A survey conducted by Student Village indicates that Wits spend most of their money on motor vehicle repayments, extra tuition, clothing and footwear.

Info-graph of what Wits students spend most of their money on.

A SURVEY has found that Wits students spend most of their money on motor vehicle repayments, extra tuition, clothing and footwear.

Student Village, a news-making graduate company, has released its 2019 National Student Spend Report.

Its research was done through a survey of the spending behaviours of current university students falling under the “Generation Z” category. Sechaba Sello, an insights manager at Student Village, describes Generation Z as anyone under 25.

The aim of the survey, which was conducted online and had more than 3 000 respondents, was to identify trends in student spending.

Questions asked included how much money students received monthly and what they were using it for.

To break down the data, focus groups representing different demographics were conducted on 40 campuses around South Africa.

The general finding of the data was that students spend money on toiletries, cosmetics, food, takeaways, mobile data and hair and beauty.

It was also found that Generation Z students are more entrepreneurial and, seeing that they were born in the digital age, have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Ronen Aires, founder and CEO of Student Village, said on CNBC Africa: “What is different with this generation of students is that they are saving to build wealth rather than saving to buy.”

He attributed this change to “hard times that have created an innovative, resilient, make-a-plan-kind of generation”.

For Wits students, motor vehicle repayment was the highest monthly amount spent, at R3 112,88. Extra tuition, which Sello explained was textbooks and printing, came in second at an average R1 940,50. Clothing and footwear came third, with R1 362 being spent by the average Wits student each month.

Student Village told Wits Vuvuzela its findings were that current students acquire their spending money from four sources: parents (79%); “work”, which Sello describes as bartending, tutoring or hairdressing (31%); bursaries (29%); and “own businesses”, defined as start-ups or business ventures (17%).

Wits Vuvuzela canvassed a few students on their spending habits.

Nhloso Zulu, a second-year BA law student, said the first thing he buys is cigarettes and marijuana, and this accounted for most of his spending.

Luyanda Ngalonkulu, a second-year dramatic arts student, said she buys cosmetics at the beginning of the year and spends most of her money on food.

“I live on the East Rand, so I definitely spend a lot of money on petrol,” said Brett Dollery, a second-year industrial engineering student.

It appeared that our informal survey might, to a certain extent, contradict the results of the National Student Spend Report, but it did not reflect the entire Wits student population and what they spend their money on.

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