4 Ways to Treat Yourself- Without Blowing Your Budget

I've been facing a bit of a conundrum in my life lately. I want to incentivize my good study habits, but as we near the end of the academic year my bank about is beginning to dwindle away quicker than I anticipated. Maybe you're facing a similar problem to me, or maybe you're just done with your exams and you're bored out of your mind since all your friends want to do is hole up in the library.

There's no way around it: "having fun" usually implies spending a lot of cash. Whether it's a couple of cocktails with girlfriends at your favorite bar, a trip to the movies complete with popcorn and candy, or a shopping spree on the High Street.

But having fun doesn't have to include money. And now that I have to manage two bank accounts, schoolwork, and my sanity I've learned how to enjoy myself without feeling too much money-related guilt afterwards.

So before I share these tips with you today, I also wanted to share this tool with you from Personal Capital which allows you to manage your money and sync up all your accounts in one place.

Now, onto the money-saving tips!

Explore free museums and galleries in your city // How many times have you passed by a museum in your city without giving it a second thought? Newsflash: a lot of those museums are free! Spend half a day soaking up some culture at a natural history museum or art gallery without spending a dime (except if you want to make a small donation- which I would definitely encourage). And it's not just your run-of-the-mill museums that offer free entry, a lot of more off the beaten path historical sites and gardens offer free entry too!

My favorite free museums in Edinburgh include: The National Galleries // The National Museum of Scotland // The Royal Botanic Gardens // The Writer's Museum (I haven't been yet but it's on my list!)

The National Museum of Scotland is always a must!

Shop second-hand // Up until this year, I've always been a skeptic when it comes to second-hand stores. Someone else's clothes? Pass. But ever since I started snooping around Nicholson Street's endless rows of charity shops (and even ended up volunteering in one a few months ago!) I've had a change of heart. It isn't hard to get some really good steals if you're a selective shopper. Think about how used the item looks, what brand it is (I've found some L.K. Bennett before- seriously), and if you'll actually wear it. Charity shops aren't just for clothes though! You can also find cutesy teacups and half-price cookbooks.

Take advantage of student deals at restaurants // Think of your Student ID like a members-only club card that gets you into all the best restaurants for a fraction of the price. Most places in a student-filled city like Edinburgh have discounts dedicated to us ramen-dependent young people. So don't be afraid take advantage! Even if there isn't a student discount on offer, you're bound to find deals for certain times/days of the week if you do some digging online.

My favorite places in Edinburgh that will hook you up with a discount (student or not) are:

The Treehouse cafe for 15% if you flash that ID. Serving up fluffy pancakes, beautifully cooked eggs, and strong coffee, this will be your new favorite brunch spot.

Montpeliers for cheap wine, beer, and cocktails on the weekdays, plus discounted burgers on Wednesdays. Trust me, the cocktails here are dang good.

TriBeCa for 50% off all food on Tuesday's if you're a student. The food is solid, but the milkshakes are insanely good. And 50% off? I don't think you can beat that!

Nutella-smothered pancakes from the Treehouse Cafe. Does it get much better than this?

Cook up a fancy meal instead of going out // Put down the pasta. You know the one- the same kind you make every night. Instead, pick up a cookbook (or pull up BBC Good Food on your phone) and challenge yourself to make a totally-new-to-you recipe. You'll end up spending half of what you normally spend at a restaurant. And now you can spend that other half on a nice bottle of wine. If you're feeling extra ambitious, try whipping up a decadent dessert, like my personal favorite Nigella's molten chocolate babycakes. I promise it will still be instagram-worthy.

Homemade Spanish tapas and (many) glasses of sparkling rosé. 

And, with that, I encourage you all to "Treat yo self" this exam season (did you really think I could get through this post without using the gif?)


  1. I love this post - even though I am in full-time work, I am saving for a house so trying to treat myself without spending all my savings is hard. I'm going to check out some museums - great idea, it will feel like a day out without spending much at all.

    Suitcase and Sandals Blog XX

    1. Thank you Hannah! I think it's always the little things that really add up when you're trying to save money! Good luck with saving up for a house :)

      Leda xx

  2. being budget minded is the key and these waffles!!! What budget!!

    1. Those waffles are literally heaven!! Thanks for the comment!

      Leda xx


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