Nieuws - 7 juni 2012

Students and money: all in the mind

Are you a trendsetter? Someone who is easy-going with money, not afraid of a mounting debt, always eager for the latest gadgets? Or are you a born controller, someone who weighs up every potential purchase carefully and doesn't care about prestige?

Trendsetters and controllers are two of the four profiles in Moneymindsets, a model that identifies how you deal with money. Your profile is a predictor of how much student debt you are likely to build up. The model has been in existence for two years, but in May the Nibud applied it for the first time to students from various universities. Compared to the average young person these students turned out to be less impulsive and influenced by trends, and to place a higher value on financial independence. The research also revealed interesting differences between students of applied sciences and those doing more theoretical degrees, as well as between men and women.
The profiles
The Moneymindsets model identifies personality traits that influence your financial behaviour. These include your sensitivity to status, impulsiveness and need for security. In the end a diagram emerges with four profiles displayed on two axes: impulsiveness and status-mindedness. In the box all four profiles are described: the Controller, the Pleasure-seeker, the Forward Planner and the Trendsetter. A couple of interesting facts from the Nibud research:
-      The percentage of Forward Planners among students is higher than that among young people in general. Forward planners are quite attached to status but do not express this in material terms, as the Trendsetters do.
-      Nevertheless, the trendsetters are still the biggest group among students (28%). This is largely due to the men, 37% of whom are trendsetters, as opposed to just 20% of the women. Women students are well-represented in the Controller and Pleasure-seeker groups.
-      Surprisingly, students who live at home are more often Trendsetters than students who have left home. Living at home is cheaper, which may give these students more scope for indulging in trends. Students living independently scored highest in the Pleasure-seeker category.
-      There are relatively large numbers of Trendsetters among applied sciences (HBO) students, while those at academic universities were mainly either Controllers or Pleasure-seekers. So if you are a male applied sciences student you probably have a long and intensive relationship with the Groningen-based loan provider ahead of you...

Impulsiveness: low, status-mindedness: low
You like to have control over your life and are therefore not quick to make impulsive decisions. You do not easily run up debts; you would rather live at home for another year. Either that or you look for a part-time job. After all, no one knows what the future will bring.

Impulsiveness: high, status-mindedness: low
You are quite prepared to dig into your pocket if you come across something that appeals to you. Not to show off with it but just for your own enjoyment. After all, studying should be fun; you are not in a monastery are you? If this attitude causes you to run up quite a debt, so be it.

Impulsiveness: low, status-mindedness: high
Forward planner
You consider yourself quite unique and definitely want to stand out in a crowd. But do you aim to do this with a pair of sneakers costing 200 euros? No. You value financial independence and you like to be in control. And distinguishing yourself? You'll do that later, in your career.

Impulsiveness: high, status-mindedness: high
You sure do like to lead the good life. And to do so, why shouldn't you get into debt, since in a few years you will be earning a nice salary? What is more, you will have a nice salary thanks to the strong network you are building now with your extravert approach to life. A network of people who value your talent and personality.