Student spending is going up, but so are their savings!
Black students spend more on hair and beauty, Indian students eat out the most, coloured students splurge on fashion more than any other ethnic group, and white students spend up to three times as much on cigarettes and alcohol.
These were among the findings of Student Village’s Student Spending Report 2012, which were released in Johannesburg on Tuesday 22 March, 2012. Presenting the results, Student Village Insights and Research Guru Anelisa “Dada” Mzinyathi said: “The research showed that the average monthly spend per student is R3 268, giving us an average yearly spend of R39 216. That’s some serious money.”
Extrapolated across the South African tertiary education campuses, that means students spend around R33 billion a year, up from R28,5 billion in 2010 (based on a reported student population of 850 000).
The research was conducted during February and March this year among 1 220 respondents at the main campuses of the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town, the University of Johannesburg’s APK and Bunting campuses, and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Howard campus. It was carried out online and in-field by Student Village in conjunction with Unisa’s department of marketing and retail management.
Mzinyathi said the three top sources of students’ income were parents (77 %), part-time work (18%) and bursaries (10%). Up to 90 percent of them saved around R250 a month – generally towards the purchase of a ‘big ticket’ item. Most popular purchase here were cellphones, followed by clothing, computers and laptops, electronics and then travel. The research showed that students had already bought over 330 000 cellphones this year and that close to 35 000 of them had either bought or had cars bought for them.
Female students, said Mzinyathi , spent “more on food, less on alcohol, more on airtime, less on petrol, and more on beauty products and toiletries” than male students. Male students spent 200 percent more on contraceptives. As one student put it: “When money is tight, it’s Lovers Plus. But in a good week, Durex is the way we go.”
Almost half of the students had credit cards. The leader in the credit card providers on campus was Absa (40%), followed by Standard Bank (32%), FNB and Nedbank (25%), Capitec (16%) and Investec (seven percent). When it comes to buying clothing on credit, the top three retailers here were Edgars, Mr Price and Truworths.
Asked who they trusted with their money, i.e. who they banked with, students ranked Standard bank first, Absa and Nedbank second, FNB third and Capitec forth.
“The message here for those who market to students,” said Mzinyathi, “is that there is no –one-size-fits all in this 18 to 24-year-old demographic. Even the campus culture differs from varsity to varsity. The brands that prosper here are those that take the time to clearly understand these young consumers.”