Five days a week before she starts her shift as a retail salesclerk, Ashourrina Henshaw, 21, stops into her local Starbucks where the staff knows her so well that she doesn’t even have to place the order for her usual: a Trenta Iced Caramel Macchiato with a double shot of espresso and extra caramel on top.

Sometimes Henshaw returns to Starbucks before her night class at Harold Washington College in downtown Chicago for another sweet caffeine fix. The brew costs $4.85 a cup, which calculates to $24.25 a week, $97 a month and $873 a school year.

“I know it’s pretty expensive, but when I first started going to Starbucks with my friends after school, the staff learned my name and my favorite drink, and always made it a great experience,” Henshaw says. “It offers a nice relaxing atmosphere to study, conduct business and meet up at.”

Almost $900 annually is a lot to spend on coffee, but Henshaw is not alone. Starbucks ranks as a popular expenditure for many millennials, one of several “discretionary” expenses that make their way into a tight budget. On average, millennial college students spend $784 a month on discretionary expenses, according to the Mooslyvania marketing agency.

GenY also splurges on dining out, concerts, video games, clothing and electronics, according to a May 2012 survey conducted by Mr. Youth, a global social media agency.

Although young people are commonly referred to as the “Me” Generation, the desire for social experiences dictates GenY’s spending habits.

“There is a big shift underway from a culture of ‘me’ to a culture of ‘we.’ Yes, we still want to express ourselves and value our individuality, but this is done more and more in the context of a group and not alone,” Rachel Botsman, author of “What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption,” says.

Eating out ranks high on the social experience list, with 42 percent of millennials visiting an upscale restaurant once a month, according to the research firm Technomic.

When Alex Salzberg, a 22-year-old graduate student at Brooklyn College, isn’t studying communicative disorders or working as a teaching assistant, she finds the time to eat out with her boyfriend or with friends, but rarely alone. She eats on average three to four times weekly, spending from $15 to $40 meal, depending on how much she ordered to drink.

“Eating out is a social occasion. I like the entire experience: how restaurants come together from conception to execution, reading the menus, being served, and having a good time with the people I love,” she says.

Salzberg calculates that she spends a total of $60 to $160 a week on dining out but budgets her money to afford restaurants.

“I understand it’s a luxury,” Salzberg said. “I’ll eat cheaply several days a week in order to afford a couple of nice meals out.”

Other millennials receive financial support from their parents to help support their splurges, according to Vibrant Nation, a marketing agency.

NYU Tisch student Cole Norum, 18, finances his expensive love affair with video games through birthday and holiday gifts and money from his parents.

“I probably spend close to 150 bucks on each video game,” the Des Moines, Iowa native said, noting that he helps offset the cot with trading in old games.

Norum, a film student, started playing video games at a young age on the computer. Over the years, his parents bought him progressively more sophisticated and expensive game systems from Nintendo 64 to Play Station 3, and most recently an. Norum still needs to work a part-time work study job to buy new games.

“The emotional satisfaction I get from deserving games more than justifies me spending that much. A good game I play over and over is eventually well worth it,” Norum says, adding that he enjoys video games because he gets to interact with new people and form virtual relationships.

In the next six months, almost half of millennials will attend a concert, according to the Mr. Youth survey.

British Columbia native Jamie Taylor, 31, creator of the concert finder website concertaddicts.ca, spends around $2,000 a year on concerts. The Canadian recently spent about $400 for two tickets to see Paul McCartney. He’s paid $400 before to see Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. Taylor’s only form of income is his website.

“The indie rock concerts I go to are intense, passionate, and energetic. The experience of it all is what really made me begin appreciating music back when I was 14,” he said. “I try to get to a concert with my buddies at least once a month.”