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How do CBS students spend their money?

Students would rather spend their money than risk missing out on having fun with their friends. They all have a restaurant budget, and they all want to spend their savings on travel. Student reporter, Caroline Sølver, asked four of her friends who are doing their bachelors in Intercultural Market Communication at CBS about their relationship with money.

Blog |   04. Apr 2018

Caroline Sølver


Last year in September, I downloaded the app Spiir, a personal money assistant, which would show to be the beginning of my “take-a-critical-check-of-your-spending-habits”-project.

I’ve always been smart with money which for me meant that I would make sure not to spend more money than I had, but frankly, I didn’t know how I was actually spending my money. After a month of using Spiir, I found out something pretty crazy about my spending habits. One of them being; I spent 700 kroner on coffee in a month! Despite the fact that I bring my own termos with coffee to school every day. Damn!

There is nothing wrong with buying coffee, but for me, the insight that I was actually spending that much money on coffee was a surprise. Especially because I could be spending those money on something more meaningful instead…

I began looking more into my money spending habits and not only did I try to change them, I also found out that habits are tricky to change. I am still on the quest and Spiir is my best friend in the change my bad money habits-project. To research further, I’ve asked a few of my fellow CBS students about their spending habit

Victor, 22, studies IMK at CBS

Being a student doesn’t have to mean that you can’t enjoy life and have fun with your friends. Viktor Rømer Thestrup, 22, is proof of that. He knows how to spend but he also knows how to save. Besides studying at CBS, he also works with marketing. This allows him to be social with his friends, which is also a priority in his budget.

How is your relationship with money?

My relationship with money changes from day to day, month to month. It really depends on how much I’ve spent. Sometimes, by the end of the month, I feel like I spent too much money and then I will go all in on saving on everything – from food to other goods that I treat myself to.

What do you spend money on during a regular month?

I spend most of my money on going out. Having fun, dining at restaurants or cafes. Of course, I buy clothing, too. But it is definitely the social things that I spend the most money on.

How much money do you spend?

I kinda spend my whole income every month. I get SU and a fairly good salary on top of that. I can’t say I am good at saving up 😉 I think it is due to the classic FOMO (fear of missing out).

Why do you spend money on social activities such as going out to eat? What do those things mean to you?

As of right now, I am at a good point. I am having fun with my circle of friends, and we like to go out to eat, drink wine, have fun. It comes pretty natural to me to spend my money on being with my friends and doing things together. I am convinced that having fun is very important to me. I would rather spend all my money to do things with friends and not have savings than having to say no and possibly miss out on lots of fun times.

If you were to save money, what would you save them on?

I would cut back on the food I buy as well as the restaurant and café visits. Also, I would buy less clothes.

How would you spend the money you saved?

On having a great summer! Also, I would like to do more short weekend trips to different European cities.

Caroline, 27, studies IMK at CBS

Caroline Bel-Kher, 27, is a true big city kind of girl and she definitely does not conform to living the lifestyle that you’d think a classic student lives. She enjoys life to the fullest by spending all her money on traveling, wining and dining with her close group of friends. However, hard work is a part of that equation as well.

How is your relationship with money?

I think I’m one of those “money comes and goes”-type of people. When I was younger, I used to have a pretty crazy low budget, and I think, because of that, I know that I can survive with extremely little, and I’m therefore pretty free with my personal finances.

I own a store, Passage 21 in Nørrebro, and that’s a completely different story. With the store, I do everything I can to save money, not overspending, be more cost-effective, call in favors from friends (or repaying them by returning another favor), etc.

What do you spend money on during a regular month?

I spend most of my money on boring stuff like rent, bills, etc. You know, just being alive. That’s around 6000 DKK. And then I spend money on food – eating out at restaurants. When I eat at home, I usually cook cheap dishes, sometimes skip meals (because I forget to eat) or just have yogurt or oatmeal for dinner. But food and wine at restaurants is a hobby of mine and my group of friends, so we go out often and usually spend a lot of money (depending on who you ask). This expensive hobby probably costs around 2000 DKK a month.

Why do you spend money like that? What do those things mean to you?

I think most people think that I’m so stupid for spending my money that way. But why does anyone spend money on anything? Because they like it and prioritize it. Having nice dinners with my friends is one of my favorite things to do, we’re all such nerds about it and can sit and talk about the food, wine, and general experience for ages.

If you were to save money, what would you save them on?

Well, if I absolutely had to save money for some reason, it’d be easy to cut my restaurant-budget. It’s such a luxury to be able to live like that. I would just eat out less and save money that way. Actually, come to think of it, I do that sometimes. I love traveling, so sometimes I save up for that. But then I usually just live my life as per usual, and then Airbnb my apartment for a few days while I stay at my mom’s place – and when I’m away, of course. Airbnb saves me, for real.

How would you spend the money you saved?

I don’t feel like I need to save up for anything, to be honest. I have a great (cheap) rental apartment, so I’m not looking to buy one; I live in Copenhagen, so I don’t need a car. I would probably spend more money on traveling on a bigger scale than I do now. Say, for example, going to New York or LA for a few months, or travel around Asia. I’d spend my savings on that. I don’t wanna be “that guy,” but you only live once. I just want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Which I guess sounds pretty arrogant but is also a glorious way of living.

Christian, 21, studies IMK at CBS

The SU from studying at CBS and the salary from working with social media lets Christian Sonnesen, 21, get through his everyday life but does not leave room for savings, dream vacations and all organic food from the supermarket. However, he looks forward to the day where none of that will be issues for him and his personal finances.

How is your relationship with money?

Money is nice to have. But as of right now, unfortunately, I can’t just spend my money as I want to. This means that my relationship with money is sparse.

I would like to reach the point where I wouldn’t have to choose between organic food or regular food because of the price. But right now, being a student with a student budget, that is not an option for me.

What do you spend money on during a regular month?

In a month I spend money on rent, food, fitness, sport, Netflix, public transportation, insurance, my labor union, and internet.

If you were to save money, what would you save them on?

I save money through the company I’m working for, as they are paying my phone bill. But I could probably save more money by buying more groceries and cook at home instead of buying lunch in the cafeteria at CBS.

How would you spend the money you saved?

I would add them to a savings account or save them to go on vacation. As of right now, I am not saving up any money.

Emina, 21, studies IMK at CBS

Born in Bornholm, the little island that belongs to Denmark but is actually closer to Poland and Sweden, Emina Isabegovic, 21, now lives in Copenhagen. She has fully adapted to the city lifestyle that includes work, studying at CBS, traveling whenever possible and treating herself to coffee at cute cafes and new clothes whenever the student budget allows it.

How is your relationship with money?

I think I have a fairly relaxed relationship with money. But it hasn’t always been like that. I’ve had times in my life that demanded a tight budget. First, it was when I just moved to Copenhagen from Bornholm and had to get used to living here. Later on, it was when I didn’t have a job and my sole income was SU. These periods taught me to survive on a very limited budget.

What do you spend money on during a regular month?

I spend a lot of money on traveling. I go home to Bornholm fairly often and I also travel further away as often as possible. I also spend money on subscriptions such as Mofibo, which lets me listen to audiobooks, and I also spend it on a gym membership. Lastly, I am good at spending on clothes, going to cafes, and food.

How much money do you spend?

In a month, I roughly spend around 5-6000 DKK in total.

Why do you spend money on traveling and eating out? What do those things mean to you?

Because it makes me happy! I don’t have a problem with spending money on things that I value. I work hard for them and it is important to remember to enjoy life. It is a form of self-indulgence which is particularly important during the more stressed periods in life. In those periods, treating myself almost works as a sort of therapy.

If you were to save money, what would you save them on?

Clothes! I’d definitely be able to save money on buying new clothes. I don’t really need anything but I still buy new stuff… It is the biggest ’sin’ in my finances. Oh, and also food and going to cafes. I am excited for the day when I’m done with studying and can get a job which will hopefully give me a bigger budget.

How would you spend the money you saved?

I would actually spend them on savings. Saving up more money. Or traveling. My dream is to follow Hans Christian Andersen’s saying “to travel is to live”. One day…

Being a student is highly correlated with tight budgets and excitement towards a future where there will be more money to spend. On enjoying life, traveling, having fun with friends, eating at restaurants, and buying new clothes. The little joyful things in life are the ones that matter. And some of them cost money… 😉


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