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Money Mentors: A day in the life of a Money Mentor

Callum Davies
MA International Affairs

08 March 2023

As part of National Student Money Week, Money Mentor Callum Davies explains how he reduces costs and makes small savings throughout the day.

6.45 - Wake up

Once I’m up and dressed, I make pasta with vegetables and tofu to take to uni.

It’s going to be a long day and I’ll want all the energy I can get. I even remember to pack a fork this time.

10.00 - Travel

My first class doesn’t start until 11.00 so I’m able to travel after peak train times end, when tickets are cheaper. I’ve paired my 16-25 Railcard with my Oyster card, which means I get a one third discount on off-peak travel. Using the handy TfL Oyster Card app, I can see the breakdown of my travel expenses: today’s journey cost £2.05.

On the train I listen to Spotify. It’s £5.99 a month for Student Premium membership. For me, it’s worth every penny as I listen to music every moment I can.

12.00 - Lunch

After class I’m hungry, so I head to The Vault Kitchen in Bush House with some course mates. I choose a baked potato with beans and salad. At £1.50, you just can’t beat that price for a substantial lunch.

I get an instant update on my phone from Monzo when I use my card. Recently I added the Monzo widget to the home screen of my phone so I can always see my current account balance, which helps me avoid over-spending.

13.00 - Study

I head to the Maughan library to spend a bit of time planning an essay and catch up on the news. King’s has a PressReader account, which means I can access the latest newspapers from around the world for free. I especially like their subscription to the Economist, which saves me £10 a month compared to the digital student membership option.

Before I leave, I request a book that I’ll need for my dissertation. The librarian agrees to buy it for the Maughan, which is £25 saved. Result!

15.30 - Activities

I meet a friend who’s visiting from Austria. I want to show them the Royal Courts of Justice, which is free to enter and five minutes away from Bush House. After getting my pasta fork temporarily confiscated at security (whoops), we spend 30 minutes walking around the building where live court cases are being held.

We walk the 40 minutes to Vauxhall to go climbing - it’s nice weather so we may as well save on transport costs. Enroute, I realise how hungry I am, so buy a sandwich at the closest shop. £3.90… quite dear but I’ll appreciate the energy when climbing over the next few hours.

Climbing costs £8.50 with my university membership. I use my own climbing shoes: because I climb a lot, buying is cheaper than renting.

20.00 - Pub Quiz

For dinner, I have the pasta I cooked this morning. Then I head to the nearest Weatherspoon's with my friends from the Climbing Society, where one of them has organised a pub quiz.

I get a free pint - the result of winning a climbing challenge wager with a friend - and then chose the cheapest ale later on for a second (£3.99).

At midnight, we walk back to Waterloo, where I grab the last train home (£2.05).

National Student Money Week Day 3

The Money Mentors and the Money & Housing Advice team will be available across our campuses this week, giving out top tips, support and fun freebies.

Wednesday 8 March, 11.00 – 15.00: Stall at New Hunt's House, Guy’s Campus and online

Find out how you can reduce your expenses and save your money during the cost of living crisis. Pick up a free money tin as well as tips to help you manage your money and stick to a budget.

You’re also invited to join a live online Q&A with the Money Mentors on Microsoft Teams from 15.00 – 16.00. Register through Eventbrite for the chance to ask them any questions related to the cost of living.