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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Money diaries – Andy

Edinburgh Castle
Reading Time: 4 minutes


Programme: Sport Policy, Management and International Development

Year of study: Masters year

Accommodation type: An en-suite room in University accommodation with public kitchen. Shared with four flatmates.

Part-time job: Student Ambassador

Day one

I had a lecture in the morning, so I made myself some toast and tea for breakfast. I usually bring some sandwiches and snacks from home for lunch and eat them in the library. In the afternoon, I had a tutorial session for an hour and then went to the student ambassador’s website to check if there were any jobs available. I got lucky and was assigned to help at an open day event on Saturday for six hours, which would pay me about £60. After that I took a bus to visit my friend, the bus ticket cost £2 for a single journey. For dinner, my friends cooked some pasta with tomato sauce and cheese, we really enjoyed it.

Total: £2

Day two

Today was a bit different. I had a meeting with my supervisor in the morning to discuss my dissertation proposal, so I did not have time for breakfast and decided to treat myself a nice breakfast at a cafe near campus. It cost me £6, but it was delicious. I had a croissant, a latte, and some fruit salad. The meeting went well as my supervisor was supportive, helpful and gave me some suggestions on how to improve my research question and methodology.

After that my friends and me went to climb Arthur’s Seat, a small mountain in the east of the city, for some exercise where we overlooked the whole beautiful city. In the evening, I went to the pub with some friends from my course. We had a few drinks and chatted about our studies and life in general. It was fun and relaxing. I spent £5 pounds on beer for the social drinks.

Total: £11

A view of Arthur's seat

A view of the crags in Holyrood Park, next to Arthur’s Seat

Day three

As I had another lecture at 10am, I repeated my routine from Monday with milk and toast for breakfast and brought sandwiches and snacks for lunch. After the lecture, I went to the library to work on my assignment. I stayed there until late afternoon and bought a cup of mint tea and chocolate bar as snack in the School cafe, which cost me £3.

For dinner, I made some Asian spicy noodles.

Total: £3

Day four

I didn’t have any classes today, so I slept in a bit and then did some reading for my coursework. After some cereal and milk for breakfast, I then went to Lidl to do some grocery shopping because the shop is not only cheap but also offers good quality food as well. Usually, I spend around £35 on food for the week, including bread, eggs, cheese, ham, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, and some snacks. I also bought Asian noodles which cost me £4. I came back home and made myself a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.

In the evening, I went to the gym with my friend and then we had pizza at a nearby Italian restaurant. It cost me £15 pounds.

Total: £54

Day five

Today was another free day for me, so I decided to catch up on some personal stuff. I did some laundry, cleaned my room, paid some bills online, and called my friends, After the call, I made myself some chicken noodles for lunch which I bought in my Lidl shop.

In the afternoon, I went to national museum of Scotland for special photography exhibitions, the tickets for students cost £7.50. I really enjoyed seeing so many wonderful photos and even inspired to took a nice sunset photo of Edinburgh Castle.

Total: £7.50

Edinburgh Castle during sunset

Edinburgh Castle

Day six

Today was the day of the open day event at the University. I had to be there at 10am, so I woke up early and had some coffee and cereal for breakfast. Then I walked to campus and met with the other student ambassadors. Our job was to welcome prospective students and their parents, show them around the campus and facilities, answer their questions about the courses and student life. It was a busy but rewarding day. We met a lot of interesting people from different backgrounds and countries who were interested in studying at Edinburgh and shared our experiences as current students. It was fun and informative. The event lasted until 4pm, and then we were paid £60 each for our work.

Total: £0

Day seven

Today was a relaxed day for me. I slept in until 12 noon and then had some brunch with the food I had left in the fridge. Then I decided to go for a run in the park. It was a sunny day, and the park was full of people enjoying the weather. It was a nice and peaceful scene. In the afternoon, my friends and I decided to visit the famous Edinburgh Castle to take nice photos, the ticket cost £15 per person, but we really enjoyed it!

Total: £15


That was my week as a master student in Edinburgh. It was a mix of studying, working, socialising, and relaxing. It was not too bad, considering that I also earned £60 from my part-time job. I think I managed my money well, but I also know that I could save more if I cut down on some unnecessary spending. Maybe next week I will try to do that.

Weekly total: £92.50


Other costs

Rent: £215 a week including all bills. I pay for it with my saving from previous full-time working.

Money earnt: £60

Related links

Chat with Andy on Unibuddy

Other studying and living costs

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