If you’re in college, you know how tough it can be to live on a tight budget. Between tuition, room and board, books and a dining card, you’ll find that most of the money you saved, pre-college, is gone. With the little bit of money you have left, you have to buy hygiene items, food and other essentials. How in the world are you supposed to find extra money for entertainment while you’re in college?
Luckily, you don’t have to be a big spender to have a great time in school if you know where to look. Here are five ways to save money on entertainment while you’re in school:
1. Entertain in Your Room
You don’t have to have a total blow out to have a great time in your room. Why not host a potluck? Have your friends each bring a dish, toss some throw pillows down on the floor and play some board games. Don’t worry about people thinking you’ve lost your mind; board games are making a comeback and can be a great source of cheap entertainment!
2. Join Netflix
Instant streaming on Netflix costs less than $10 per month. If you’ve got a great laptop, split the cost of the subscription with your roommate. The cost of Netflix is equivalent to renting about four movies a month, and you’ll have access to a database of hundreds of thousands of movies and television shows!
3. Join a Team
Intramural sports are a great way to get active, meet new people and waste away an afternoon. Chances are you can find a team for virtually any sport on your college campus. If, however, you’re stuck for a team, talk to the student services office and find out how you can start your own league.
4. Head to the Green
Every college has one, no matter what they call it: college center, campus green or the square; that area of campus where everyone gathers to do their own thing. College greens are notorious for being packed with activity on the weekends. If your pockets are lined with cash, head up to the center of campus and see what’s going on. Bring along your Frisbee, a blanket, a great book and a friend; if the green is dead, you can make your own entertainment.
5. Check Out the Paper
Grab a copy of the school newspaper and see what types of activities are listed. You can often find free movies, free concerts and even festivals simply by looking through the school’s paper. If you find something that looks fun, grab a few friends and head out. Even if what you get into isn’t your cup of tea, you’ve not wasted any money.
Finding entertainment in college can be expensive if you don’t know where to look. If, however, you do a bit of digging, you can easily find a way to spend a fun afternoon, or evening, on the cheap. Start looking! Living on a student’s budget doesn’t have to mean holing up in your room every weekend watching everyone else have a good time.
Jeremy Clark is a writer and student enrolled in an online mba degree program so he can earn his degree from home.