In previous years, international student Ioanna has noticed her spending increases over the summer months. With island hopping a firm favourite under more normal circumstances, find out what’s on her agenda for summer 2021.
Ioanna’s story transcribed
So my name is Ioanna. I am at the University of Bedfordshire and I’m studying biomedical science.
What is your current living situation during term-time?
I live in halls right on campus.
When uni ends, how much time do you normally spend on campus?
Well, to be fair, my home address is out of the country. So it’s not like I can get out of the campus much. So I have to stay on campus unless I plan to go back to the home country just for the summer.
What sort of plans do you usually make for the summer months?
Well, as I mentioned, obviously, I like to go back to my home country if that’s possible. If not, I usually work or meet up with friends. You know, we go to London, we go to the countryside – depends on how much money I’ve got to be honest, I’m not gonna lie.
And what sort of plans do you normally make when you do go back to your home country during the summer?
Usually – because I’m from Greece, going to an island is a must. So we usually – me and my friends from there – we plan to go to several islands and stuff.
In light of COVID-19, how do you think your plans for summer 2021 might change?
I’m kind of in the middle? I feel like everyone’s in the middle because you would expect everything to be fine by the summer but at the same time, everything changes so much. Um, so I kind of don’t know, I would love for things to be back to normal but I’m not sure.
What sorts of things do you usually look forward to buying when summer rolls around?
It depends on where I am. To be fair, I’ve noticed that during the summer my spending goes up – really up. But I think it’s just because I don’t have uni, I don’t have anything to do. So for some reason, I always find time to get new swimsuits and new beach stuff, even though I’ve got them from last year. I always need new ones for no reason at all. So I think that’s where most of my money goes.
Throughout the year, do you normally keep track of your budget and finances? What sort of methods do you use?
I do – yeah, I am working. So obviously, I have kind of like a journal, where I keep track of everything, every payment and stuff. And I have used apps as well, in the past that help.
Is there anything brands can do to make it easier for students to budget?
I feel like, there’s not a lot of engagement, from brands to students about specific things like I feel like, especially with like your website, for example, you see all these companies, offering discounts and trying to get you to spend more money, but you don’t see them actually caring about how you spend and what you spend. So I think it will be really good if they would offer something like a budgeting seminar, budgeting tips, money spending tips, anything like that. For example, if a company was to tell me, here’s 50% 30% off, if you join our budgeting seminar, I would be instantly drawn to that. I feel like there needs to be a bit more engagement, especially now with COVID. Everyone’s back online. So there’s so many things I think brands could do. And not just for me, because I’m like a med student, the students that are genuinely interested in retail, so even like graduate programmes, anything like that, I feel like it would really bring attention towards the brand itself.