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University students more savvy with savings than previous generations

 

25 February 2015

Westpac research reveals over half (60 per cent) of university students are saving an average of $353 every month

  • Three quarters (75 per cent) of university students believe they will achieve their financial goals
  • Only 18 per cent of university students today admit to regularly borrowing money from their parents, compared to 35 per cent of past students
  • Three in five university students (62 per cent) regularly track their spending
  • Overseas travel is number one savings priority (39 per cent).

With more than 20,000 university students across Australia expected to descend on university campuses for Orientation week (O-Week) this week, Westpac has released new research which suggests university students today are more in control of their finances than previous generations1, and are becoming better savers.

The Westpac Campus Trends Report, released today, revealed that the majority of students (60 per cent) are saving an average of $353 every month, and three quarters (75 per cent) believe they will reach their future financial goals for the next three years. Their top priorities are saving money (69 per cent), saving for a holiday (49 per cent), buying a car (38 per cent) and buying their first home (25 per cent).

Westpac’s Head of Everyday Banking Andy Kerr said: “It’s great to see students are taking control of their money and saving for big things like overseas holidays. We know travel is the top savings priority, and we want to support them in their travels. At Westpac we offer the Westpac Choice
Account with free access to more than 50,000 ATMs through the Global Alliance. This could save hundreds of dollars on a trip overseas," said Mr Kerr.

Today’s students are also turning to technology to monitor their savings, with 62 per cent regularly tracking expenses online via their bank’s website (49 per cent) or mobile banking app (48 per cent).

University students also look for convenience when it comes to their payment methods, with 69 per preferring to use their debit or EFTPOS card as their main form of payment, followed by cash at 60 per cent.

“New technologies such as mobile and online banking are allowing students to take control of their finances from an early age. Although there is still a strong preference amongst this age group to use their debit card when paying for everyday items, cash is still high on their radar. Westpac’s Get Cash is one of the ways we’re giving students access to their cash 24/7, even when they don’t have their debit card,” added Mr Kerr.

The report also revealed that university students today are less likely to regularly borrow money from their parents than previous generations, with only 18 per cent admitting to regularly borrowing money, compared to 35 per cent of past university students. Students are also living at home longer, with the average age to leave home now at 23 years old, compared to 21.5 years for previous generations.

“It’s also interesting to note that despite saving more and spending less than previous generations, only one in three university students have a high interest savings account to really maximise their money. Westpac has a range of financial products and options to help university students, like our Reward Saver for up to 21 year olds or the Choice Account which has no monthly account-keeping fees for students,” said Mr Kerr.

With 39 per cent of students stating overseas travel is their number one savings priority, Westpac is giving students a chance to realise their travel aspirations, with two $10,000 travel experiences up for grabs. To enter, students are being encouraged to visit the Westpac stands at select universities around Australia during O-Week.

For more information on Westpac’s involvement in O-Week, please visit: westpac.com.au/unstoppableyoucomp
For further information on Westpac products and services specifically developed for students, please visit: www.westpac.com.au

Key Findings from The Westpac Campus Trends Report:

  • 60 per cent of students are saving an average of $353 every month
  • Three quarters (75 per cent) of students believe they will achieve their financial goals
  • The top financial goals for the next three years included saving money (69 per cent), saving for a holiday (49 per cent), buying a car (38 per cent) and buying their first home (25 per cent)
  • 39 per cent of students indicate that overseas travel is their number one savings priority
  • Three in five students (62 per cent) regularly track how and where they spend their money
  • Students today are less likely to regularly borrow money from their parents, with only 18 per cent admitting to regularly doing so compared to 35 per cent of past students
  • The average age for leaving home is approximately 23.2 years in comparison to 21.5 years for previous generations
  • When it comes to payment preferences, 69 per cent claiming that their debit or EFTPOS card is their preferred method of payment, followed by cash at 60 per cent
  • Only ten per cent of students today say their credit card is their preferred payment option
  • The majority of students (62 per cent) believe O-Week is a great way to start university life
  • Only one in three university students have a high interest savings account.

About the survey
The Westpac Campus Trends Report was commissioned by Westpac Banking Corporation and conducted by Sweeney Research.

The research was conducted between 22nd December 2014 and 19th January 2015 and was completed by two samples; 1,026 current students between 17 - 24 years and 203 respondents who studied 10-30 years ago and who are 30 to 50 years.

The sample was weighted to ensure representation of the Australian population in accordance with census data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

About the Global ATM Alliance
Westpac is the only Australian bank to be a member of the Global ATM Alliance (GAA) which enables travellers with a Westpac card to access more than 50,000 ATMs from some of the world’s leading banks, all without incurring any withdrawal fees. The network, which currently extends across 53 countries with more to be announced soon, includes partnerships with many of the world’s leading banks, including Barclays in the United Kingdom, Bank of America in the United States and Deutsche Bank in Germany.

Media Enquiries:
Caroline Bligh
Westpac PR Manager
0413 271 528
carolinebligh@westpac.com.au

 

1 For the purpose of this release, ‘today’s students’ refer to young Australians aged between 18 and 24 years of age. ‘Previous students’ refers to those who were students and studied 10 -30 years ago.