buying used textbooks or cooking at home, small changes can make a big difference in a student’s financial situation. By understanding these spending habits, college students can better prepare themselves for the financial challenges that come with college life.

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