Students spending on booze, bling and clothes

Johannesburg - The three top things that black students spend their money on is alcohol, petrol and bling.

Coloured students splurge on clothing, computer software and takeaways while white students spend their money on contraceptives, music and toiletries.

This is according to research conducted by Student Village which was shared during a presentation in Houghton on Wednesday.

One of the directors of Student Village, Marc Kornberger, said their research revealed that students spent around R2 702 monthly.

The annual report reflects an average 7.95% growth in student spending in the last four years, said Kornberger.

"What we found is that students from UCT in Cape Town are spending the highest. On average, one student spends R3 925 per month. That is followed by Tuks [University of Pretoria] at R3 371," he said.

Funding for lifestyles

The University of KwaZulu-Natal was third on the list of big student spenders at R2 725 followed by University of Witwatersrand at R2 364.

The universities listed seemed to attract more affluent students.

Parents and other relatives remained the biggest funders of student lifestyles at 86% but around 36% of students managed to fund their lifestyles through full-time or part-time jobs, said Student Village researcher, Reuben Kumwenda.

Fifteen percent of the students who were surveyed said they got some money from their bursary schemes and sponsors.

Eleven percent of students were however, thinking outside the box and getting money by starting their own businesses.

A total of 3 030 students from different varsities with a balanced ratio of the racial groups had participated in the online survey.

It found that men however, were spending much more than women, said Kornberger.

Women spent more than men on health, hairdressers, beauticians and cigarettes.

Men spent more on motor insurance, clothing and footwear, recreational and sporting equipment, alcohol, bling, books, newspapers and magazines.

No savings

Very few South African students had got into the habit of saving and those that did, usually saved for short term goals like parties and alcohol.
Kornberger explained that it was all because of "instant gratification".

"Students are not thinking of investment and savings but thinking of how then can spend money now," he said, adding that money was never enough for students.

Keeping up appearances was also very big with students, like sporting branded clothing and carrying some of the latest cellphones and gadgets.  

Where a student shops also matters, said Kumwenda.

For clothes, many of them turned to Edgars, Markhams, Truworths, Mr Price and Woolworths.

Kumwenda explained however, that while Mr Price was a favourite because of its reasonable pricing, many feared running into the same students sporting the exact same outfit as them.

Edgars was an option for many as their parents had clothing accounts at the store.

Where to eat

Where one shops for food also matters to students.

According to Kumwenda, shops such as Woolworths, Spar, Checkers and Pick n Pay were favoured.

"The colour of the plastic bag that the students take home tends to mean a lot," he said.

While online shopping is on the rise across the globe, students had not yet caught on to the trend.

This was because for a lot of online transactions, a person needed to utilise a credit card. A lot of students, were however, still using debit cards.

Despite this, students are in debt. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said they are actual account holders.

But not all hope is lost. Sixty-once percent of those surveyed said they wanted to learn how to save.  

Fifty-four percent said they wanted to learn how to budget while 46% wanted to learn how to invest.

Around 19% said they wanted to understand how loans work while 14% said they wanted more knowledge on loans.

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