Money Diaries 03: (badly) balancing university + work

Monday

I’m sitting in Blend with Charlotte when I announce that I shall be writing another money diary again. I’ve written a couple of these in the past, devour the Refinery29 ones and always look out for Kristabel putting up another on I Want You To Know so seeing as I’m trying super hard (as of about five minutes ago, being around Charlotte always inspires me to be less of a mess) to get back into blogging, tracking my finances for a week seemed a fun way to dive back in. 

If you caught up with my recent blog post all about what the fuck I’ve been up to of late then you’ll know I have begun to tackle my finances. I have a spreadsheet, I’ve got another current account, I’ve written down all my direct debits and whilst I am yet to magically save thousands of pounds, I’m not as terrified to check my bank account in case I’ve plunged back into my overdraft as I once was. 

So back to Blend. Paisley is strange but Blend is a nice wee haven of coffee and delicious sandwiches surrounded by a fake mosaic wall pattern and relaxing(ish) music in the bustle of weirdness that is Paisley. I’ve just inhaled a chorizo, mozzarella and sweet chilli sourdough toasted sandwich which was heavenly and a soy flat white (£7.15) as an early lunch as I’ve brought nothing with me and eating in here feels less guilty than going into Pret at 3.30pm this afternoon when I get off the train in Central. 

Prior to arriving in Paisley – a return journey off-peak costs me £4 – I had a Bare Minerals eye make-up appointment. My friend Cat introduced me to the wonders of Bare Minerals and a couple of weeks ago I became one of their skincare converts and booked in for an eye make-up appointment. I look pretty glam to be in Paisley and I’ve set myself back £39 on a new concealer and eyeliner. I’m trying to make more thoughtful purchases from now on and I’m sure spending this much on these pieces will make me less likely to say nah it doesn’t work anymore and popping out to buy another £8 one.

I stop in at the WH Smiths on Paisley’s high street on my way back to the station get postage supplies for the eBay parcels I need to post (£5.39) and I also grab an Adidas top from Shelter for £3.25. This is my last charity shop visit before November as I’m putting myself on a bit of a ban due to the sheer amount of time and money I’ve spent in them in September. I get the Subway back from St Enoch which means I have to top up my card again (£2) as I can’t be bothered to walk. 

I’ve just brought my car to Glasgow but I’m pretty nervous about driving in the city (I am nervous about everything) so Rachel accompanies me to big Tesco in Maryhill where we get rid of some cardboard at the recycling bins and I do a food shop for my friends coming for dinner on Thursday (£7.69). 

Total: £66.48

Tuesday

I cancelled my morning gym session the night before because I am a bit of a mess this week but am still almost late to work due to sleeping in. I’ve worn my new ASOS flats and get the subway but by the time I get to the office my feet are bleeding. I put my heels on which I’ve left there – you know things are bad when heels feel comfortable – but by lunchtime my feet are still being ripped apart so I fuck it and resolve to buying new flats from trusty Primark (£10 – I also bought some black ankle socks). 

I post my parcels in WH Smiths (£6) and buy some compeed plasters for my aching feet which come in at £3.46 as Superdrug have 20% student discount on when you have Unidays and a Beauty card. I treat myself to a Diet Coke and a Bakewell tart from the work cafe in the afternoon (£1.80) as my feet have never felt pain like it. 

Rachel and I complete another successful drive to Braehead this evening after work where I almost buy metal straws for £2.50 in Primark but decide I don’t need them as I never drink out of straws anyway. 

Total: £21.26

Wednesday

I am so nearly late to uni as I do not leave my flat at 7.30am like planned to walk to Central but instead get the subway at about 8.10am (another card top up – £5). I also forget my coffee on the counter but resist buying one. 

After uni – I also ate my packed pasta lunch at 11.30am – I get the train back (return journey was £5.80 – screw peak time) but not before stopping off at Greggs for my second lunch. It sets me back £3.25 for a sandwich, Diet Coke and vegan sausage roll as part of their student meal deal. I then drive (by myself) to big Tesco in the afternoon to pick up another food shop (£10.36) as I decide I absolutely must get my life together as of right now and meal prepping is involved so I pick up ingredients to make Bekah’s sweet potato and black bean chilli and some tofu kedgeree to use up some old tofu. 

My gym membership also renewed today (£65) which is all fun and games seeing as I haven’t been since yoga last Friday. I’ve cancelled every class as when my head gets a mess and I spiral and can’t really leave the house without wanting to cry that’s what I do. However, I confirm to the coach I will be showing face at the 7am class on Thursday morning – I have now meal prepped after all. 

Total: £89.41

Thursday

Today I’m in work again and I finally make it to my first gym class in a week in the morning. I’ve been feeling awful all week – dead anxious, on the verge of tears, extremely unorganised, massively lost, you know: the usual – but I get out of bed at 5.50am and drag myself there. 

I feel much better afterwards and there is also a dog in on the session. I get my coffee from Danny before heading off to work which saves me £££ (and is fucking delicious, god bless the Two Birds coffee machine) and eat my granola and yoghurt at work which also saves me £££ as I don’t buy a roll and sausage. 

Amanda buys me a Greggs vegan sausage roll at lunchtime so I owe her £1 but have no change to pay her back today. I’m eating my tofu kedgeree I made yesterday for lunch which is delicious and I am quite impressed with myself.

I stop in at Sainsbury’s on the way home for a large baguette and some garlic paste (£1.80) as I hate cutting and crushing garlic with a passion. Two of my friends are coming over for dinner tonight and it is the first time we’ve all been together in a while so I don’t want to show myself and my cooking skills up – I’m making gnocchi alla sorrentina (learnt how to make it in a cooking class when I went to Italy) with apple crumble for dessert. Also homemade thanks to my mum providing me with a tonne of apples at the weekend. 

My cooking – thankfully – goes to plan and we drank good wine and chatted about life and what we’ve all been up to. A very lovely wholesome evening and my hosting skills have definitely improved from last time. 

Total: £1.80 (plus the £1 I owe Amanda)

Friday

7am yoga at Two Birds feels like a mistake when my alarm goes off at 5.50am after two bottles of wine and lots of filling food the night before with Anya and Amanda. I drag myself out of bed, feel thankful I got my bag organised the night before, and head to the gym. The class is great (as always) with just me and one another girl there with Suzi the teacher – we all have a quick coffee afterwards and I then head off to Hyndland. 

I’m very pleased with myself that I committed to a full morning out as I definitely would not have had time to go home and pick up my laptop before meeting friends in Kitchenetta. I’m there early so start up with my laptop and order some food. We all hang out at the cafe with laptops until about 13, ordering different rounds of food and coffee – setting me back £7.75.

I’ve been browsing on Depop a lot recently thanks to the charity shop ban I have put myself on and decide to buy a rust borg jacket from £10. I’ve always wanted a borg jacket and I don’t own a rust coloured coat so this seems a perfect match. 

My early, busy start begins to run me down because I’m an old person so I head home, lie on the sofa and listen to a podcast before heading into town for my massage. I had some vouchers from a press event early in the summer (when I still sort of blogged lol) so I decided to finally use them this week and am booked in for a 4pm relaxation massage at The Spa at 200. Feel suitably refreshed upon leaving and proceed to head home to lie on the sofa watching The Jinx all night – stopping off at Tesco for some cake (£1.55) first. 

Total: £19.30

Saturday

After a really good night’s sleep, I head to Two Birds for the Saturday morning session and it is HARD. I leave, sweat literally pouring out of me, and walk home. I resist buying a bagel as I know I have the Warburtons thins in the freezer and settle down for a day of uni work, blogging and something on the TV. 

Gem of The Mother Cooker is now doing seasonal recipes with apples being the ingredient of the moment currently so I decide to head to big Tesco to purchase the missing spices I need for the chai mix in her Apple and Chai Loaf. This little food shop sets me back £9.07 and I then have to pop back into get batteries for my scales as whilst I’ll eyeball ingredients for recipes I’ve tried before, I don’t want to risk it when trying something new (£10). 

Back to the laptop on the sofa set-up where I sit for the rest of the day (bliss) and get a nice little notification of a sale on Depop so I’m up £6.17 once Depop takes there £0.68 seller fees. How come I never manage to sell anything on the days Depop voids their fees? 

Total: £19.75

Sunday

I go about my business on Sunday morning quite happily until I go to wash my face and realise the hot water is not working. I’m getting ready for my sister coming and check the boiler pressure to see it has sunk too low. Following the instructions in the boiler which I do not understand at all, I successfully raise the pressure again but the error code continues to appear and hot water doesn’t return – a fucking nightmare. 

I text a guy I find online and he tells me he can’t come until tomorrow afternoon which is fine but still, it’s gonna cost. I have a small cry about this and sulk for a bit before heading to the subway to meet my sister at Queen Street. I top-up my subway card (£5) as I know I’ll be using it a bit this week. 

Louise and I do some shopping in town where I buy two pairs of pants in Boux Avenue for £4 in the sale. I’m not really supposed to be buying new clothes but have recently come to conclusion most of my pants are too big and I should rectify that. We do some more shopping and I get lunch for us in Caffe Nero (£12.05) where we have a toasted sandwich and a Diet Coke each. 

We do a bit more shopping where Louise buys me some black sweatpants in Primark to pay me back and we get the subway home to watch a horror movie on Netflix (not my choice) and I go to Sainsbury’s to get some snacks (£6.09) before dinner later. 

At around 7pm we walk to Paesano for dinner which I pay for (£14) as Louise will get brunch tomorrow before coming back to the flat for some Bad Education and both in bed by 9.30pm. 

Total: £41.14

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