How to Afford College and Expensive Hobbies

Going to college and still being able to have fun doing the things you love can be quite a struggle. There are a lot of ways to save money, still have fun with your hobbies, and get an education. Getting out and doing things with your friends or loved ones helps ease the stress of your tough college courses. Entertaining your expensive hobbies can be done in a frugal way. Seek out the very best deals online.

Work a Part Time Job

Working a part time job while in school helps you to have that extra money for fun activities. There are many restaurants, shops, and stores that offer full time work with flexible schedules to fit the needs of college students. Part time hours are usually considered to be 32 hours or less per week, which still allows you plenty of time to study and still have fun.

Cook Your Own Meals

Instead of eating out you can save quite a bit of money by grocery shopping weekly and cooking your own meals in your dorm or apartment. Eating out gets very expensive when you add in tips, tax, inflated prices, and drinks. Cooking for one can be done with as little as $30 per week since the portions that you would need cost less. Get creative and mix food items together that are cost effective but still tasty so that you get proper nutrition while saving a few bucks.

Use Coupons When Grocery Shopping

Many grocery stores offer double coupons up to a certain amount or on certain days of the week. Only buy what is on sale and what you have a coupon for to maximize your savings. There are plenty of healthy options on sale with coupons available every week at local grocery stores. Look for grocery coupons online as well; there are usually hundreds of grocery and toiletry items every week with printable coupons available.

Look For Entertainment Coupons and Deals Online

There are a lot of places in and near college towns that offer online coupons or special deals if you show a student ID to them. Only attend events when there are discounts attached so that you might be able to treat yourself to a meal before or after the event. Read the bulletin boards throughout the campus and in your dorm area for others selling tickets to events at a discounted price, or for special event pricing opportunities.

Sign Up to Get Groupon Updates

Groupon is one of the best resources for you to use for deeply discounted rates on events, restaurants, store sales, and other things that you may really love doing. There are usually local programs just like Groupon that offer deals for a specific group, for members only, or specifically for college students. Capitalize on these deals to keep yourself active while you’re not at work or in school. You may adopt a new favorite pass time by attending an event that you’ve found on Groupon.

FatWallet tip: Remember to shop through FatWallet for your Groupon purchases. At the time this blog post is published, Groupon is paying 1.5% to 3.0% cash back!

Get Your Friends to Partake in Your Favorite Hobbies

Being in College allows you many avenues for finding people that enjoy the same hobbies that you do. There are various clubs just for specific interests that can keep you entertained while making friends and learning something new. Attend events with friends and split the cost of things such as gas, meals, or even event tickets. Sometimes purchasing tickets as a group is cheaper as discounts are often applied to group purchases.

Entertaining on a Budget

Perhaps you’d like to have some friends over for a dinner and movie night or a small get together but you’re on a very tight budget. Make your gathering a pot luck gathering where everyone would bring a dish to pass and something to drink. This brings the cost of entertaining down quite a bit since you’d only be preparing one dish and providing one type of drink. Rent movies from places like Blockbuster Express, Netflix, or Redbox instead of purchasing that brand new DVD or buying something on Pay Per View.

Samantha Brown is a medical writer comparing online healthcare mba programs to find the right fit for her.

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