What a Pittsburgh Student Spends During the School Week

I LOVE Refinery29’s Money Diaries series. Seriously, I’m obsessed. If you don’t know what that is, women from a variety of different socioeconomic backgrounds and salaries breakdown their weekly spending habits. As most of the diaries are from post-graduates, I’ve decided to do a collegiate take on the concept by tracking my spending during the school week.

Disclaimer: This article is 100% inspired by Refinery29.

Name: Katherine

Major: Media and Professional Communications

Age: 21

Occupation: full-time student, part-time intern (paid), part-time office assistant (paid)


9:10 Wake up for my 10 a.m. class. I contemplate skipping, but decide against it. Grab a latte and bagel at Starbucks while on the way to class. - $7.38

10:50 Class ends, and it was pointless. I head off to work (which is luckily in the same building). I’ve worked as a student office assistant for the past few semesters at school. It’s great - super flexible with times to fit your schedule.

2:00 Out of work! I just got the email my afternoon class was cancelled - sweet. I settled into the computer lab to do some homework, and eat on the pasta I brought for lunch.

2:30 I buy a coffee refill at the on-campus Starbucks. They have a great program where it’s only it costs less than a dollar to refill a reusable cup. - $ .99

5:20 I pack up my bag and head to a nearby Chinese place to pick-up dinner for later. I get fried rice and an egg roll. I then head off to my night class - it’s from six to ten.-  $10.11

7:30 During class break, I munch on my Chinese food and get a Venmo request for the gas from my roommate.- $11.78

10:00  Time to head home! No more spending happens today.


8:59 Woke up for my 9:30 a.m. class at 8:59. Whoops. Ran out the door without grabbing anything to eat.

12:15 Class just got out and I’m STARVING. I hustle home to make lunch quickly before a phone interview for a potential job next spring. Using my groceries, I make a quick sandwich. I just moved off campus this year, and having a kitchen has made me way better at not eating out for every meal (which I used to be guilty of). I try to make a cup of coffee, but realize my half and half has gone bad. Yuck.

1:30 Just wrapped up my and push open my laptop to start work for my internship. I’m interning remotely this semester for an organization downtown, and love the flexibility to work from home. However, it requires a lot of discipline and time management.

3:30 Done with my intern work for the day. I quickly change into gym clothing for my soccer game tonight, and pack my bag for my next class. I mobile order coffee and a pastry to pick up from Starbucks - $ 5.38

6:15 Done with class for the day. I head to a Panera to grab dinner with friends. I have a BOGO coupon, and split the cost with my friend. - $ 5.68

7:30 I settle in the library and do work before my soccer game. I have a six-page paper due tomorrow and am only a page in. Yikes. After working for a bit, I head up to the field.

11:30 Back home & showered. We lost (sad). Exhausted, I go to bed.


6:30 I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to work on my paper due later today.

8:30 Hungry (and tired of working), I make myself a cup of black coffee and a scramble for breakfast. I head to class.

11:00 Class is over! I grab a bagel for lunch from the coffee cart on campus before heading to work- $2.60

5:45 Today has flown by! After work, I headed off to my afternoon class. I’m now on my way to library and grab coffee on the way. I also pay my roommate’s venmo request for our electric bill while walking over to the library- $23.45

9:30 Freedom!  While tempted to buy food out, I head home and cook with the groceries I have in my house. No more spending today.


7:15 I wake up early to get work on an assignment due later today.

9:00 Heading out the door, I eat toast while walking to class. I stop at Rite-Aid on the way to pick-up candy to share with my classmates – today is Halloween! -  $5.20

12:15 Done with my first two classes of the day. I go to work and eat a salad that I packed last night.

3:00 Out of work for the day! I grab a venti iced latte from Starbucks and work on my intern project before my last class of the day. - $5.40

5:15 Done for the day! On my way home, I stop and pick up half and half. - $3.48

10:00 Halloween time! My friends and I dress up as the three blind mice. We head to a nearby bar where I buy one drink - $4.00

12:30 Some friends and I split a pizza before going home for the night, five ways. - $1.67


10:00 The whole usual morning routine. Getting ready quickly, I wolf down some cereal and pack snacks for work. Off I go!

12:15 At work, I eat some tortilla chips and carrots. I’m getting a catered lunch later today, so don’t want to fill up on anything too heavy.

2:00 Done with work for the day! I head over to my honor society event. We get a tour of a building on campus, and then have lunch on the 40th floor.

3:30 After the event, I go home to do some work for my internship. 

6:30 Done for the day! I put Grace & Frankie on the TV and start to cook dinner. I make chicken, pasta and vegetables. Looking through my fridge, I tell myself to go to the grocery store this weekend. 

9:30 Halloween isn’t quite over yet! My friend is having a party, so I’m super original and dress up like a cat. I head over to the party to spend time with my friends, and enjoy getting to check out everyone’s actually creative costumes.

12:00 My friend and I leave the party, and decide to get food instead of going to a bar with friends. We split a meal at a nearby late-night eats restaurant. - $5.78


My grand total for the school week was $92.90. Not too bad! A little higher than usual because my utilities were due this week, but completely manageable. Thanks for indulging my money diaries obsession by reading what I spend in a week, and I challenge all the readers of Her Campus Pitt to track their own expenses for a week.