One in three university students say a lack of money is affecting what they eat, according to the results of a new Massey University/Westpac survey. The study by the Fin-Ed Centre (Financial Education and Research Centre – a joint venture between Massey and Westpac), found a third of responding students from Massey said they had changed their eating habits in the past six months due to insufficient funds.
Palmerston North charity free food store Just Zilch is feeding a growing number of students alongside homeless people and families in desperate situations, director Rebecca Culver told the Manawatu Standard.
The study also found that 40 percent of students admitted finances are a significant source of worry and hassle for them. 11.5 percent said they struggle to make ends meet with 4.1 percent saying they had serious money problems.
One in ten students said they could not manage on a day-to-day basis without borrowing money.
Fin-Ed Centre director Dr Pushpa Wood says the centre plans to run financial health checks for the next few years and the data collected will help inform the centre’s future work.
“Our longitudinal study’s preliminary findings show that young New Zealanders often know the key elements of good financial management, but may not put this knowledge into practice. This is consistent with the findings of the student financial health check where we found positive attitudes towards saving, yet more than a third said their finances had led to changed eating habits,” said Pushpa Wood.