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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

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Spending Diaries: Undergraduate Placement Student

 

Every two months Money for Life is teaming up with a young person and publishing their Spending Diary written over a week, tracking their spendings and sharing their money and budgeting tips and tricks.

 

About Me

Job: Undergraduate Placement Student

Age: 19

Location: Leicester

Salary: £13,000

Weekly or monthly paycheck amount: £1000 monthly (after tax)

Parents: £100

Living conditions: Private Halls with 13 others

 

Monthly Expenses

Rent: £455

Deposit for student house (one-off): £250

 

Any Loan payments: Currently none!

Groceries: £80

Utilities: £10

Bus: £73

Phone bill: £10

Savings? These are minimal, but I try to put a little bit away each month as I’m hoping to pass my driving test soon and then I can buy a car!

Spotify Premium: £4.99 – If you’re a student, you can also get this rate. It’s a bargain and can save you some money as the standard price is £9.99 per month.

Total: £882.99

Note: I will not be paid in June, due to starting close to the pay date and therefore will be paid from the middle of July.

 

Sunday:

9.30am – I woke up ready to take my belongings back to Leicester from Norfolk, ready to begin my placement year on Monday!

11.30am – We started the two-and-a-half-hour journey in the car to the city.

1pm – Coffee break time and time to book my driving test.

4pm – To make sure I was ready for the week ahead, I did a quick food shop at Aldi. This was more expensive than my usual shop as I stocked up on key ingredients and I got a couple of treats like an Angel Cake and some Sweet Chilli Thins. Overall it cost around £45.

7pm – I had a limited amount of time to cook as I wanted to be prepared for the week ahead, so I popped a pizza in the oven from Aldi – much cheaper than an actual takeaway!

10pm – An early start calls for an early night.

Sunday spending: £122

 

Monday:

6am –  …and it’s the first day of my placement year… eek! I made a packed lunch consisting of sandwiches, grapes and crisps to save worrying about not having any food all day.

8:30am – I’m introduced to the team, given a rundown on the basics and an office/warehouse tour.

5pm – A lot of information later, my first day of work is complete! Looking forward to the rest of the week and all that it entails.

Monday spending: £0

 

Tuesday:

8:30am – This was my second day in the office, so I made sure I had a packed lunch once again. Luckily for me I work on an industrial estate, so there’s really not many places to buy food apart from a food van here and there!

Tuesday spending: £0

 

Wednesday:

7am – My alarm wakes me up for breakfast – I can’t go wrong with some toast as it’s definitely cheap and cheerful (well, as exciting as it can be!). Usually I would leave my flat around this time but I’ve been given some tasks to do at home this morning, so a little bit of lay in was required (in my opinion!).

8.30am – I’m learning about the different components which make up a bathroom – who knew there was so much to know! This e-learning and research was definitely a must!

12pm – It’s lunchtime – I cook a large portion of pasta to keep me going for the rest of the afternoon, as I know I won’t eat until quite late.

2pm – Trains, trains, trains and it’s off to London I go ready for an early training session tomorrow (expensed to work!).

5:30pm – I check into the hotel by the Thames and have some time to relax.

7:30pm – Drinks at the hotel bar, followed by a lovely meal of Vegetable Soup and Chicken Tikka Masala, expensed, so that’s dinner sorted.

Wednesday spending: £0

 

Thursday:

8am – Breakfast is served. I ordered a cheese omelette for breakfast, and grabbed a cup of tea and croissant too.

9:30am – We have to catch a cab to the Gallery, ready to start training at 10am.

10am – The training starts, and we learn more about Laufen as a brand.

1pm – Lunch is laid on and there’s lots of sandwiches.

3:30pm – Calls for the end of the training, time to head home.

7pm – I am finally back in Leicester after a tiring few days in London. I pop some Spaghetti Bolognese leftovers in the microwave and it made for the perfect quick meal, as I had little energy to cook something from scratch.

Thursday spending: £0

 

Friday:

8:30am – I reached the office and soon realised it was dress-down Friday, and with that also meant there was an office hot lunch order from the food trucks. I decided to opt-out of this food this time around as I hadn’t quite got the change this week.

9:30am – I was given a more thorough run through of the roles of others in my department and the responsibilities we all had.

6:20pm – I resisted a McDonald’s takeaway on my way home and that’s quite hard to do considering I have little choice but to walk past it to get back to my flat in the city centre. Very pleased with my will power!

6:30pm – I opted for fish fingers, chips, and vegetables. Two benefits here: firstly, it’s a lot healthier with a lot less oil and fat and secondly, it’s a fair bit cheaper and this way I can save for nicer meals and treats in the long term with friends and family.

8pm – Definitely time to sit down and relax. I turn on my laptop to watch something on BBC iPlayer.

10:30pm – It’s been a long but exciting first week in placement with lots to take in. Now it’s time to get some well-earned rest.

Friday spending: £0

 

Saturday:

10am – I’ve woken up later as the rest of the week tired me out! It’s not surprising with the sheer amount of information I’ve had to take in, but it’s been really exciting too!

12 midday – I attempted to make a mug of Mac and Cheese in the microwave in approximately 5 minutes. If you want to try it, you can view the recipe here. Soon after I went to have a cuppa with one of my friends at a local coffee shop. I’ll admit the hot chocolate I had wasn’t the cheapest I’ve ever had, it was £3.50. But to justify, it was pink with cream, marshmallows, smarties and chocolate…mmm.

2pm – I went to my friend’s flat and we played Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit on the Xbox. A great way to have fun and save money!

4:30pm – Popping to the supermarket seemed like the best plan as I needed to use my bananas. I bought a loaf tin, some butter, eggs and caster sugar ready to make some banana bread for the rest of the afternoon.

7pm – I made toad in the hole in my new loaf tin and then put the leftovers in the fridge for a quick meal on Monday night.  In terms of the banana bread, the verdict was that it was the best banana bread they’d tasted – I’d say that wasn’t half bad for my first try!

Saturday spending: £13

Overall weekly spend: £135

 

 

Watch out for the next Spending Diary coming out soon. 

Are you interested in writing a Spending Diary?

Get in touch with veronika.hofmann@ukyouth.org 

 

 

 

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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.