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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Money diaries – Mozamel

The Cameron Toll shopping centre exterior
Reading Time: 3 minutes


Programme: Chemical Engineering

Year of study: Third year

Accommodation type: Private flat shared with five flatmates

Part-time job: Student Ambassador

Day one

To begin, I carried out my bi weekly food shop at Aldi and picked up groceries I was low on like bread, milk and meats, for £18.20. I usually only have these big shops after university when I am headed home to save on time and have a schedule I can follow. Having essentials always stocked is a great way of relieving stress in the evenings since you’ll always have a cheap and easy meal to make for dinner. Furthermore, spacing out grocery shops across the week when there isn’t a car available means less luggage to carry making it more manageable.

Total: £18.20

Day two

This was laundry day and I ran out of laundry capsules so I had to buy more, £5.40. Capsules may be more expensive than powder but the convenience and simplicity in my opinion is worth it. I usually separate my laundry loads into a colder and warmer wash then with a tumble dryer I dry towels/delicates at a cold temperature for an hour. Doing laundry in private student accommodations can get quite expensive, a regular wash is £3.60 and using the dryer for an hour is £2.20 so making sure you get as much value from your money is important.

Total: £11.20

The University laundry room with washing machines

Washing machines in University accommodation

Day three

I didn’t really buy much on the third day but I couldn’t make my packed lunch from dinner the night before so I went to grab lunch at Cameron Toll, a shopping centre next to the Kings’ Buildings campus. It has a variety a business ranging from the Bank of Scotland to Sainsbury’s. Meal deals are a great way to save time and money on preparing food as it is one less meal to account for the day and there’s always a plethora of options and combinations. Mine cost £3.50.

Total: £3.50

Day four

I usually carry out the second shop of the week around this time and again it usually consists of staples like oats and nuts, however, I do spend some more money on snacks and condiments as it works out to be cheaper to buy in big stores rather than occasional trips to corner shops or small grocery stores. This shop cost £14.69.

I also went out for coffee in a local cafe to work on a group project with classmates which was out of ordinary but our group decided we wanted a change of scenery to work better. I got a coffee for £2.90.

Total: £17.59

Day five

I decided to go out with friends on day five, we went to 32under and enjoyed some food and drink, for £13, then headed to a friend’s flat. There are a lot of local bars and pubs around main campus that can be a bit pricey but there is usually a promotion that can help with costs. Buses are free for under 22s but we had to take the night bus and train to get to the flat which still didn’t add up to cost too much, but was £5.

Day total: £18

Day six

I like to go to the University Pleasance Sports and Gym Complex for bouldering during the weekends which I have to book in advance, and cost me £3.50. The classes and activities in the gym usually have a fee but it’s very affordable and there is a lot of value since the facilities are very good. After my gym session I like to grab some coffee from another local cafe for £2.90 and work on any courses that I am behind on.

Total: £6.40

Day seven

On day seven, I had a student ambassador shift doing a tour of the main campus so just ordered takeaway for lunch from the variety of small shops nearby, costing £8. Lastly, I went to the local Tesco Express and bought some kitchen bits we were running out of (dishwasher pods, kitchen roll, sponges). My share came to £3. My flatmates and I use Splitwise to evenly distribute costs for shared items but have a schedule to rotate who buys the items every week so it stays manageable.

Total: £11


Weekly total: £85.89

Other costs

Rent: £194 per week.

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