Fun On A College Budget : Low-Cost Weekend Activities

College is expensive. As a student it can be a real challenge to budget your money to cover all of your expenses and then have enough left over to go out on the weekends.

It’s even more challenging if you’re getting little or no help from relatives, live off-campus, or live in a major city. As a student living off campus without a meal plan in a major city, I’ve had to think of creative ways to save my money. Because going out with your friends can be one of the biggest drains on your resources, I’ve come up with various low-cost options for ways to spend a weekend night.

Below are several ways to have fun on the weekend without breaking the bank.

Murder Mystery Party

Instead of going out to the bar or spending money at the movie theatre, plan a murder mystery party with a group of friends. Murder mysteries are scripted games in which each member of the party takes the role of a suspect and solves a series of clues to solve a murder. Murder Mystery box kits usually cost around twenty dollars, which is even cheaper if splitting the cost with your friends. If you don’t want to spend any money you can also download murder mysteries from the Internet for free. The more thought you put into it, the more fun you will have. One way you can do this is to have your friends dress up as their characters and make a whole night of it.

Sledding/ Skating

This is a great option to remember for the winter months. If you live in a place with a lot of snow get a group of friends together and go skating. A lot of cities and towns have free skating rinks that are open to the public. If you don’t have skates or don’t know how, try sledding. If you don’t have sleds and you don’t want to buy any, pizza tins work great on the snow. Make sure to be safe and have fun!


Food always brings people together. Another cheap but fun way to spend a weekend night is to throw a potluck. Instead of going out and spending lots of money on food and drinks coordinate with your friends to plan a large meal. By throwing a potluck instead of a dinner party you can minimize both time and cost. In the spring, summer, or early fall you can take the meal outside and share a picnic in the park or on the beach.

School Events

One of the best ways to avoid spending money is to frequent the events put on by your college or university. Most schools put on multiple events throughout the week and during the weekend, many of which are free or discounted for students. These can include lectures, free dinners, dances, concerts, and plays. Check your school newspaper and keep an eye on the bulletin boards around school for upcoming events.

Related Posts

The following two tabs change content below.
Brianna Low

Brianna Low

Brianna Low is a rising senior at DePaul University pursuing a double major in English and Spanish. Brianna enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. She currently works for DePaul's Art Department as a receptionist and hopes to one day work in a library. Brianna is happiest when surrounded by books.
Brianna Low

Latest posts by Brianna Low (see all)