Linda Kelly

Originally from Mayo, but now living in Dublin in New Mill Student Accommodation near St Patrick’s Cathedral, I’m a third year medical student in RCSI.

I work as an online data analyst for an IT company when I’m not on the wards or in the library studying. I’ve worked in this job for about one year; it’s super-handy because as it is purely online work, meaning that I can take my work with me even on peripheral placement. Furthermore, the hours are flexible and self-determined, so I choose my working hours to fit with my life as a medical student.

I’m quite a fan of eating out with friends and will never say no to an invitation to dinner; however, I’m conscious of the fact that these bills can add up quite quickly, so I try and cook at home as often as possible.

This week, as many of my friends in second year will soon be flying home, we’ve arranged quite a few activities to make the most of our remaining time together. I’m also on research placement in Beaumont Hospital and will be travelling to and from there by bus.

  • Programme: Medicine (Year 3)
  • Living quarters: Mill Street, Dublin 8
  • Part-time job: Online Data Analyst
  • Salary: €12 per hour

Monthly expenses

Rent: €1,000 for my single en suite room in a five-bed apartment.

Number of housemates: Four.

Transport: Because the third year curriculum is so varied, transport expenses vary on a week-by-week basis. This week I have to travel to Beaumont Hospital most days for my student selected research project, which is easily accessible by bus. However, when I’m scheduled to be on campus in RCSI, I walk to campus. I typically spend about €50 using my student Leap Card when I need to catch public transport to hospital/research placement.

Household bills: None, as they’re all included in the rent. 

Phone bill: €15 for unlimited calls, texts and data.

Groceries: I tend to eat breakfast and dinner at home and bring a pre-packed lunch to college/placement each day. This allows me to cut down on expenses from dining out and buying food, so I usually do a pretty large grocery shop each week probably totalling €120 per month

Subscriptions: €5 per month on an online medical question bank platform (QuesMed). I use my family’s Netflix and Spotify account.

Budget breakdown

  • 9am: As it's Bank Holiday Monday we have the day off from placement and lectures, so I decide to treat myself with a lie-in before hitting the gym.
  • 11am: After showering and eating breakfast, I make my way to the RCSI Library, but not before making a cheeky pit-stop at the local Dunnes Stores to pick up a protein bar and Diet Coke (€5).
  • 2pm: Lunch time – I’ve packed a sandwich to eat on the infamous RCSI 'blouches' (blue couches) with my friends, meaning that I don’t have to fork out (pardon the pun) on the RCSI restaurant food, even though it’s absolutely delicious! 
  • 5pm: My friends and I have booked to have dinner in an 'All You Can Eat' buffet (€21). It’s quite a lot to spend on a single meal, but, trust me, when I say I make sure to get my money’s worth!

Total: €26

  • 10am: This morning I’m on my way to Beaumont Hospital as part of my student selected research project. I have to take the bus there, so I top-up my student Leap Card by €20.
  • 1pm: After last night’s food overload, I forgot to pack my lunch, so I decide to buy lunch in the restaurant of RCSI’s Smurfit Building. I get a freshly made wrap and Diet Coke (€6.50).
  • 5pm: After finishing a long day of research, I get the bus back to my apartment (€2.30). I make a stop at Dunnes Stores to get ingredients for dinner (€7.00).
  • 8pm: After making dinner, myself and my flatmates decide to have a movie night in. We run to the neighbouring Spar convenience store and buy some popcorn to munch on throughout the movie (€3).

Total: €38.80

  • 9am: Today I’m back in Beaumont Hospital. I catch the bus (€1) on Eden Quay and prepare myself for another exciting day of research.
  • 1pm: I’ve brought my lunch with me today, so I don’t need to pay for lunch in the hospital restaurant. I meet some of my friends who are on clinical rotations in Beaumont Hospital and we sit together in the student lounge and chat. 
  • 5pm: This evening, I decide to head to my friend’s house for a barbecue. I don’t drink alcohol – not the greatest wine connoisseur – so instead I buy a crate of Diet Coke (€7.50), as well as some chocolates (€10) to bring to his house.
  • 11pm: My friends and I stay pretty late at the barbecue, losing track of time while enjoying the fresh summer night. We decide to get a taxi home and split the cost (€5).

Total: €23.50

  • 9am: My final day in Beaumont Hospital this week begins with me rushing to, and almost missing, the bus – still exhausted after last night’s antics (€1).
  • 1pm: My research for the day finishes earlier than usually, so I decide to walk home instead of catching the bus. It’s a bit of a trek, but every step counts, or so the RCSI gym keep telling me!
  • 5pm: After a quick bite to eat and a few hours’ work in the library, my friends text me to tell me that they’re heading out to a table quiz in the local pub. I don’t frequent the pub too often, but I can never say no to a quiz!

Total: €9

  • 9am: I have the day off research placement to conduct self-directed research work and study. I head to the RCSI gym for an intensive session and then to the RCSI Library to try and make the most of my day off.
  • 1pm: It’s lunch time, and – although I have packed a sandwich for myself which I quickly devour – given the amazing weather, my friends and I decide to go for ice cream, so I buy a cone with two scoops of chocolate and strawberry gelato (€5).
  • 5pm: After another few hours’ work in the library, I finally decide to pack it in. My friends suggest heading to the local pub for a celebratory drink considering our successful day’s work. Despite the recent visit, I go for yet another enjoyable night with the gang.
  • 9pm: I try to head to bed early, but not before buying a book on my Kindle (€4.99). I love reading and having a Kindle means that I can buy any book in an easy or frictionless manner.

Total: €12.99

  • 9am: This morning I wake up refreshed and ready for the weekend. We, uncharacteristically, headed home early last night so after a much-needed long night of sleep, I head to the library. On the way I pick up a few of my favourite study snacks: a pack of grapes and pineapple chunks (€5).
  • 5pm: This evening, my friends and I have a special activity planned: from countless hours scrolling through Instagram, we found an advert for Dublin Wax Museum’s new Murder Mystery Night' (€20). I won’t spoil the details, but it turns out to be a fantastic bonding experience filled with plenty of surprises and fun! 
  • 7pm: After two hours of the best fun at the Wax Museum, my friends and I head back to my apartment where we decide to order a few pizzas and split the cost equally between ourselves (€7). There are so many amazing pizza restaurants in Dublin, but by far the crown of 'Dublin’s Best Pizza Outlet' has to go to Dublin Pizza Company – definitely worth a visit.

Total: €32

  • 9am: This morning, after a quick gym session, I decide to head to the library. On the way, I meet with my friend who tells me about a fundraiser that she’s doing, so I make a small donation (€10) to a very worthy cause.
  • 1pm: With end of year exams rapidly approaching, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the library (as you can tell!). Feeling suitably exhausted, my friends and I decide to take a well-deserved break from the daily stresses of studying by heading to my absolute favourite restaurant in all of Dublin, Mad Egg. They do the most amazing chicken burgers that you’ll ever have the privilege to taste. I get my favourite burger and a portion of chicken salt fries and spend a relaxing hour conversing with my friends and forgetting about the worries of medicine!
  • 5pm: Feeling exhausted after a long day in the library, and still feeling full from lunch, I decide to pop in my Airpods, load up a podcast and go for a walk around Merrion Square. It’s a beautiful part of the city and one of my favourite areas for an evening stroll.
  • 7pm: After a filling lunch out, I decide to stay home for dinner. I grab a couple of groceries on the walk home (€7) and cook a delicious sweet chilli chicken stir-fry with noodles. It’s one of my favourite meals and can be repurposed into a handy lunch for the following day if you’re looking for inspiration.
  • 10pm: I head to bed fairly early to prepare for the next jam-packed week of research, study and food.

Total: €32.90