SA students – big spenders

Most students are saving for their next big purchase as opposed to saving for their future.

Most students are saving for their next big purchase as opposed to saving for their future. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Research company, Student Village CEO Ronen Aires says South African students are spending, on average, more than an average household spends, which is R3,500 a month.

According to the annual Student Village SA Student Spending Report 2013, nearly a quarter of South Africa's students are in debt.

The research shows student debt has more than doubled in the past three years, mostly due to retail clothing.

At least 43 percent of students admitted to owning a credit card in the 2012 survey compared to 9.5 percent in 2010.

Aires told 702's Redi Tlhabi that parents and guardians are funding the students' lifestyles.

"We looked even deeper and found out that the students' biggest worry is not about their studies, it's actually about their finances and the debt they are in.

"Students are going through a very interesting phase in their lives. They are trying to work out who they are as people and really what defines them and their own brands. One of the ways to express that is through consumerism, so they are looking at buying phones and clothes. Groceries are a huge thing, rent is another but really all their income is disposable."

Aires added 70 percent of students are saving for their next big purchase as opposed to saving for their future.

"They are saving for jeans or a new Blackberry."

Meanwhile, South African spending is at record levels.

BankservAfrica's Economic Transaction Index (BETI) shows a record number of consumer transactions for July.