‘Kittynomics’ Saves Savvy Students £193 Million a Year

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Almost half of students are funding university living expenses with a series of kitties. As the second university term beckons for UK students, new research from Barclays reveals that almost half (45 per cent) of students are using ‘Kittynomics’ to manage their living expenses. £193 million is being saved annually by students who pool funds into a central pot of money – or kitty - to make group purchases with friends.

Each student contributing to a kitty saves an average of £171 a year on a variety of joint expenses, from bills to group nights out and birthday presents, with some (8 per cent) saving in excess of £750. The nationwide research reveals kitties are a regular part of student life, with the majority of those surveyed (66 per cent) contributing at least once a month.

Students are carefully managing their kitties, with almost seven in ten (69 per cent) sitting down with friends to agree on a process and almost three in ten (29 per cent) using online banking to keep track of the funds. Good communication amongst friends and careful management of the kitty is essential as 44 per cent of students admitted that discrepancies in the kitty have caused problems amongst friends in the past.

Given the average kitty has four members and some can have in excess of 10, students are allocating clear responsibilities to ensure things run smoothly:

  •     One third (33 per cent) are ‘treasurers’, responsible for financial decisions
  •     17 per cent are ‘brokers’, planning the spending and collecting money
  •     16 per cent are ‘asset managers’, recording any change left over for future purchases

‘Kittynomics’ financial organisation clearly pays off as the majority of students (65 per cent) say shared pots make their money go further and more than seven in ten (71 per cent) believe their involvement has made them more financially aware.

Dan Wass, Director of Current Accounts at Barclays, said: “It’s very encouraging to see that so many students are taking a sensible approach to managing their money to help them cope with university’s financial pressures. ‘Kittynomics’ is becoming an increasingly popular way for students to financially plan on a shoestring as it can save them money each term. The budgeting and communicating involved are key life skills that will help see students through university and beyond.”

Social spending

Whilst the majority of kitty money is put towards traditional shared expenses like household supplies (52 per cent) and bills (28 per cent), students are also using group funds to pay for their social lives. More than a quarter (26 per cent) use the ‘Kittynomics’ approach to fund nights out, one in five (20 per cent) put it towards friends’ birthday presents and a further 8 per cent spend the majority of their kitty on group holidays and trips away.

Oxford vs. Cambridge

Regionally, students from Oxford universities are the most likely to contribute to a ’Kittynomics’ model (60 per cent) compared with students from York (41 per cent), Lancaster (40 per cent) and Cambridge, where just a third (33 per cent) pool money. Those Cambridge students that are part of a kitty contribute smaller amounts – an average of just £11 per month, compared with Oxford’s students’ £19 and the £34 the average Bristol student contributes. Although the number of students contributing to a kitty in York is fewer than Oxford, Bristol and Edinburgh, students from the city make average savings of £75 a term, the highest of any student city.

Barclays provides services for students ranging from student bank accounts to advice on budgeting. For more information visit http://www.barclays.co.uk or speak to one of our advisers in your local Barclays branch.

Notes to Editors:

1,500 UK university students polled in November 2010 by One Poll; research commissioned by Barclays

  • 1.13million of the UK’s 2.5million student population has set up a kitty. Each student saves an average of £57 per term, or £171 per year, meaning an average of £193 million is saved annually

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking (current accounts and savings accounts), credit cards, mortgages (including our Switch and Fix mortgage) corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, invests and protects money and provides personal loans, ISAs, life insurance, business loans and other services for over 49 million customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website http://www.barclays.co.uk.

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