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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Money diaries – Abi

The living room set up for palentine's day
Reading Time: 4 minutes


Programme: Spanish and Scandinavian Studies

Year of study: Fourth year

Accommodation type: Private flat with four flatmates

Part-time job: I’m currently working on a technology scheme that helps people from different backgrounds get into tech, regardless of your degree title. I found this after having a chat with a career’s advisor who inspired me to look for things not only related to what I study. My typical hours vary depending on when I am scheduled, but I work 9am to 5pm in the holidays.

Day one

At the start of the week I try to do my big shop so I am less tempted by a takeaway in the week! I am Lidl’s biggest fan, so I get most of my stuff from there. My shop today came to £8.48. I then went to Tesco to get some gluten-free bread and tofu as Lidl often doesn’t have it and it cost me £6.50.

Later that evening, as I had been working all day, I went to a pub quiz at Brass Monkey and spent £4 on a pint.

Total: £18.98

Abi's Lidl shop displayed on her table

A typical food shop

Day two

Today was a no spend day. I was at uni for most of it and brought my own lunch in, which I heated up in the microwave at 50 George Square.

For dinner I made risotto with my flatmate. I often cook with them and it’s a great way to save money, reduce food waste and means you don’t have to cook every day! Tuesday was also pancake day so we made some gluten-free pancakes. I have coeliac disease but I am very lucky that in Scotland the doctor can prescribe you things like flour, pasta and bread for free. This helps so much with the allergy tax so I can still take part.

Total: £0

Day three

Wednesday was Valentine’s Day or Palentine’s Day in my case, so I went out to get a few things for our girl’s evening in our flat. I got some candles and a cute holder from Primark for £4 and got some stuff to make friendship bracelets at Tiger for £5.50.

I also received a grad job offer so to celebrate bought myself an Arctic Monkeys vinyl I had been wanting for ages for £15!

Total: £24.50

Day four

On Thursday I went to a friend’s house for lunch which was really nice and chill. I bought her some tulips to say thank you which cost me £3.50. Then I was in uni until 6pm and Old College quad looked super pretty when I came out so I didn’t mind too much!

Old College quad in the dark

Old College quad

After class I went to the pub with some friends for a few drinks as I don’t have uni on Friday. We went to Southsider which is a bit of an old man pub but has student pints for £3 so it’s definitely worth it.

Total: £9.50

Day five

Today was a work catch up day, as I’d had quite a busy week. I’m working on a dissertation, so I had loads of reading to do! I often like to work in the uni’s spaces as you can stay there as long as you want and they’re free. I really like working at the top of 50 George Square as the view over the crags is really pretty and gives me less FOMO at being inside studying all day.

Later in the day I went to an improv show at Bedlam Theatre which cost me £6. The show was really fun and quite different from what I’d expected. I would really recommend Bedlam to anyone wanting to see any type of theatre as it’s a lot more accessible than many of the others in Edinburgh. Afterwards we went for a few drinks as it was Friday and I had a nice catch up with a friend. We went to Doctors and my pint was £4.86 and after headed to Banshees where my pint was £4.70. It was quite expensive, but you don’t get to go out often in fourth year, so I think it is important to have some social time as well as studying!

Total: £15.56

Day six

After Friday I wanted a bit of a reset day so I got the train to North Berwick for a sea swim and beachcomb. I love beachcombing and North Berwick is a great place to find old pieces of pottery which I turn into earrings and necklaces. The train cost me £5.30 and I got some soup at the Sealife Cafe after swimming, so I didn’t freeze, for £3.

I try to get as much work as possible done in the week so I can have slower days like this and really find it helps keep me motivated. I forgot to take any photos but here’s one of a recent visit to Queensferry.

Total: £8.30 

A tin of sea glass on Queensferry beach

Beachcombing finds at Queensferry

Day seven

Sunday is always a catch-up day for me so I didn’t do much. I went on a little study break to look in the charity shops on Lothian Road but didn’t find anything I liked so I had another no spend day. I am very lucky that my flat is pretty central so I can get to most places within a 15 to 20 minute walk.

I also received a rent rebate on this day for £100 as I had a leak in my wall, so although the leak was annoying, I didn’t mind it too much!

Total: £0 


Weekly total: £76.84

Other costs

Rent: £550 per week.

Utilities: £35 per week.

Internet: £11 per week.

Savings: £15 per week.

Related links

Chat with Abi on Unibuddy

Other studying and living costs

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