College is said to be the best time of our lives, but of course, fun often comes at a price. Though it’s always nice just hanging out in a friend’s dorm after a stressful exam or enjoying time off by catching up on sleep, going out is always going to be one of the best ways to meet friends and explore your city. Unfortunately, that financial aid package is pretty tight and you may not have time to work extra in order to rank in extra cash. When scouting for something different to do so that you can finally unwind and get the full campus experience, it’s always a good idea to look at your school first.
Remember, the cheapest leisure activities are always the free ones. Many student organizations have events and activities in order to reach out to the larger campus community, and they want you there. It’s convenient to like every Facebook page of a club on your campus and join many Facebook groups to stay current on all the campus events and offerings that may interest you. Also, your school’s student government will usually host free events more frequently. Take advantage of these events because there will usually be free food!
Sometimes you may want to splurge on a concert or have a night out with friends that requires you to have some extra cash. This is when scheduling priorities come into play. If you’re not already working, on-campus jobs are a great way to go for extra cash. If your financial aid awarded you federal work study, it will be especially easy to find a job on campus in administration, as a research assistant, or in the library, for example. All you have to do is convince a department or school business to allow you to work for them for free. Federal work study students come at no cost to the employer because the state pays you. Also, the best part about on campus jobs is that hours are minimal. Understanding how busy you are as a college student, it is very common for students to be scheduled to work between eight and twelve hours a week. This won’t put too much stress on your studies, but you will still have an income to support your personal needs.
If you won’t be getting an extra job to support your leisure activities and still need to save up to go out, the best thing you can do is reflect on your current spending and cut down in areas that you can survive without. For example, instead of spending $30 a week on over priced coffee at the coffee shop across the street, invest in an inexpensive coffee maker for your dorm or apartment and your coffee spending will drastically decrease. A lot of your habitual spending can be easily done away with as long as you plan in advance to not spend money on that habit. Scroll through your credit card history every now and then and calculate the difference in money you would have if you didn’t spend money on certain items. Careful financial planning is bound to help you save for those activities regardless of your income. It may be difficult to make short-term sacrifices when it comes to giving up parts of your routine spending, but the money you will save for activities with your friends will give you memories for a lifetime!