To read this content please select one of the options below:

Undergraduates’ responses to factors affecting their money management behaviour: some new insights from a qualitative study

Jill Bamforth (Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia)
Charles Jebarajakirthy (Department of Marketing, Griffith University Griffith Business School, Nathan, Australia)
Gus Geursen (University of South Australia Business School, Adelaide, Australia)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 21 August 2017




The money management behaviour of undergraduates is a noteworthy study for many stakeholders, as these students are more likely to carry forward this behaviour into later life. The literature on student money management behaviour heavily focuses on financial literacy. However, economic, social and psychological factors also affect undergraduates’ money management behaviour. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to empirically investigate how undergraduates respond to and account for these factors in their money management behaviour.


This study was carried out in Australia. This study adopted a qualitative exploratory approach. The data were collected using six focus group discussions (FGDs) held in one Australian university, in which 40 undergraduates participated.


The key themes identified from the thematic analysis include undergraduates’ understanding of money management and managing economic, social and psychological aspects relating to undergraduates’ money management behaviour. Several subthemes were identified under each theme, which specifically showed how undergraduates manage and respond to each of these factors relating to their money management behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted with the data collected from a relatively small sample of respondents and was limited only to undergraduates. Moreover, this study was conducted in Australia, indicating that some of the results might be specific to the Australian context.

Practical implications

The authors have suggested promoting multiple payment methods and internet usage to undergraduates, and providing them with stress management programmes will help them maintain prudent money management behaviour.


The extant literature on undergraduates’ money management behaviour tends to focus on financial literacy. This study extends the scope of the literature beyond financial literacy and has shown how undergraduates respond to economic, social and psychological aspects relating to money management behaviour. This study has applied a qualitative exploratory approach, in contrast to quantitative methods which have generally been applied for studies relating to undergraduates’ money management behaviour.



Bamforth, J., Jebarajakirthy, C. and Geursen, G. (2017), "Undergraduates’ responses to factors affecting their money management behaviour: some new insights from a qualitative study", Young Consumers, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 290-311.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles