Money Diaries: College Student Edition


Rhianna is a sophomore at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA studying Forensic Science and Law. We asked her to record a money diary so we could peek into a college student’s wallet. Below, she shares her financial situation and how she spent last week.

The costs of my room and meal plan are currently factored into my tuition — I live on campus — so I’m lucky that that’s already taken care of. Other than occasional groceries and Uber charges, I don’t find myself blowing my money on much. I can’t really afford to randomly buy things for myself. That being said, I notice that most of my friends are more conservative with their money and are better at budgeting than I am, which is why I’d prefer to have more of a cushion. I spent all summer applying for jobs to make some extra money and didn’t receive any call backs. I’m still feeling that.

My biggest spending issue is with food. I’ve tried to cut back on eating out and ordering in and buying so much coffee. Those kinds of expenditures are coming out of waning birthday money, a lot of which took the form of Starbucks gift cards.

Here’s what I spent this week.


Today I went a little overboard. However, I tell myself it was necessary because it’s the Christmas season and I love buying people gifts. I also can’t help myself when it comes to overpriced coffee. It’s just so good.


Well, I’d say that today definitely made up for my overspending yesterday. And since I used up a gift card, did I really spend anything? 🙂


Today was a fairly cheap day. Along with cheap, it was also very boring. As you can see, the Starbucks on campus really does rule my life.


So I paid about seven extra dollars to have someone deliver Chipotle because the ten minute walk was just out of the question for me. But then, later in the day, I found myself walking to CVS. Nothing I do makes sense. Oops.

Also at CVS I just got some household supplies like cotton balls, pretty boring.


I was good today. The only thing I purchased was breakfast! Ending the week on a lighter and cheaper note. 🙂

Total spend: $159.13

Overall, I’m fairly proud of my spending this week. If I wasn’t purchasing Christmas gifts then most of my money would just be on food and drinks. But it was also a mild week in terms of other basics. I normally buy little things like gum and Chapstick and more and more food. It adds up quickly! I’ve never tracked my spending this way, and it was interesting.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive