I spent my student loan on a Shih Tzu

He had no money left to buy a calculator for his exam

Liberty Air Max 1s – check. Fjall Raven rucksack – check. 13 inch MacBook Pro with retina display – check.

It isn’t necessarily the list of essentials needed when starting the new term but let’s be honest, nobody really uses their first student loan instalment to get kitted out with the course’s set reading list.
Whenever the guilt hits you about the ridiculous purchases you’ve made, just remember you weren’t as extravagant as Dale Andrew – he used his to buy a Shih Tzu.

One man and his favourite investment

One man and his favourite investment


Dale bought Fozzi when he was blessed with his first loan payment along with a £50 Friends boxset from HMV and a set of Beats.

Dale claims his pup robs him of around £15 a week and this doesn’t include one-off fees at the vet and the odd squeaky toy here and there from Pets at Home.

I spoke to Dale about how his dog has taken priority over his studies.

Do you spend more money on your dog than stuff for uni?

Yeah definitely, I wouldn’t even think about spending over a tenner on a pack of dog food or buying him a new collar just for the sake of it – but last week I decided I couldn’t afford to buy a calculator for my psychology exam. Buying books and stuff like that for uni is never at the top of my list when my loan comes in.

So do you think buying things for uni are important at all or do you always prioritise your dog?

Dog toys are worth my overdraft but the Pukka Pads can wait.

Is having a dog while studying a big hassle or distraction?

No. Well, actually yeah probably. I’m easily distracted from studying anyway but I suppose if I didn’t have Fozzi I would spend a lot more time at the library rather than staying at home and making sure he’s been walked, taking selfies with him and feeding him etc.

Truly the best selfie companion

If it wasn’t for buying a dog, would you have more money to spend on textbooks and other supplies?

I don’t regret spending most of my student loan on him. I’ve always wanted a pet and personally I’d rather sacrifice having the proper books and whatever other essentials I need to study for the sake of having my own Shih Tzu.

Fair enough I would probably have more money to buy textbooks I actually need and I might have actually managed to get a calculator for my psychology exam but Fozzi is definitely worth it.

Do people tell you it was stupid to spend your loan on a dog?

All the time. Most people usually laugh apart from my Mum, she wasn’t too pleased about it. I actually didn’t tell her I was planning to get him. She loves him now but the first thing she asked when I brought him home was how I afforded it. When I told her I used my money from SAAS she absolutely flipped. She doesn’t care now though, she understands that it was a worthwhile investment.

I suppose there’s probably a lot of important things I could have used my student loan to buy – including the calculator. I get why people think it’s hard to justify using your student loan to buy a pet. But, when I know it’s going to take forever to pay it all back, I may as well have a dog to accompany me on the long process.