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skyy walker-davis (the writer)
skyy walker-davis (the writer)
Photo by Ryan Sharon
Career > Money

What I Spent In A Week As A Grad Student At Vanderbilt University

In Her Campus’ series Where’d My Money Go?, we’re taking a look at what one college student spends in a week on campus. In this piece, Skyy, a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, shares her weekly spending habits.

Originally hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, I’m an alumna of the University of Kentucky. I am currently living in Nashville, Tennessee, and attending Vanderbilt University working towards my Masters in Marketing. During my undergraduate years, I maintained a job consistently. However, due to the demanding nature of my current program and scheduling conflicts, I didn’t have an in-person job this semester. Instead, I focused on my internship with Her Campus Media as a Community Management Intern. Additionally, I manage a social media page and earn money from TikTok videos. Recognizing my value, I increased my rates this year, and I encourage others to do the same — trust me, it’s in their budget!

My internship offered a stipend, with the first half received midway through, and the second half recently. This prompted careful budgeting throughout the semester. Fortunately, my parents support me financially as long as I’m in school, providing flexibility. Saving is a top priority for me. In all honesty, a significant portion of my income goes toward food. With long breaks at school and convenient access to Cava, Chipotle, Panera, and Dunkin across the street, my funds disappear rapidly. Additionally, being in a long-distance relationship means commuting expenses for classes and alternating weekends with my boyfriend. Lastly, DoorDash has a tight grip on me — I tend to order in whenever faced with the smallest inconvenience.


view from airplane in flight
Photo by Skyy Walker-Davis

10:30 a.m.: When I woke up before church, I remembered my Canva Pro Subscription renewed. She’s necessary for both my internship and marketing classes, so I don’t mind. $12.99 

7:30 p.m.: I flew home from Charlotte. I had to go home because my little brother and cousins went to the State Championship for football, and won! I took an Uber from the airport back to my apartment. $21.49 

9 p.m.: I got a little hungry and initiated my first DoorDash transaction of the week. My little cousin goes to another college down the street from me, so I ordered for both of us. I tried to order from a new Chinese place she recommended, but I learned to stick to what I knew and ended up getting partial credits returned to my account. $37.65

Daily Total: $72.13


raising cane\'s to go box
Photo by Skyy Walker-Davis

11 a.m.: I started the day out trying a new coffee shop since I’m boycotting Starbucks and they impressed me! I got a white chocolate mocha latte made with oat milk. $5.41

7:15 p.m.: I went to get an end-of-semester massage at Massage Envy and the free street parking was full, so I had to park in the parking garage next door. Nashville is going to make sure they get every coin possible everywhere! $8.20

7:30 p.m.: Thank you to my mom! She had some credits she was generous enough to share with me, so I got a 90-minute massage for the freeski! I ended up tipping because my therapist did their big one. $10

9:15 p.m.: Since my second check from HCM hit, it was time to start getting Christmas gifts. I got my boyfriend some goodies (babe, if you’re reading this, no you’re not ❤️) and got them shipped home since I’ll be heading back there soon. $69.39

9:35 p.m.: I ended the night by pulling up to Cane’s for some good ol’ chicken tendies (extra crispy and butter on both sides of my toast, please!). Then I sat in the parking lot and threw down before heading home to call it a night. $11.24

Daily Total: $104.24


10 a.m.: I refilled my tank so I could hit the road to my boyfriend after our final class. I had about half a tank left so in girl math, I saved today, because it typically takes nearly $90 to fill it from empty. $50

12:45 p.m.: I went out for brunch with some friends from my program to commemorate the end of the semester at a new spot in Nash. I got a turkey sausage, egg, and cheese croissant, cheese grits, and hot cocoa. $22.77

Daily Total: $77.77


skyy walker-davis (the writer) at ice skating rink
Photo courtesy of Skyy Walker-Davis

2 p.m.: After driving back to Lexington, Kentucky, I linked up with a couple of my friends from undergrad. We were supposed to go ice skating but it was closed (heartbreak). Since I had already paid for parking, we decided to walk around and browse in Urban Outfitters to kill some time. $3

3 p.m.: We decided to get lunch and drinks to make up for ice skating and as another impromptu end-of-semester hoorah. Shoutout to Carson’s in Lexington; that place doesn’t miss. $39.98

Midnight: Late-night cravings hit and it’s that time of the month, so I needed something sweet STAT! I did a quick order from DashMart and got some peach gummies, Hot Tamales, and cinnamon rolls for breakfast the next day, and Buncha Crunch for my boyfriend, plus a tip. $14.86

Daily Total: $57.84


8 p.m.: I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store today, so I leaned on DoorDash again to drop some groceries on my doorstep. I ordered stuff to make tacos and stuff to make pizza. I added a tip too (and my tacos turned out amazing). $58.26

Daily Total: $58.26


Noon: Honestly, I don’t know what this Apple expense was for, but I just shrugged it off. $2.99

Daily Total: $2.99


coffeeshop counter and drinks
Photo by Skyy Walker-Davis

10:30 a.m.: I woke up in a coffee mood again, so I decided to try another local spot and it was a win! I went for an iced drink this time, still white chocolate, and decided to add a caramel swirl. I also bought a flaky almond croissant that was chef’s kiss. $6.89

Daily Total: $6.89

In conclusion… it’s December. This is the one month (besides my birthday month) when I anticipate the most money being spent. This was a little above average for me because I typically get HelloFresh and cook more during full school weeks, so that saves me a couple of bucks. But I’m not upset either! I know heading home for the holidays I’ll be able to save some more. Going into the new year, I plan to get strict with my savings goals again and hopefully, that will entail finding a job that aligns with my new schedule!

Skyy Walker-Davis

Vanderbilt '24

Originally hailing from Charlotte, NC, I am a recent graduate of The University of Kentucky, I am currently pursuing my Masters of Marketing at Vanderbilt University. Upon the completion of my program I plan to find a job where my creative capabilities will be able to flow freely. I have a passion for all things social media and outside of content creation on my own channels, I've run the pages of several people and companies and feel it is my sweet spot! I've been member of Her Campus for nearly two years now and love the intersections of all of my favorite things such as style, culture, and creativity.