Saving? Students only put cash aside for ‘emergencies’ like a new phone

2013-07-11 00:00

STUDENTS are saving money, but only for their next big purchase.

This is according to the SA Student Spending Report 2013, released this week.

The study by Student Village surveyed 681 students, aged 18 to 24, across tertiary institutions.

It found that 70% of the students save between R0 and R250 for emergencies, and 24% have retail accounts. The report said 78% were confident that they would settle their debts.

An average student spends about R3 510 a month, and 78% of students rely on family for their income, according to the study.

Students are also spending large amounts on groceries.

The students in this country are potentially pumping R39,5 billion annually into the economy with their expenditure habits, and spend more than an average South African.

Speaking to The Witness, Student Village CEO Ronen Aires said: “Students are saving, but they are saving for the emergencies such as a new phone and clothes, and not for retirement.”

Aires said it was wise to save when you are younger, because studies have shown that the longer a person saves, the better off they will be in the future.

“You need to understand that when you’re student, all your money is disposable,” said Aires.

The study also revealed that female students spend more than their male counterparts –– 32% more on laundry and 19% more on bling, 10% more on music and nine percent more on contraceptives.

Student Village has conducted this research for the past three years.

“What has remained consistent over the years is that students are focused on the now and not the future,” Aires said.

A big change is that females are spending more on contraceptives than before, while more students are spending their money on data bundles instead of voice airtime to connect with their friends and the rest of the world.

According to the study, this is how students from different ethnic groups are spending:

• Whites: Food, groceries, holiday travel, entertainment and alcohol;

• Blacks: Toiletries and cosmetics, takeaways, gadgets, extra tuition and music; and

• Coloureds: Smoking, bling, magazines, clothes and fashion.

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