We all enjoy a drink or food, probably both. So when you order your first double, the reaction will be as follows. “Oh no, just the one…wait – how much?!”
The pain will be intense. You will feel it in two places – your head the morning after (because despite the “only one” philosophy we all attempt, it never lasts) and your wallet – because you will pay you never thought possible because hey, that’s London.
- Anger & Bargaining
The initial shock and pain will wear off. Maybe anger is too strong a word, but you will be significantly p***** off at the prices you pay – and your friends seem to be able to afford it, despite the fact you’re pretty sure you have the same amount of student loan. You’ll start to think “If they can afford it, surely I can?” and then the “Well if I have a night out tonight, don’t buy food tomorrow and then stay in on Thursday, I should just be able to afford to breathe.” Bargaining with the budget never works.
Boom, freshers’ is over. Monday’s Calling is, well, calling and you just can’t bring yourself to abuse your card anymore. “No, I’m fine – going to stay in.” is what you text to your friends – which is all grand until it’s half 11 and your film marathon is over and the duvet is a little too hot.
- The upward turn
Here’s the thing – you will learn to have nights out on a budget, and it’s when you start to realise that actually your money hasn’t gone on alcohol, it’s gone on food from Budgen’s or the Village shop.
- Working through
Keep going! At this point, after you’ve sort of worked out a kind of feasible budget, everything you were previously horrified by thinking, “I cannot afford that!”, will start to look like a possibility. You’ll think of the theatre, eating out beyond Nando’s and, yes, even drinking out on the weekends.
- Acceptance and hope
So it’s the start of October. You’ve made it – you even start looking for jobs. The prices are just a thing now, but your friends have started going to happy hours. Maybe it won’t be that expensive after all? And remember, even if you can’t afford to go out – someone will be having a party in Pooley. Guaranteed.