Money Student-made Support

My money diary

According to a SaveTheStudent Survey, 8/10 students worry about their finances. At times I’ve definitely stressed over my own money situation, and although I’ve written a number of other money related blogs about what I’ve been able to do to manage it, I’ve never properly tracked my spending. This week, inspired by the Refinery29 Series, I thought it would be interesting to track my spending for a week so I could see exactly where my money is going…

I kinda figured if I’m going to do it, I might as well share it with other students too to inspire you to try it out. It’s a really easy, practical way to track your finances and feel a bit more in control of your money while at university. So without further ado, here is an exact record of my weekly spendings!

Monday

7.30am – Trying to start the week right, I get up in pretty good time and make myself some breakfast. This morning it’s avocado and roasted peppers on toast to treat myself before cracking on with work. I have quite a bit of food in the fridge so hopefully won’t have to do a big food shop too soon…

1pm – I make myself a quick tuna salad for lunch and munch on some crisps and chocolate fingers because you know, balanced diet and all that. I then cycle into Uni for my first lecture of the day.

5pm – Home time! It’s been a fairly chilled day, and I pop some leftovers in the microwave to eat for dinner while I finish up some more uni work on my laptop.

8pm – Head out for drinks with a friend which end up costing £6.50 plus £3 for the bus, making my overall daily spending: £9.50.

Tuesday

8.30am – Up a little later than usual, so I scoff down breakfast (toast and a cuppa tea) before heading out the door.

9.30am – Off to Anchor coffee shop for a work/coffee date with some friends. I get a latte for myself and a peppermint tea for my friend which costs me £4, then she buys us all some cake later – yum!

1pm – I pop into Lidl on my way home to buy a couple of peppers to add to my lunch salad and also chocolate because alas I have no self control. I also have to get makeup remover – one of those annoying purchases you forget you have to make every now and then, so I get a big bottle I know is gonna last me a long time. £7.20.

2pm – My first and last lecture of the day! I resist the urge to buy a coffee and munch on my choccie instead.

5pm – I have a ‘Content Ambassador’ meeting at Uni until 7 and tea and biccies are provided, which is an absolute win. I cycle over to a friends house for another meeting before heading home to put sausages and vegetables in the oven for a late dinner. In bed by 12, with an overall daily spending of £11.20.

Wednesday

8am – No lectures today! It’s a slow start to the morning but I manage to drag myself out of bed to make a cuppa and some toast before cracking on with some uni work.

12pm – I’m meeting my boyfriend at Uni for lunch so I decide to stop off at Greggs on the way because chicken bake is LIFE. I treat myself to a latte, a chicken bake and a sausage roll. £3.45.

1.30pm – Time to box! I normally go to at least one session a week because it is legit the best/toughest workout I could ask for and it’s also pretty good fun. As part of the boxing society, a session costs me £3. I’m meant to be teaching a piano lesson straight afterwards but my pupil cancels on me, so I end up having a bit of time to relax at home instead.

5pm – Pick up some pudding from Lidl as I have a friend coming over for dinner tonight. Also get some ‘hummus chips’ (aka fancy crisps) and chickpeas so I can make some hummus to go with said fancy crisps because apparently I’m feeling particularly fancy myself. £2.40.

7pm – My friend brings over dinner and we enjoy an evening in. Overall daily spending: £8.85.

Thursday

7.30am – Spend my morning cooking, doing my washing and prepping for a bible study I’m leading this evening. I cycle into Uni to meet a friend for lunch.

12pm – Lunch consists of homemade hummus and those crisps I bought yesterday, and I buy a coke to go with it and give me a bit of extra energy. £1.50. After lunch we make our way to the library to work for the rest of the afternoon.

6pm – Every Thursday I go to a student Bible study at my church, where hot dinner is provided. It costs £2.50 which is a pretty good deal for a full plate of chicken curry (tonight’s delicious dish) and no washing up! WIN! Today’s daily spending is pretty low so I’m feeling good. £4.

Friday

8.30am – I pick up some snacks for a PASS study session I’m leading this morning before my seminar at 9, and also didn’t have time to eat breakfast so I get a pastry and a tea when I get into Uni – £4.

12pm – After my seminar and PASS session I cycle home to make lunch before my lecture this afternoon. It is SUCH a beaut day so I eat lunch (hummus on toast) outside in the sun.

2pm – Second lecture of the day, followed by a screening afterwards (it’s a film module) so it’s a pretty long afternoon. I stop by Lidl on the way home as I’m now basically out of food, so I buy a bunch of essentials to keep me going well into next week. £13.50.

8.30pm – After cooking a late dinner with my boyfriend we join some others at the pub – two drinks and an shared Uber ride cost me £8.10, which isn’t so bad to be honest. My total daily spending comes to £25.60.

Saturday

9.30am – This is pretty much the latest I’ll ever sleep in but after a fairly late night I allow myself a chilled morning. It is the most BEAUT day, but alas I said I would go to the library with friends, so after breakfast I cycle into Uni once more.

1pm – I decide to take my book outside to read and enjoy lunch in the sun again, and it’s SUCH a good decision. I also have one of those loyalty coffee cards which is full and means I can get a free iced latte!

2pm – During a period of procrastination, I order a bike light from Amazon – a very overdue purchase and one that I have been putting off long enough because cycling in the dark without one is really not cool – £10. I also order some new shoe laces £4.

7pm – This evening I’m watching an opera put on by some of my friends at Uni, and because I’m a music student, my ticket is FREE! It ends up being a very enjoyable evening, and keeps my total daily spending to £14.

Sunday

8am – Up for a run to make the most of this glorious sunny weather, then have a chilled morning before heading to church

1pm – After church a group of us head around to a friends house for lunch and then Bible study prep, as we are all leading studies in the upcoming weeks. It’s a long afternoon but the delish chorizo risotto we enjoy together makes up for it. Our friend generously buys and cooks food for all of us so it costs me nothing.

6pm – It seems to be a day of free food! I have my first evening in of the week (feels soooo good) and my boyfriend brings over pizza to share. A relaxing end to the week, and means my daily spending is a whopping £0 today!

My overall spending this week was: 73.05

Broken down, this was spent on:

Food: 29.55

Purchases: £19

Leisure: £19.50

Travel: £5

Normally my spendings are around £60 so this has been a more expensive week but hey ho, that’s life! It’s been interesting seeing where all my money goes, and apparently most of it is on food… Normally I tend to cook for myself a lot more, but because I’ve been sharing a lot of meals/eating out it has made it more expensive, but it is a lot more fun to share food with others so I’m not too fussed!

I hope you found this useful, or at least interesting to compare to your own spending. I highly encourage you to track your spending for a week as it’s really useful to see where you are spending your money, and it’s made me realise perhaps there are some changes I can make to be wiser with mine!

If you need any help with any spending habits, or you’d like to find out how to budget, check out the Student Support website.

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