What you didn’t know about student spending

Students may have a limited budget to work with, but they seem to be spending more money than they have in the bank.

Student Village and Amoeba Insights partnered to research the spending behaviour of students aged between 17 and 25. About 3030 students participated in the survey, conducted online and on focus groups.

The sample:


Source: Student Village Student Spend Report 2015

There are 10 things to know about student spending: 

1. Students are all about the now. 

According to the Student Village Student Spend Report of 2015, students’ relationship with money is all about instant gratification.


2. Students are still spending more than the average South African. 

In the past year, spending increased by 7.95%. Spending comes to R2702 per month (up from R2503 in 2014) and R32424  (up from R30036 in 2014) annually. These figures exclude the value of tuition, textbooks and travel expenses.

sample2Source: Student Village Student Spend Report 2015

3. Students source of income. The survey reveals that 86% of income comes from parents and family members, 30% comes from part-time and full-time work,15% comes from a bursary or a sponsor and 11% comes from own business.

4. Students save for rainy days. Only 35% of students don’t save and 58% of students save between R1 and R540. sample3Source: Student Village Student Spend Report 2015 5. Guys are spending more than girls. Where girls spend money on hairdressers and beauticians, medical and health, contraception, cigarettes and tobacco, males spend more on the things they care about:

6. Students from different ethnic backgrounds spend differently.

Coloured students spend more money on clothing, computer games and software and take-away. Black students spend more money on alcohol, petrol and “bling”. White students spend more on music, contraception and toiletries and cosmetics.

7. The highest value student purchase is … Premium clothing, from the likes of YDE, ZARA, Top Shop, Converse and Puma among others and cell phones like Samsung and iPhone.

8. Students are concerned about the safety of online shopping.

Students are most likely to buy books, clothing and music online.

sample4Source: Student Village Student Spend Report 2015

9. Students are still in debt.

About 22% of students claim to owe nothing. About 24% of students have retail cards and 65% of them claim to be the main cardholder, 42% of them don’t know how much interest is charged. About 49% of them believe fashion retailers behave responsibly when it comes to credit.

10. Student Banking.

Students want to learn about how to manage their finances. About 61% want to learn more about saving, 54% want to learn how to budget, 46% are keen on investing, 19% aren’t sure how loans work and 14% want to learn about credit.

Most students (29%) bank with Absa, followed by  Standard Bank (27%), FNB (23%), Capitec (19%) and Nedbank (17%).

This article was featured on Finweek.com


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