Hear from Rishabh, a masters student from Oxford Brookes University, on what he gets up to during his summer break. Discover how he manages his budget and what he plans to spend it on in 2021.
Rishabh’s story transcribed
So my name is Rishabh. I’m at Oxford Brookes University. I am currently doing my masters in Hotel and Tourism Management. It’s a master’s in science.
What is your current living situation during term-time?
I live at home in London.
When uni ends, how much time do you normally spend on campus?
Um, generally, three to four days? If I have plans to get back then yeah, I don’t spend too long at university.
What sort of plans do you usually make for the summer months?
Yeah, so um, even this year, I was planning with my friends to either go around the UK, so just travelling a bit, you know, just local – to Manchester or something. So international travel has definitely stopped, currently. And even if I want to travel, it’s more for local travelling, so you know, probably having a drive around the coast. If there’s a weekend available, something like that.
So it’s better to have like a small group of friends maximum of four people and like split the drive around and split the costs and everything – that would be much better.
Like even if it’s raining, you can still do quite a few things. And you can just stay in some resort house or something and just play Uno or something.
What sorts of things do you usually look forward to buying when summer rolls around?
A bit of summer clothes. Depending on how warm it’s going to be – like this year was quite warm. So I did end up buying a new jacket, summer jacket, and just some shorts and some summer clothes.
Throughout the year, do you normally keep track of your budget and finances? What sort of methods do you use?
Um, I don’t do it throughout the year, but I do try to keep an eye over it. When I was in my bachelor’s, for one year, I had my placement on, so I was looking at my budget based on an Excel sheet. But now, there are more apps available – like Starling bank itself shows you a good amount of how the spending is done. It’s like a pie chart. So the banking apps have been more helpful than keeping track of every single receipt and then keeping them and at night putting them into your Excel sheet.
How did you budget your income during your placement year?
Because it was my first time outside, you know, out of my own house, and I had to, like, do proper adulting stuff. So get a house, manage rent, manage utilities, bills, food, other recreational activities – you could see your inflow and outflow quite easily. So it was very helpful. A good, good lesson that I learned there.
I think placement is a good thing. Like, you know, you’re able to do a bit of it for probably six months or a year and then you go back to studying. So you don’t have to do it that much. So you can be like, “okay, next year, I know what to do.”
Is there anything brands can do to make it easier for students to budget?
Um, I think in general, you can have memberships. So if they show you based on your points, like, you know, one point is equal to one point or something of that conversion, and they can show you how much I’ve actually accumulated over a month or so.
I remember Qantas airlines used to do that. They would send me a daily monthly newsletter with my points so whenever I used to travel it would show that okay, you have travelled this time. So that’s the point. So I think that helps you show that easily racked up where you had actually spent the money even if you don’t have a receipt and you don’t want to go through a bank statement. We can see that “oh my god – Body Shop – I’ve spent so much on different things” or “this is good enough so I can maintain this.”