Pinching pennies: Canadian students battle the budget

    Kijiji Canada/Leger Marketing research finds most students predict a
    difficult financial fall

    TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - Canadian students may be torn between fun and
function as they head back to school. While more than six-in-ten are looking
for a functional dorm room, a full 45 per cent choose fun - in the form of
food, drinks, and entertainment - over furniture.
    Most students and parents recognize that making a budget and sticking to
it will be tough. In fact, 51 per cent of respondents indicated that when it
comes to furnishing and personalizing their dorm room or living space, it is
going to be difficult to buy everything they need on a budget. How much are
they looking to spend? The majority of students (or their parents) plan to
spend less than $500 on back-to-school items.
    Going green is also a concern for students, with affordability playing a
major role in their eco-choices. Almost half of students (or their parents)
heading back to school think it will be difficult to afford items that are
eco-friendly. At the same time, a substantial 82 per cent plan to buy used
furniture and accessories, if the items are in good condition.
    "Online classified sites like Kijiji are great for students on a tight
budget; it offers them a free, easy and local resource for purchasing
affordable and eco-friendly items - from desks and beds to accessories and
computers - when heading back to school," says Kijiji Canada's home decorating
expert Karl Lohnes. "By purchasing used items locally, students don't have to
compromise - they can splurge on fun, because they've saved on function."
    Parents take note: don't expect your kids to return furniture or
accessories once they've taken them off to school. The survey also reveals
that most students who will be living away from home may ask their parents for
old, unwanted items and many are considering selling those items to purchase
things better suited to their style.

    Room rental classifieds grow 14% in six weeks

    Canadian renters and students are increasingly turning to online
resources to help with their back-to-school needs. In the last six weeks (July
1-Aug. 16), Kijiji Canada's city sites have recorded 3,436 new apartment ads
in its housing categories, with a 14 per cent month-over-month increase in the
"Room Rental and Roommate" categories.
    Other key student lifestyle items are seeing similar month-to-month
growth, such as Computers (3%), Computer Accessories (8%) and Furniture (5%).

    Back-to-school behaviour in 2009

    When it comes to back-to-school behaviour this year, the research
revealed other interesting trends:

    -   East coast chic: students in Quebec will spend the most on back-to-
        school shopping ($1,295), followed by students in the Atlantic
        provinces ($1,188).
    -   Parents vs. children - although parents and students have concerns
        about purchasing everything on a budget, parents believe their
        children will spend more money than the students themselves report
        they'll be spending ($997 vs. $628 respectively).
    -   Most likely to be living away from home are students from the
        Atlantic provinces (50%), the prairies (41%) and Ontario (40%).
    -   On-campus student housing services, housing/rental websites and
        online classifieds sites are the most common resources students use
        when looking for a residence.
    -   Where parents and students differ the most is the desire to have
        furniture and accessories in the room that are environmentally
        friendly. One in 10 students say this is important while only 1% of
        parents say the same.
    -   Females are more pragmatic: women were more likely to say that it is
        difficult to buy everything needed on a budget (68% vs. 40% of males)
        and that it is difficult to afford items that are eco-friendly (60%
        vs. 38% of males).
    -   Parents living in provinces with fewer big cities are finding it more
        difficult to find all of the back-to-school items needed for their
        young scholars.

    "With Kijiji websites for towns and cities across Canada, students across
the country are able to connect with others in the same city or town. This
eliminates hefty shipping charges and extended delivery times, one of the
reasons I love Kijiji," Lohnes continues. "With everyone focused on saving
money these days, free services can really help relieve stress for both
parents and students, by helping them save time and money, in a convenient and
environmentally-friendly way."


    The survey was conducted between August 14th and 19th, 2009 using a
national random sample of 501 respondents from Leger Marketing's Web panel.
This method simulates a probability sample which would yield a maximum margin
of error of +/-4.4%, 19 times out of 20.

    About Kijiji

    Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is a group of classifieds-style
web sites that offer a convenient, fun, and easy way for people in the same
city to meet, trade, share ideas, and help each other out in areas such as
housing, jobs, goods, services, cars, and personals. The entire Kijiji family
includes the Kijiji, Gumtree, LoQUo, Intoko, and Marktplaats brands. Kijiji
sites are currently available in over 1500 cities in more than 20 markets
around the world; it is the most visited classified site in Canada with more
than 8.7 million unique visitors per month.

For further information:

For further information: Amy Clark or Jesse Kohl, Environics
Communications, (416) 969-2758 or (416) 969-2709, or

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