The meagre millionaire’s Freshers’ Week

How to live like a king without breaking the bank

There are two rules of Freshers’ Week:

1) Don’t spend your entire maintenance loan on booze.

2) Don’t spend your safety net overdraft all in one go.

If you flaunt either rule, the rest of the year will suck. Spend ten minutes splitting up your budget into essential spends before freshers’ week kicks off.

  • Food £50
  • Party time £30
  • Taxi £39
  • Alcohol £40
  • Clubs & societies £20
  • Emergency funds £10
  • Coffee fund £10

In Freshers’ Week, you’ve decided to spend £83 from the maintenance loan, plus dip into your £600 0% overdraft for an extra £127. Your total budget for the week is £210, here’s how to spend it wisely and live like a king in your first week away from home.

Food £50

Bagsy a draw in the freezer and do the food shop as a first port of call. Stock up on dried goods with an aim to use them over 12 weeks. You may want to invest in coffee, 100 tea bags, tins of tomatoes, beans (kidney and broad, rather than Heinz), big bags of pasta, bread, pesto, frozen fish (and any meat from the frozen aisle), sweet chilli sauce, packet spices and olive oil. When it comes to eating fresh, try foods that immediately give you energy and fill your tummy, such as eggs, spinach, chicken, turkey and peanut butter.

Taxi! £39

If you travel two miles in a cab every day at around midnight, it’ll set you back by about £6.50, depending on your location. Between four of you, the cost plummets to £1.60 each so it makes sense to travel in numbers, if you can! Use Your Taxi Meter to budget more accurately for your area, or even hail an Uber if the service is in your university city.

Coffee fund £10

Don’t feel guilty about grabbing a latte with new course buddies. As well as expanding your social circle, learning also happens in down-time when you’re reflecting on lectures and tutorials retrospectively. Remember to pick up loyalty cards that pay back with free drinks later on, and indie coffee chains have these offers too. If it’s not obvious, don’t be afraid to ask.

Alcohol £30

Off-brand ‘prinks’ (pre-drinks) will save you a fortune! At Morrison’s, own brand vodka is £10.43 for 1 litre, so you could get three to see you through the week and avoid the bar tab. Goes without saying, drink them responsibly!

Emergency funds £10

Forgotten the frying pan? Get on Freecycle and see what you can find, but remember to chat to your housemates. Someone may have brought a spare, be happy to share, or feel passionately about the sharing economy.

Party time £30

Your Student Union may offer a wristband that unlocks every party all week, and they’re super affordable. Snap one up before they’re all gone.

Clubs and societies £20

Make discerning choices that you can really commit to. Remember there’s usually a cooling off period after you sign up, so if you have second thoughts about the rowing club timetable, get in touch double quick for a refund.

Total spend: £199

Remaining for the rest of this term: £917 (that’s £83 a week, but don’t forget there’s £473 left in your overdraft contingency fund to spread over the rest of the year, too).

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