For students returning to university, this year will be very different to the last. And for those only beginning, the pandemic has taken away many of the freedoms they should have welcomed when they left home.
But despite local lockdowns of some universities, and bans on parties in others, there is one constant – the struggle to stick to a budget.
A recent survey from the advice site Save the Student put the average monthly cost of going to university at just under £800 – most of that being spent on rent. With part-time jobs thinner on the ground due to coronavirus, many students will need to be especially prudent.
There is help at hand – sites such as Save The Student, UNiDAYS and Student Beans all point out deals that can be found from brands, attractions and services which are eager to get business from both freshers and those returning to college.
So in these extraordinary times, what are the best ways to save during term time?
Choose the right account
Banks are ready to throw any number of perks at students in order to get their business, in the hope that they will continue to bank with them once they leave university. Cashback, awards schemes, free Amazon Prime student membership, free railcards and TOTUM student discount cards are all on offer depending on which bank you go with.
For many, however, the main attraction will be the interest-free overdraft. Both Halifax and Santander offer the most, with up to £1,500 from the start of year one. The other main banks offer similar, if slightly different, amounts – Barclays, Nationwide and HSBC give up to £1,000 while at Bank of Scotland and Lloyds it is £500 in the first six months then £1,000 in months seven to nine.