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Articles > Money October, 10, 2016

Money Diary: Freshers Week On A Student Budget

October, 10, 2016

Michelle Tanuwidjaja Student Panel member. Member since September 2016.
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Hey, I’m Michelle and am in my first year of studying economics at Durham University. Here is a diary of everything I spent money on during Freshers week!

money diary pizza

Take a peek into a student’s budget on freshers week

Sunday (Daily Total: £88.43)
12PM – Move in day! After a tedious 3 hour train ride (ticket £36) from London I finally arrived at Stockton!

1PM – Went to Matalan to get pillows, sheets, bathroom and kitchen essentials  which all came to £33. Wasn’t the best prices but I didn’t want to sleep on a sheet-less bed (God knows who else has “slept” on it)

2PM – Had lunch at Burger King. £6 for a burger is ridiculous but it was the closest (and only) restaurant around.

6PM – We caved and ordered Domino’s for dinner. Did some mad couponing though (Thanks Durham Student Union!) and ended up paying £34.49 for 7 people (£4.93 each).

7.45PM – Luau Hawaiian Party! First party of this year’s Fresher’s Week.

9PM onwards – Drinks at the college bar. The price is okay; did some shots and had a few drinks for £8.50 all together.

Monday (Daily Total: £22.55)
9AM – Didn’t have any food in my fridge. Thank god there is a Sainsbury’s just across from my building. Got 5 bananas for 80p and a Nakd breakfast bar for 85p.

1PM – Had lunch in a shady food truck near our college. Can’t say much about the taste, but £2.40 for a double cheese burger and chips is not bad at all.

2PM – Went to town and did a little bit of shopping. Had to find shoes that I can ruin for the paint party next week. Found a pair in H&M for £4 with my UNIDAYS discount.

6PM – Learnt my lesson from the other night and didn’t want to buy expensive drinks from the bar, so we got wine from Sainsbury’s for £5.

8PM – It’s the night of Kings and Queens so we went pub crawling around Stockton. A gin and tonic was £4.50 (ridiculous!) and I had 3 fireball shots for £5.

Tuesday (Daily Total: £3.50)
9PM-11PM – Dragged myself to a lecture. Didn’t even have breakfast.

1PM – Too lazy to cook and honestly still haven’t bought proper food yet. Went to Sainsbury’s (again) to buy pasta for £3.50.

5PM – The first formal dinner. Yay for free food!

Wednesday (Daily Total: £11.80)
9PM – Matriculation Day! I’m officially becoming a member of the university. I had a banana for breakfast before heading to Durham for the procession.

11PM – We got coupons for free wine at Bill’s so we headed up there for lunch. Not exactly budget-friendly prices (£10.95) for a burger but we got free wine!

3PM – Headed back to Stockton after exploring Durham. Loving the free bus fare for Durham Students.

6PM – Wanted to cook something healthy for dinner but the thought of washing dishes afterwards is enough to put me off. Ended up having instant noodles for dinner (85p).

Thursday (Daily Total: £59.60)
9AM-11AM – Again with the early lecture. WHY.

12PM – Durham sweatshirts and hoodies were on sale (£60 marked down to £35), so I HAD to get them to be a legit Durham student.

2PM – My bag broke so I went to Topshop and got a new backpack for £23.60.

4PM – Went to Iceland to get a £1 frozen pizza for my late lunch (or early dinner).

Friday (Daily Total: £25)
9AM – My flat mate “lent” me a slice of bread so I had toast for breakfast. Plain because I haven’t bought Nutella either.

11AM – Went to Lidl’s to get just Nutella. Ended up with cereal, yoghurt, and more breakfast bars (£8.40 total).

12PM – Desperately needed more hangers. Went to Poundland and got hangers, knives, and a cutting board for £3 (cheap af).

1 PM – Went to the University Shop to get some stationary but it was too expensive, so I went back to Poundland and got everything I could possibly need for an entire year for £10.

2PM – There was a farmer’s market near the high street, I got a box of strawberries and a cauliflower for £3.60.

Saturday (Daily Total: £56.50)
12PM – Caved and got another Durham hoodie for £35. Not cheap at all but I had to grab it before the sale ends!

12.45PM – Went to Tesco to get water (55p) because I forgot my water bottle.

1PM – Had a very healthy lunch at Krispy Kreme. £4 for 2 donuts is not exactly inexpensive, but we can only have Krispy Kreme at Durham, so it was a one time thing.

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5.30PM – Found an Asian supermarket near the bus station! We decided to take the next bus and have dinner there. I hate spending £5.95 for an average tasting tom yam soup, but it was a taste of home, and you can’t exactly put a price on that!

8.45PM – Yet another Fresher’s Party! Got 4 bottles of cider at Sainsbury’s for £5 to pre-drink.

10PM – Dancing the night away and before I know it I had spent £6 on shots. It was the last night of Fresher’s Week though, so I guess a celebration is in order.

Grand total: £267.38 – Freshers week went by so quickly. The partying, grocery shopping, and drinking can be a little overwhelming, especially since it’s the first time I’ve been given the liberty of handling my own finances. All and all it was a week of good fun, a bit heavy in the pocket but considering that this is my first and last Freshers Week ever, I’d say it was worth it.


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  1. manoj
    November 21, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    someone Said It Right..SAVE MONEY NOW and MONEY WILL SAVE YOU LATER……

  2. Sam
    November 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Being a student makes you realise the worth of money, and what we take for granted everyday.

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