David Bakke writes for Money Crashers Personal Finance, a blog that helps educate readers on important life issues like choosing a school, making a budget, finding the best credit cards for college students, and discovering great careers.
The average cost of tuition at a four-year public university is just over $8,000. This figure jumps to over $28,000 for a private school. Those are some scary figures!
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to save while in college. One often overlooked way is to save on entertainment. If you’re willing to get a little creative, there are several ways to have fun and not break the bank. Plus, the money you save during school will make paying for and affording college much easier.
1. Attend On-Campus Sporting Events
Your student ID should give you free or heavily discounted passes to all sporting events at your school. Take advantage of it. You can cheer on your team, and possibly even make new friends.
2. Take Advantage of Happy Hour
Assuming you’re of age, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing after a long day of classes with a few cold ones once in a while. Just don’t pay more than you have to. Research your local clubs and bars to find which places have the best happy hours. Coordinate your down time with these specials, and you’ll save money while chillin’ out.
3. Watch a Movie
Whether your taste is comedy, classics, or indie films, you probably have access to a variety of budget cinemas and even on-campus theaters. For off-campus films, bring your student ID to get a discount.
4. Cheap Concerts
With the average price of a regular concert ticket at almost fifty bucks, you’d be much better off attending cheap and free concerts on campus. Plus, you might be lucky enough to catch the “next big thing” before they start selling out the local stadium.
5. Attend a Speech
Local politicians and business people often hold speaking engagements on a variety of topics at colleges and universities. Check out your student union for a full list. This may or may not be your idea of entertainment, but it can be an excellent way to network for employment opportunities after you graduate.
6. In-Dorm Entertainment
Don’t underestimate the fun to be had by staying in for the night. Invite friends and classmates over for a game night of classic board games, trivia, cards, chess, or video games. You can have just as much fun and better conversation as compared to trekking out to the local restaurant.
7. Off-Campus Sporting Events
You can usually get tickets to minor league baseball or women’s basketball games at a fraction of major league or NBA events. You can also investigate local high schools for football, softball, and other sporting events.
8. Utilize Daily Deal Websites
Daily deals websites offer substantial discounts on a wide array of retailers and restaurants in your area. Sign up and get deals sent straight into your inbox. They’re usually for new or lesser known businesses, but the savings are huge. Groupon, Living Social, and Woot are good places to start.
The money mindset you establish during college is likely to stay with you through the rest of your life. To make the most of your college years, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You just need to use the money you do spend wisely.
How have you saved on entertainment in college?