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Categorising the money management behaviour of young consumers

Jill Bamforth (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Gus Geursen (Department of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 21 August 2017




Young consumers represent a significant purchasing group, but little is known about how they make money management decisions. This study aims to identify and classify different approaches to money management that may impact purchasing behaviour.


Data from focus groups with 40 respondents between 18 and 24 years were recruited via campus notices across three campuses in a university in Melbourne, Australia.


Based on how respondents accommodated economic, social and psychological influences in their money management approach, the authors identified three distinct approaches to money management: conservative money managers, creative money managers and entrepreneurial money managers.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a small sample consisting of 40 individuals in Australia.

Practical implications

Young consumers share common traits as a group but have diverse attitudes and approaches to money management. The authors identify three distinct approaches to money management based on respondents’ management of factors affecting their money management. Companies must consider these differences to effectively approach millennial consumers.

Social implications

The indebtedness of young consumers is a common concern in society. Analysis of their approaches to money management offers an opportunity for organisations to support responsible individual money usage amongst young consumers.


While exploratory, the current study is the first to consider how differences in money management behaviour in young generations may impact consumer decision-making.



The authors are very grateful to Professor Lester Johnson based at the Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of Technology, for voluntarily reading and commenting on this paper. The authors are also most grateful to the input of the two blind reviewers whose input contributed significantly to a better-written paper.


Bamforth, J. and Geursen, G. (2017), "Categorising the money management behaviour of young consumers", Young Consumers, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 205-222.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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