Money Diaries is the regular R29 series where we tackle what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. Each week, we ask different women from around the UK to record their money spend – and think about how it makes them feel.
Today, in honour of Flying Solo, our week all about women travelling the world alone, we hear from a traveller who took a five-day solo trip to Jacksonville, Florida, with a mission in mind: to claim back the money her old university owed her....
"Hi, I'm 21 and from Buckinghamshire.
"I’m a full-time student, in my third year at university in London. Alongside this, I work in retail, which can be interesting but also very challenging! I live with my parents and I’m very happily in a relationship with my boyfriend. Earlier this year, I went to Jacksonville, Florida for five days, alone.
"See, a year earlier, I had attempted a semester abroad at university in Jacksonville. As you’ve probably guessed by the word 'attempted', this didn’t end well and eight days after I arrived, I was on the plane home again. I had to pay the rent for the first two months of my student accommodation upfront to the university, and because I ended up going home early, they owed me this money back. After a LONG battle trying to get back the money that was rightly mine (this battle included everything from trying to get US-based friends to collect the money, to a refusal from the university to pay it into my account and many, many more frustrating things that are too complicated to list here), I admitted defeat and decided to fly back to Jacksonville to collect in person a cheque for the money that they owed me. It was costly and time-consuming but I got my money back, which was something at least. Plus, I got a little holiday from it."
Ed note: All prices have been converted from USD to GBP