Money Matters: Bad Weeks

Illustrator: Mallaika Viswanath

‘Bad’ weeks might come around because of unexpected financial burdens or simply because I decide that I want a week of fun post- Prelims. So really, a ‘bad’ week for me, can sometimes be rather good. 

Budgeting and saving are things that are supposed to bring you less stress- not more. Being creative with how you spend (or don’t spend) your money should be something fun, whether you’re treating yourself to a meal out or saving up for future adventures. 

This particular week, I had just finished Prelims on the previous Friday and enjoyed all the celebrations that come with that, from jumping in the Cherwell to just doing things without the constant worry of exams weighing down on me. It was a fantastic week; full of laughter, good food and yes, a drink or two. 

The Bad Week 

Week 8 of Trinity Term 2019

Sunday 16th June

11.15am: After a lie in to help recover from my post-Prelims trip to Cambridge over the past two days, I met up with my parents who had come up to celebrate a sunny Father’s Day with me. 

12.15pm: We drove over to the Cherwell Boathouse, where my dad ordered a pitcher of Pimms larger than his head. We moved indoors for lunch, which while for my omnivorous dad was a real treat, for the rest of us vegetarians, was distinctly underwhelming. 

2.15pm: Then followed a tipsy attempt at punting – it was a haphazard affair. I had worn heeled boots so had to punt in my mismatched socks and there were a few arguments about technique after we kept getting stuck in the bushes (we were all chatting absolute shit). My sister kept us entertained with antics that threatened to end with all us soaking wet. 

5pm: After a nap, my internship team and I went to complete one of our fundraising challenges – taking photos in subfusc with tourists since we had passed a threshold in our online fundraiser. 

6.45pm: A friend had invited me earlier in the day to a choir formal at Jesus, so after some prosecco in the someone’s office , we had a great three course meal (£12). I spent the rest of the evening hanging out in Jesus’ underground bar, a very well made margarita in hand (£6). If you ever go, don’t forget to check out the UV room which is the most random but probably best thing I’ve seen in a college bar. 

Monday 17th June 

11am: After a long lie and breakfast in bed, I headed over to the GP to get a blood test. I was very low on Vitamin D earlier in the term and this test was to check whether my course of extra-strength vitamins worked (they did!). I still have to take a certain dose of Vitamin D everyday for the foreseeable future – perks of being a brown girl in England. 

2pm: I have no idea what happened in the intervening hours but at some point , I caught a train to Bicester Village (£2.50 return) with some friends, A and H, for some retail therapy. I think we went into nearly every shop trying on sunglasses and dresses far beyond our budget. I did however buy a few things – a new swimming costume from Reiss (£40) and a button-down from Ralph Lauren (£29.99). Afterwards we got crepes (£6.50) which were so good, but the chocolate leaked all over us. Washing our clothes in the Bicester Village bathroom sinks was a decidedly unglamorous way to end the afternoon. 

8pm: After dinner in Hall, a friend and I went to see the new Dark Phoenix film – disappointing in terms of plot but a good bit of escapism on a Monday night (£7.75 for both tickets).  

Tuesday 18th June 

9am: I spent the morning finishing up some admin for the end of term and returning books before heading to my last lecture of term at 11am. 

12.30pm: Spent the majority of the afternoon split between my room and the Masters Garden – planning the finer details of my trip to Brazil this summer and watching Happy Death Day 2. 

7.30pm: I met up with my friend, A and some of her family for dinner at the Giggling Squid – it was so lovely to catch up and the food was delicious. Top tip, make sure you get a curry not a noodle dish (her mother was kind enough to pay for dinner).

9.30pm: I went back with A to Exeter College to help her move most of her stuff out of her room and into the car. Luckily she lived close to the entrance and we had her brother to help out so it was done in no time! 

Wednesday 19th June 

10am: I went Skogen Kitchen for a catch up with a friend over hot chocolate and pastries. It was great to get to spend a bit of time together before the Long Vac (£5.17

11.30am: I dashed over to Pembroke for a briefing on the internship I was taking part in, covering general plans and logistics with the management team. 

12.30pm: I decided to drag my friend away from her PPE revision for a much needed break so we made the trek deep into Cowley to have lunch at Happy Friday Kitchen. We got two orders of cauliflower buffalo wings, loaded fries with BBQ jackfruit and to finish deep-fried cookie dough balls! I used a discount code from The Dealer app so it ended up being great value (£8.84). 

2pm: I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing with a book in the Botanical Gardens. 

5pm: I headed over to Westgate to help A pick out a new outfit whilst organising to meet another friend, M from home who was arriving on the train to come meet us there. After introducing my uni friends to M, we all played a round of mini-golf at the Junkyard Golf Club (£4

7pm: Afterwards, I gave M the key to my room and left her in the care of my friends for a while as I had a dinner with my Tutor and college course-mates at Pizza Pilgrims (my tutor paid). After a few drinks in Spoons with my course mates, I headed back to college to find M (£4). 

9pm: Wanting a quiet one-on-one catch up and still feeling the effects of all the stress of Prelims, we opted to skip Park End for a few cocktails at Freud. I knew M would love the atmosphere of the place and it was the perfect place to enjoying chatting in person rather than over the phone like usual (£14). We did end up having to sit outside on the steps and finishing our drinks in plastic cups as they closed early for no apparent reason! 

Thursday 20th June 

10am: Having finally finishing my interminable bag of granola for breakfast, I took M on a little tour of Oxford – showing her the Upper Library of the Christ Church Lib, the Bod and various other spots around town that I love. We of course stopped off for gelato at iScream in the Covered Market (£2.80) and ate it on the terraces of the Fellows Garden in Exeter College. 

12pm: We then grabbed lunch from Gloucester Green with another foodie friend of mine, taking back our various Indian curries, chips and vegan adobo style pulled pork (£5). I also made a mid-revision food delivery of some momos and a chaat to various friends – nothing like food to keep you motivated! 

2pm: After lunch, I adopted A’s little brother for the afternoon to take him and M punting. Luckily a couple friends joined to help get us somewhere; I, having taken on the logistical task of booking the punts (and since I’m actually shit at punting), chilled out with a couple of cocktail cans (£3) and let my friends figure it out. Turns out M knew more about technique than any of us and A’s little brother loved actually doing the punting so everything worked out in the end. We punted for way longer than expected so I ended up taking a business call in the middle of the river!

6.30pm: Following a well-deserved nap, M and I went to Turtle Bay for dinner and to take advantage of their two for one cocktail offer. The food was decent, the drinks were better (£14.45). On the way home we decided to go to Plush and get some shots; several jaeger bombs and tequila shots later we were on our way back (£9.50).

9.30pm: We got ready for a night out at Bridge and headed to pres in my mandatory clubbing jacket that ruins every look but has zipped pockets so I never lose my phone. 8th week Bridge as usually was heinously expensive (£13.30) but it was a decent night out and I only bought one rum and coke (£5).

Friday 21st June 

12pm: Tired and more than a tad hungover from the night before M and I didn’t get up until it was time to go meet some of our friends for lunch at George Street Social. My order of a veggie burger and chips got forgotten, so I got my mains whilst my friends were on dessert. But the staff are always great there, they were apologetic and comp-ed my food so I only had to pay for my dirty chai latte – not a bad deal in my book (£3).  

2pm: We went for a walk through Worcester College gardens and then I disappeared to attend Tutor’s Collections. I also popped out to topup my trashing supplies for a friend finishing her English Prelims (£1). 

5.30pm: We head over to outside Exam Schools to trash our friend J – M has a wonderful time throwing holi powder and getting the full trashing experience. Such a random tradition but one that I can’t imagine not doing now. 

7.10pm After getting cleaned up and finishing up the last of my packing, I take M for her first formal in the Christ Church Hall- as a fellow Harry Potter fan, she loved it! 

9pm: M and I got our summer themed Bop costumes on and headed out to Pres. This was SUCH a good night, ending with us spending the rest of the night chatting with J in her room until 5.30 in the morning (£3 – bop juice). 

Saturday 22nd June 

9am: On just 3.5 hours of sleep, we – with great effort – stumbled out of bed and collect together all my things. My dad and sister arrived half an hour later, abrasively loud and chipper whilst we donned sunglasses and barely spoke. Having finally got all my stuff in the boot after one mildly terrifying incident with a runaway trolley we headed to the Warwick University Open Day – just where you want to spend your day after a night like last night. 

We spent the entire day melting in the heat, trying to find quiet sofas to nap on whilst my sister attended various talks and fairs. We ran into some old friends working the Open Day, who immediately guessed why we looked rather worse for wear and after an excruciating five hours we finally drove home – air conditioning on full whack. 


Total Spent: £182.30