The Record

$aturday night spending

Megha Nelivigi

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The members of the school community spend their Saturday nights very differently. Some prefer to stay in and get work done, while others go out to clubs and restaurants. In an anonymous poll completed by 316 students, the money spent on Saturday nights ranged from $0 to $1,000+.
Because he tends to be busy during the school year, Allen Park (11) tries to get most of his work done on his Saturday nights in preparation for the school week. On the nights that he does go out, he goes to the movies or gets dinner with friends. Park, who does not consider himself a big spender over the weekends, uses his money only on food or movie tickets, he said.
Gabby Fischberg (9) generally stays at home as well, especially because living in New Jersey makes it difficult for her to come to Manhattan where most of her friends live, she said.
Yasmin McLamb (11) often spends her Saturday nights working on a creative project, such as editing a video or finishing an art piece, she said.
Other students frequently go out on Saturday nights, such as Bethany*. After meeting up with friends at 9 p.m., Bethany and her friends either go to bars or clubs or attend a party if a friend is hosting one. Although she would go to restaurants more regularly during freshman and sophomore years, Bethany and her friends visit clubs more often during senior year.
She and her friends usually frequent the same handful of bars and clubs, especially as they have gotten to know some of the bartenders. Some of the bars they attend even have activities, such as board games, Bethany said.
Depending on the activity, Bethany and her friends have a range of what they will spend in a night. When visiting a bar, they will each spend around $60, with around $30-40 spent on drinks and the rest on Ubers.
But when going to a club, spending increases. Bethany has male friends that frequently spend money on tables. “I usually go with the same group of people, five girls and usually three guys,” Bethany said. The price of a table is typically $1,000 but can vary depending on the number of people attending and bottles purchased.
“Girls never pay when we go to clubs,” Bethany said.
Zeke* doesn’t go clubbing every weekend, but does go with friends sometimes, he said. He has one friend that pays for almost all of his Saturday night expenses. This same friend spends money on tables routinely at whichever club they visit.
Even when he is not with that friend, Zeke rarely pays for anything on his own. “I’d say 90% of the time someone else pays for me,” he said. “My friends always offer. All I pay for is a Metro Card– sometimes not even that.”
When students do spend money on Saturday nights, the majority of expenses go towards food and transportation. The poll of 316 students found that 79.8% of Saturday night expenses go towards restaurants and 49.8% go towards transportation.
Jack Eagan (10) tends to spend more money on Ubers than he does on his food at restaurants, he said. He typically goes to a diner with friends and ends up at a party, which he finds through word of mouth or on social media. On other nights, he just goes to a friend’s house where they order in food, he said.
“I definitely spend a lot less money now than I did in middle school,” Eagan said. “We used to feel the need to spend more money going out to eat or going to places that take a while to get to, and we don’t bother doing that as much.”
This change may have occurred because he and his friends have less time, but also because the same routine “just doesn’t seem as fun” as they have gotten older, Eagan said.
Beatrix Bondor (12) ¬has a similar routine of going out to dinner and then to a friend’s house or party.
“I think if I didn’t live in Manhattan, I wouldn’t go out to eat as much. Public transportation makes things a lot easier,” she said. “I used to be really uncomfortable with public transportation, which was very privileged, but after making friends who heavily used it, I began to use it more.”
Using public transportation is a way Bondor saves a lot of money, so most of the money she spends over the weekends is on food.
“I think my friend group is good at keeping a handle on spending,” Bondor said. “We don’t spend that much money, and when we do, we split everything.”
Nicole Warszawski (11) spends most of her money on food as well. Although the junior year workload has consumed much of her free time, Warszawski still goes out with friends on many Saturday nights with the same group of friends.
“A lot of the time, we like to treat ourselves to nice dinners, which is what I spend a lot of my money on,” Warszawski said. Depending on the weekend, Warszawski will spend anywhere from $20 to $70 each weekend, she said.
The amount Lauren Port (11) spends on a Saturday night depends on the group of people she is hanging out with she said.
“If I’m with school friends, I spend a lot more money on food than with camp friends; most of what I’m spending with them is on food. With camp friends, we usually go to more casual places for dinner, but spend a lot more on transportation since many of them live in Westchester,” Port said.
Priyanka Vorgunanti (10) keeps her Saturday nights cost-efficient. Some nights, she works at an art gallery, while other times she hangs out with a group of friends. She usually spends around $20 on average each weekend. When not using public transportation, Voruganti takes Vias and Uberpools, and she does not eat out often.
“I spent a lot of money on stuff when I was younger– there was so much pressure to wear expensive things and have expensive dinners. I don’t even like that kind of stuff now– there are a lot of events around the city that are free, and everything in the Lower East Side is cheap or under $5,” she said.
As for teachers, Music Department Chair Timothy Ho spends his Saturday nights with his family. Generally, Ho and his family cook dinner and watch TV.
“As you get older, you tend to keep a specific schedule, and your weekends are about your kids,” Ho said.
Physical Education Teacher Matthew Russo leads a very similar routine with his family. After a day filled with activities for his kids– visiting trampoline parks, going to the movies– Russo likes to wind down with a family dinner, often cooked by himself and his daughter. Most of his Saturday spending occurs during the day; the only money spent in the evening is on groceries, he said.

*These students have been granted anonymity because they felt uncomfortable sharing their names in the context of this article.

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$aturday night spending