How To Save Money As A College Student

During my sophomore year of college, I began to truly understand the meaning of the phrase “broke college student.”

I’d gone from living in a dorm my freshmen year to an on campus apartment, which meant that I could no longer use a meal plan, according to my school’s rules. This meant that the money I did have often went to groceries.

Although I had a job, the money seemed to disappear just as quickly as I made it. There were school books and supplies I had to pay for coupled with other sudden expenses that popped up frequently. This left my pockets empty and I had no money to go out and enjoy myself with friends during my free time.

I can remember one day being in a funky mood because my entire check had gone to school related expenses. It was then that my best friend and roommate suggested that we find fun that would not cost us much money, if it even cost at all. Through this, we learned a few ways to find fun things to do that would not break the bank. Below are a few suggestions that can assure you a good time while keeping your wallet safe.

Enjoy nature. It’s beautiful, exciting, full of endless possibilities and it’s FREE!! If you’re sick of being cooped up in your dorm room, grab a few friends and head out for a nice walk. Enjoy the beautiful scenery. It’s not often that college students have the time to stop and appreciate nature’s beauty so this would be the perfect way to do just that. You could also pack up a few snacks and go to a park with a few friends for a picnic or go outside to play a thrilling game of Frisbee. Keep it simple and fun!

Check your campus activities. There is often something fun going on around campus and students may not even know because they have been too busy with their hectic schedules to pay attention to the promotions for the events. Check and see what activities your school has scheduled for the weekend. It could be a play being presented by the theater department or free ice cream and a movie on campus. Whatever the activity, give it a shot. Colleges often have discounts for students so even if the activity costs money, it could be a lot cheaper for students than for others.

Plan a game or movie night. Who doesn’t love a game of UNO or Monopoly? Invite friends over to your dorm or go to theirs for a fun filled night of playing board games or card games. You could have an all night movie marathon over the weekend, equipped with tissues for those romantic tearjerkers (Titanic still brings tears to my eyes!).

Use your school’s recreation facilities. My campus has a beautiful recreation center, equipped with a tennis court, indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and a basketball court. Many campus’s have recreation centers with many of these amenities and they are free to use. You could team up with your friends for a friendly game of basketball or tennis or take a nice dip in the pool. Your campus is there for you to enjoy so don’t let it go to waste. Take advantage of the many facilities your campus has to offer.

Grab a book and a quiet corner. I know, I know, this suggestion may sound like a recipe for a boring weekend but hear me out. As students, we spend our entire week reading class required material and working hard on class assignments. We very rarely find the time to just sit back and relax. So if you’d much rather enjoy a quiet weekend, grab that book you have been itching to read and crack it open. Not only is this option free and fun, but it is relaxing and allows you time to read what you want to read as opposed to what you have been required to read. This option may not be fun for everybody, but some will definitely love it.

Be creative. There are possibilities for creative projects all around you in college. Being silly with your friends is the best way to have fun for absolutely no cost. Do something funny and creative, like putting on a fashion show in your dorm room with friends. You all could put on each other’s clothes and go walking up and down the hall like Heidi Klum! Or create an art gallery filled with silly pictures you all have drawn. This may sound childish to some, but memories like these are the ones you look back on at graduation and think “What in the world were we thinking?”  with a laugh and a shake of your head. Never lose your inner child!

Check for discounts and college deals. A lot of restaurants surrounding your campus will have discounts specifically for college students, as long as you show your ID. This could be a great way to get cheap snacks with your friends and enjoy delicious treats without having to pay nearly as much money. Ask about these discounts at the locations or look the deals up on the internet. You never know what fun you can have or what tasty foods you can indulge in for just a few bucks.

College is already expensive enough; there is no reason to spend more money than you already have to. Take these suggestions into consideration and create a few of your own.  Having fun should never empty your wallet, especially when you are supporting yourself in college. Get creative and have fun!

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Ashlyn Porter

Ashlyn Porter

Ashlyn Porter is a senior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in theater as well as a minor in sociology. A self-declared cinephile, Ashlyn enjoys watching and studying film in hopes of one day being involved in various aspects of the film industry. Her passions also include in writing, reading, baking and performing Shakespeare for her dog.
Ashlyn Porter

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