Student fun on a budget! Sounds difficult I know, after all being a student is not all about learning but also about new experiences and having fun doing it. It is also about frugal living, they just don't tell you that when you start.
The trouble is being a student also means not having much spare cash to spend on student entertainment, sometimes it's difficult enough just feeding yourself.
Don't despair though it is possible to still have fun on a tight budget. The secret is not to fall into the trap of regularly just going to the student bar every week, spending all your cash and feeling as if you never do anything different and fun.
Be creative with your spare time and money, find things in your local area that wouldn't normally be classed as student fun but that is often cheap if not free and will open up a world of fun possibilities.
Tips 1 - Before going out make sure that you have a good sized meal that will keep you going for hours. This will stop you spending cash on unhealthy over priced snacks.
If you do want to snack later take something with you like an apple or a packet of crisps. Taking bottled water with you is also a good idea if you are going clubbing, as the price of bottled water in clubs can be as expensive as an alcoholic drink.
Tip 2 - When going out never take too much cash with you and leave the credit card at home. This will help you stick to your spending budget and you won't be tempted to take out more money from your account.
Also make sure that your friends know the situation before hand, so that they won't nag you into spending money you can't afford.
Tip 3 - Volunteer. There are many great opportunities for student fun by volunteering to help out at summer camps and activity days.
It's not only a great experience but also accommodation and food will be free. Organisations like the Scout movement hold events where they actively seek student volunteers.
Find out about local groups in your area that might be willing to take on volunteers, Libraries will have this information.
Tip 4 - Contact local music venues, theatres or cinemas to see if they would be willing to give you free tickets to gigs if you distribute leaflets or put up posters for them.
If there is a local band you like they are often always looking for people to help promote their gigs and in exchange they could put you on their guest list.
Tip 5 - Bookshops. Often authors will attend bookshops to promote their latest release by giving a reading or talk. These are always free and very entertaining.
Tip 6 - Always pick up copies of free newspapers every week to check for promotional coupons or student discounts to local events. This is a great way to find out what is going on locally and is a sure way that you won't miss new events or any offers.
Tip 7 - Share student fun ideas with your friends. Put up an exchange list at campus offering to swap books, DVD's, music with others. This will cut down on renting movies and buying Cd's.
Tip 8 - Baking. Groan, no honestly having a baking day once a week can be fun too. Get some friends over, play some music and all of you chip in and make batches of food for the week.
There are plenty of student cookbooks that can help keep the cost down on nutritious recipes. Freeze the meals and share them out to the group.
Tip 9 - Picnics. During the summer this is a great alternative to slouching around malls on the weekend with your friends, spending money you just don't really have. Instead get a group of friends and put a picnic together for the day. Chill out, play games, read, study, whatever.
Tip 10 - get a bicycle, or share one with a friend. This will not only save you money getting around town but is also a great opportunity to get out of the city for the day. Great exercise too.
Tip 11 - Use your campus. Every student campus will have lots of free concerts, recitals, readings, play and sports events going on.
Take the time to check out notice boards and take advantage of what's going on. It's a great way to meet new people but will also to help keep your student budget in line.
Tip 12 - Art gallery first night events. Check with your local art gallery for their list of opening nights. Most of these are free to attend and are open to all.
Best of all there is often food and drink laid on for free as well. Absorb a little culture and nutrition all at the same time; what could be more entertaining and frugal?
Keep your options open of what exactly student fun is and you could end up having the time of your life and even becoming a early expert at frugal living.
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