A survey on spending habits among college students showed 94 percent depend on their parents or relatives for living expenses and over 30 percent are short of money.
The study by education consultancy MyCOS found the monthly expenses of college students are 1,212 yuan ($176) excluding tuition and transportation costs between home and school.
Among 1,289 respondents, male students spent money mainly on nonessential food (including snacks and drinks), personal image, socializing and entertainment. Spending on telecommunication-Internet (31 percent) and digital electronic products (16 percent) was 7 and 11 percentage points higher than female students respectively.
Spending by female students on items related to personal image was 24 percentage points higher than the opposite gender.
Three core elements affecting student purchases are prices, quality and preference rather than brand or marketing initiatives, said the report, adding it shows most students are relatively rational in their spending.
The survey also found that 57 percent of college students have money management practices. A total of 42 percent bought online financing products, including Yu'ebao from Alibaba's Ant Financial. This was followed by 24 percent of students who save money in the bank, 3 percent who invest in stocks and 2 percent who use peer-to-peer lending platforms.
Some 41 percent of respondents said they have enough money to meet every day needs and still keep a balance. But 32 percent found themselves occasionally or frequently short of money.
Faced with a cash shortage, 43 percent would give up spending, 40 percent would seek help from parents and 15 percent choose to borrow money from friends.
The survey also found that 39 percent of students use loan services. It suggests that colleges should help improve financial awareness and spending behavior among students.