Students Top of the Class for Going to Cinema on a Shoestring

85% of students take own snacks into films, 40% bring their own 3D glasses

2 March 2015

Students are the most likely group to duck the costs associated with going to the cinema, with nearly nine in ten (85 per cent) taking their own food and drink into films and four in ten (40 per cent) bringing their own 3D glasses, a new poll of UK adults reveals.

Cinema remains a much-loved pastime in the UK, with over half (52 per cent) of people attending every six months or more according to the Nationwide Building Society survey. However, this rises to around seven in ten (69 per cent) for students.

The research highlights how younger people are among the most frugal when it comes to managing their money and follows the launch of Nationwide’s first youth current account, FlexOne, which offers a range of benefits including 25 per cent off Vue cinemas for a year for members and a friend.

With costs associated with going to the movies higher than ever – a ticket, food, drink costing upwards of £20 per person in many cases – students can give everyone a lesson on how to save.

Top five ways students have saved money at the cinema (compared to cinemagoers in the UK):

  • 85 per cent of students take their own food and drink into the cinema, compared to 65 per cent of cinemagoers in the UK
  • 59 per cent seek out money off promotions, compared to 46 per cent of cinemagoers in the UK
  • 54 per cent eat before going to the cinema, compared to 43 per cent of cinemagoers in the UK
  • 44 per cent watch a film in 2D rather than 3D to save money, compared to 22 per cent of cinemagoers in the UK
  • 40 per cent take their own 3D glasses to avoid paying for them, compared to 23 per cent of cinemagoers in the UK

The research also shows that women are more likely to use money saving tactics than men. For example women cinemagoers surveyed are more likely to take snacks in (71 per cent, compared to 57 per cent of men), seek out money-off promotions (49 per cent, compared to 43 per cent of men) and eat before going to the cinema (46 per cent, compared to 39 per cent of men).

Paul Wootton, who heads up Nationwide’s FlexOne youth current account, said: “It’s great that the younger generation are the ones that make their cash go the furthest and are the most frugal when it comes to spending their money at the cinema. It’s reassuring they are doing this so effectively. Financial education is a vital life skill and that’s why we launched FlexOne, our current account for 11 to 17 year olds, providing a stepping stone into the world of finance and helping educate younger customers about money. The account also helps make customers’ money go a little further, with 25 per cent off at Vue cinemas for them and a friend for a year – helping them save cash on the things they love doing most.”

For budding young filmmakers, Nationwide Building Society is also bringing financial education to life by inviting schools to take part in The Big Money Movie Pitch1 a free film competition giving students aged 11 to 14 the chance to pitch a short film idea about managing money. Educating youngsters about money is at the heart of the competition, whether that be a lesson in budgeting, saving or keeping money safe. The winning pitch will be made into a real film by industry professionals and premiered at Vue Westfield on 8 July at an exclusive red-carpet event – in addition to a whole host of benefits from Nationwide’s Talking Numbers programme.

Notes to Editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,221 UK adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th to 28th January 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

1The Big Money Movie Pitch awards include:

  • 120 places at the red-carpet screening for the winning school and 50 places each for two highly-commended schools.
  • The winning school’s choice of a current blockbuster to enjoy following the film.
  • A whole host of benefits from Nationwide Building Society’s Talking Numbers programme, including the option of running a Rock Club day, a MoneyLIVE day and a Beatbox session/DJ workshop at the school.
  • 10 tickets to the Rock Assembly concert at Wembley on Wednesday 1 July 2015, with transport included.
  • The final film will also be used to educate other young people on managing their money – a film by young people for young people.

Who can enter?

  • The competition is open to all UK students aged between 11 and 14.
  • Schools can sign up to the Big Money Movie Pitch at, which has a wealth of resources for students, teachers and parents, including factsheets, quizzes, videos and games to help educate young people aged two to 18 on topics – such as money, numeracy, careers, sustainability and safety, all linked to the national curriculum.
  • Schools have until 30 April 2015 to submit their entries and the winners will be notified on 22 May 2015.

The Brief

  • The competition is for students to create a pitch for a two-minute short film about managing money. We are looking for pitches that bring to life one or more of the following key areas:
    • How to save / the importance of saving
    • Account safety
    • Budgeting
    • Credit / debit
  • The final film should encourage young people to take responsibility for managing their money and finances effectively. The film is aimed at 11 to 14 year olds.


Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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