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Student Stories

Student Stories

Blogs and vlogs from students of the University of Edinburgh

Money diaries – Rachel

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Programme: LLB Law

Year of study: Third year

Accommodation type: Privately leased and shared between two people.

Day one

Normally every other week I tend to order a food delivery from Asda, this big food shop lasts two sometimes three weeks and allows me to order many ingredients in one go which makes meal plan for the days following easier. The delivery can be booked a day in advance (although the time slots may be full) and the cheapest delivery option is £1.50. As someone who loves sports and has a massive appetite it is very important to me to eat enough protein. Meal planning helps achieve this whilst keeping costs as low as possible. One of my favourite things to cook is beef lasagne, in which I make a big batch that can be split and frozen into five or six portions.

The food shops I would usually get are between £50 to £60, which averages out to £30 a week at maximum. This week was an alternative week for me which meant I did not spend that money this week.

Total: £0

The view of the pentlands from Holyrood park

The view of the Pentland Hills from Holyrood Park

Day two

This week I had to babysit for one of my family members in Perth, so I caught a train over once my classes were finished for the day. The train, however, cost £13 rather than £20 as at the start of my first year at University, I purchased a saver card from the company Trainline. This card is super useful to me as it discounts all Scotrail trains and to get home to the Northeast of Scotland, I use trains. When travelling around Edinburgh, young Scot cards provide free bus under the age of 22 and free trams for those with an Edinburgh address which is super useful.

Total: £13

Day three

As I was staying with a family member’s house all the food was free!! Another bonus was I used to do horse riding competitively but had to quit to attend university. Whilst visiting my family I was able to ride my old horse which was super fun and a good break from studying.

I did however book the ‘big weekend’ which is a Scottish trip with the Snowsports Society. The cost of this was £100 which includes the transport, a meal, ski passes and accommodation for a night. Snowsports is a very expensive hobby but by joining sports society it makes the sport more affordable and welcoming.

I love sports which can sometimes be expensive. By joining sports societies the cost of the sport themselves is reduced massively. Every Tuesday the club hold freestyle training at Hillend Snowsports Centre that is free for those with a membership, the usual cost of the slope is £13.50 with a student discount. The club also host events such as free weekly yoga and offer equipment hire all year round for team members.

Total: £100

Day four

Throughout the week I tend to do little shops to grab bits and pieces such as eggs. My go-to breakfast at the moment is brown bread, eggs, spinach, and cheese. The perfect post-workout breakfast to fuel a day of studying. I probably spend £10 to £15 grabbing small bits and buying a sweet treat or two. Today I got eggs, £1.50, Greek yogurt, £1.10, chicken breast, £3, three onions, £1.15, raspberries, £2, mini eggs, £1.50, and wholemeal pitta bread, 50p. This together cost £10.75.

My other costs for Thursday include my train back to Edinburgh, which was £13 again, and then I met my friends at night to go to the pub together for a pint, £6.25.

Total: £30

Day five

This Friday, I went out to a music gig at a local club called Sneaky Pete’s. This was a super fun way to end the working week and enter the weekend. Including tickets and a bottle of wine me and my friend shared, the evening cost around £20. We tend to avoid buying drinks at bars but rather have a glass of wine before heading out.

Total: £20


This week has been more expensive as I usually travel less and had a big one-off payment for the club. My food this week has been cheaper than usual.

Weekly total: £163

Snow covered mountains

The view from the last snowsport trip.

Other costs

Rent: £550 monthly

Internet and heating: £66.05 monthly

Utilities: full year Pleasance gym membership – £150, Sports Union membership £8.50, Snow sports general membership £25, Snowsports Freestyle team membership £100.

Savings: This week I had no savings due to the snowball bill but usually I aim to put £10 into my savings account weekly, this is usually achievable.

Sources of money  

I receive SAAS from the Scottish Government which gives a monthly installment of £600. My parents also transfer me money to pay my rent which is £610 monthly including all my bills.

Over summer I tend to get jobs which fund me over term- time with my parents also giving me £50 to spend as my weekly budget.

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