Graphic by Holly Jones
Living situation: Catered on-campus accommodation
Rent: $803.12 per fortnight
Monthly expenses: $75.80 (gym membership)
Employment: Hospitality worker
Income: $374.25; Youth Allowance ($445.37/fortnight); allowance from parents (mainly for rent and phone bills; $920/month)
It’s Sunday night as I write all this up, and I’m worried about the week ahead – I’ve got so many assignments due, regular classes, and required readings on top of that. Honestly, I don’t know if I really want to know the state of my bank account and spending habits.
Day 1: Monday April 23rd
9:20am I wake up 9:20am and lie in bed for 10 minutes pondering whether or not I really need to get up. Simultaneously, I decide that I am not going to make my first lecture.
1pm I finish class at Copland, but I’m so hungry I’m tempted to buy something despite the fact that I know there’s food at home. I have a stern Adult™ talk with myself and I don’t get anything. I walk back to my hall and have lunch there. Lunch is good today, which is rare. I have watermelon, rice, egg, vegetables and roasted pork.
3:35pm My friend and I watch my hall play a basketball game till 5. I go back to the hall and have dinner. Food is okay but I don’t eat much because I’m running late for work.
6pm I arrive at work and am on shift till 9:45pm. I’m feeling a bit hungry so I get a burger ($6.75). It’s half off because of my staff discount – the only perk of hospitality.
10:15pm I get home and aim to do SOME studying. My friend and I end up online shopping (again) and I get two dresses ($22.74 excluding shipping because shipping from the US is hard to calculate). No studying is done. Why am I like this? I resolve to get up early tomorrow and do some readings in the morning.
11:55pm Sleepy times!
Daily Total: $29.49
Day 2: Tuesday April 24th
In a stunning, never-seen-before turn of events, I do not, in fact, wake up early to do readings.
10:30am I’m ready to work for once in my life. I need to smash out two readings + notes in ~1.5 hours so I get a move on.
12pm I get close to finishing the first reading and get lunch (penne bolognaise, watermelon, and butter chicken)
12:30pm I go back to my room and finish the first reading and finish half the second reading before I leave for a 3-hour block of class for which I’m doing the readings.
2pm The 3-hour block starts and I already need a coffee because this is so boring.
3:10pm During my 5-minute break I get coffee because I’m about to lose my mind ($3.50)!
5pm I’m done! I head back to my hall and take a 20 minute nap. I don’t care if it is 200% unwarranted.
6pm I get some dinner and chuck it in a fridge so when I have some ready for when I come back after my friend and I leave for the gym for some Zumba!
8pm We go to Coles and I get some cereal and milk so I’ll eat breakfast for once and some mandarins because I’m living for mandarin season ($9.63).
8:45pm I get back to my hall and reheat my dinner. I eat slowly as my friend cooks her dinner.
10:05pm I’ve showered and decide to have a Brooklyn 99 and Gilmore Girls night because I’ve been feeling particularly tired. I buy some gummy bears and an ice-cream from my hall’s bar and settle in for the night. ($3.60).
Daily Total: $16.70
Day 3: Wednesday April 25th
8am I’m awake, but I roll around in bed for a little before I get up, get ready and have breakfast. I’m keen to try the cereal I got yesterday!
9:15am I’m running a little late but it’s because I got caught up reading a really interesting comment thread on ANU Schmidtposting. I check my bank account and my wages from work have come in! I transfer $100 to my savings account, bringing it to a nice round $3000. Stoked!
2pm Done with lunch, I’m back on the grind and I’m making some headway with the report I’m writing. I actually understand what’s going on!! This feeling is new, uncomfortable but vaguely pleasing.
5:30pm I break for dinner. It’s been an intense amount of reading and though I haven’t put pen to paper yet, I have enough information to start that after dinner.
8:30pm I head to my hall’s bar to get some ice-cream for a bit of brain food ($3.00). I remember there’s a pod meeting on at 9. Ugh.
12am My sister messages me desperately asking if I would buy some clothes for her. She’s underage so she needs my credit card. There goes $49. Technically not me though…
12:44am I’ve had enough of today and I am ready to pass out. I aim for an ambitious goal of 8:30am wakeup. We’ll see how everything goes.
Daily Total: $52 ($3 really…)
Day 4: Thursday April 26th
8:30am I’m awake but I don’t get out of bed till 8:45. I take a shower and eat cereal (what a good investment yum) and do a little more reading before I leave at 9:45 to watch a hockey game my hall is playing in on Willows.
11am I go to class at BPB and decide to skip my 2-hour lecture because Pop-up to Copland is now closed and honestly what’s the point.
1:40pm I’ve finished lunch and my friend and I book an optometrist appointment because we need eye tests and why not go together!
2pm I nap for 45 minutes. This is just who I am as a person. I used to feel ashamed writing down how often I nap but you know what? This is just how it is on this trash-fire of an earth. Or, according to the French, c’est la vie.
3pm I go talk to my tutor for one of my courses about an essay plan, then do more readings for this stupid report.
6:20pm Back to work – I’m almost done with the introduction of this lab report.
8:15pm I take a break and I go to our hall’s bar with my friend, who I haven’t seen all day on account of sickness. We get some snacks and a drink ($5).
10pm Okay, that’s a long enough break. I’m already starting to feel bad about it. There’s a lot of hubbub around as people get ready to go out on this crisp Thursday night. O Lab Report, Why Dost Thou Hinder Me So?
11:15pm Okay I’m tapping out. I managed to get another paragraph done. Was it enough? No. But when has uni work ever been enough?
Daily Total: $5
Day 5: Friday April 27th
8:30am I’m awake on time for once! Shame I have to leave for work in an hour. I get up, shower, eat breakfast and do some paperwork for work that I needed to do ages ago.
2pm I’m off work and I order lunch, half off again ($6.75). for the next hour, I finish off that paperwork. I need my manager’s signature but she’s busy and cranky so won’t give it to me. I’m stressed from not being able to finish the paperwork and also from the looming doom of my lab report but I eventually get it and submit it all. I am now certified in Hospitality! Woohoo!
3pm I was meant to go to the gym but I decide I’m too stressed. Instead, I go home and take a nap for an hour.
5pm I have dinner at my hall and start to get hyped for Big Night Out. I don’t really have the time to be going but I paid for those tickets so lord knows I will use them.
6:50pm We’re at BNO for the next 4 hours, listening to killer sets and trying to avoid getting trampled in the crowd (I am not a tall person). There’s a lot of smoke and weed and general unpleasantness so my friend and I chill near the food trucks and Red Frogs. I’m hungry by this point, so I get BBQ pulled pork and fries ($10). The rest of the night goes fine and we jam to more music.
1:45am I’m finally in bed and ready to sleep before my 7-hour shift tomorrow. I can barely get 7 hours in if I fall asleep right now. God, I love uni.
Daily Total: $16.75
Day 6: Saturday April 28th
8:30am I’m awake but don’t get up till 15 minutes later because I’m tired. Eventually I make it out of bed and get dressed for work at 12pm. Till then, I work on this stupid report.
12pm 7-hour shift? Leggo.
3pm I’m so tired and hungry again. I’m reaching my mid afternoon crash so my manager gives me my break and free food (because I’m working more than 5 hours) and I am stoked about it. I get a $4.50 chocolate milkshake to Treat Myself™.
7:30pm I get off work, staying back an extra half hour because we’re slammed, and walk home.
8:10pm I get back and my friend plated some dinner and kept it in her fridge for me (bless up!). I shower, grab dinner and warm it up. I got an episode of Gilmore Girls in. I am infuriated at this show and yet I continue watching. The power of trashy TV beguiles us all.
9:30pm I finish dinner and go up to the bar to get some lollies because I am a troll without an iota of self-control ($4.50). I head back to my room and listen to half a podcast I starred in. It was an interesting experience.
10:30pm I finally deign to start work again on this report and I actually make good headway till I read the textbook and there are 8 more things I have to add to my intro. I fling my hands up in despair and go the hell to sleep.
12:16am Goodnight, I am not ready for a new day.
Daily Total: $9.50
Day 7: Sunday April 29th
10am I wake up at 10 despite setting the alarm for 9am.
10:30am I continue work on my lab report, finishing the introduction and starting the results.
12pm I break for lunch. It’s not amazing today – rice, Bolognese sauce and broccoli so I make myself a ham and cheese wrap also.
12:30pm Back to work! I’ve got a mentoring session at 2 so I decide to take a bit of a break and watched a 20 minute episode of Aggeretsuko (would recommend 10/10 on Netflix). Then, I get back to working on this time sucking abyss of an essay.
4pm The mentoring session is officially over and I’ve done…not much. So, naturally, I reward myself with a 1.5-hour nap! This one was accidental though. The mid-afternoon crash gets me every time.
5:30pm I’m awake but I work for another hour before I go down to dinner. I’ve finished the results section and all that’s left is the discussion.
6:30pm I have dinner! There’s rice, some kind of meat (roast lambs, maybe?), vegetables and ice-cream.
7:30pm I head back to my room to grab my stuff before my friends and I find a study room to work in for the remainder of the night.
9pm I go to my hall’s bar and buy half a cup of gummy bears. Again, I am a gremlin with so little self-control it is shocking ($1.50).
11:30pm I’ve finished my discussion and now all that’s left is to format it and put a cover sheet on. It is deceptively difficult and I’m up till 1am doing it.
1:15am Goodnight, cruel world. The lab report is done and I can finally sleep peacefully for a night before I start stressing over my next assignment.
Daily Total: $1.50
Total Weekly Income: $826.94
Total Weekly Expenses: $560.95 + postage and handling
Most of my money went to online shopping which is rare, because I never really online shop (except for this week apparently) and to be fair, $49 is my sister’s stuff which I will eventually get back.
The biggest thing I’ve learnt from this week is how much I spend on unnecessary sugar and how much of my life I throw away napping. Granted, I’m not sure if any change will be forthcoming, but at least I am aware of it now and will feel an aching pit of disappointment every time I do either of the above. Also, how little I utilise my gym membership is disconcerting. I need to hit the gym more. In fact, I’ll do it tomorrow. #stopbeingagremlin2k18!