Let’s face it, college students don’t make that much money. Shocker! And the little they do make goes towards college expenses, student loans, and food.
All of this makes going out and having fun so difficult. But since your college years are supposed to be the best years of your life, you have to figure it out. You’re not obligated to a home mortgage, kids or a spouse, so how best to get the most out of it with so little?
Okay, this can be tricky depending on your campus rules. However, the surefire way to have some fun and save money is to just get a six pack and hang out in your friend’s dorm room or hit up a house party. It might not be as fun as hitting the bar, but saving money requires a few sacrifices.
Forget the shots! They go fast and the money adds up. Instead buy cheap beer. Most beers are pretty inexpensive and will not damage your pockets. If you have to have a shot or a cocktail, don’t buy top shelf. The cheap, generic brands work just as well.
There is a huge difference between a college bar and tourist bar. College bars expect to have tons of students with little money. So this will fit better with your budget. Tourist bars jack up the prices because they understand that people who are on vacation like to spend money. Take the time to know which bars are college bars. You will enjoy cheaper drinks and make new college friends in the process!
Instead of letting a few dollars burn a hole in your pocket, invest in a piggy bank. This way when your college buddies decide to go out, you already have some spare cash lying around ready to be spent. And instead of getting Starbucks every morning, ask your parents to buy you a small coffee pot to keep in your dorm room. Put the money you save into your piggy bank for your next bar outing!
While you are out at your favorite bar, study the happy hour menu like your cramming for an exam. These drink specials will help you stay within your budget. And do some math to figure out if it’s cheaper to buy an individual beer or a pitcher. Using the skills you acquire in college will help you drink all night for a reasonable price.
Before you head out, decide how much you are willing to spend and only take that amount of cash. Leave the rest of the cash and your credit card at home so that you are not tempted to spend more once you put on your whiskey face. It’s easy to go broke being undisciplined. Don’t be the idiot who wakes up the next morning to say, “How did I spend $300 last night?”
Being a college student doesn’t mean you have to be broke and stay in night after night. Just get creative with your spending and saving habits. Take time out to have fun! And if worse comes to worse, have one of your buddies buy for the night. You can treat them the next time around. You are only in college once after all!
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