Jerald Bachman

Jerald BachmanHigh school seniors who hold jobs on the side spend most of their money on personal expenses, according to the annual Monitoring the Future study, which tracked 49,000 seniors from 1981 through 2011. Throughout the 30 years of the study, the majority of students spent at least half their pay on items like clothes, music, and eating out, according to a Feb. 8 story on Michigan Radio. But ISR researcher Jerald Bachman said kids today are spending less money on cars. “Kids are just more connected electronically,” Bachman said. “So they don’t have to travel around as much in cars. And their parents are a bit more likely to chauffeur them around than they were in earlier decades.” Over the life of the study, only about 17 percent of 12th-graders have used at least half their pay for college savings. Bachman did note one significant change in the responses: Fifty-nine percent of high school seniors worked in 2010, down from about 75 percent just nine years earlier. “I don’t think it’s primarily because teens have lost interest in jobs,” he said. “I think it’s primarily because jobs are just not available.”