Let’s be honest, there’s not much to do when you’re broke AF but that doesn’t mean that you have to skip lunch, sleep for dinner or ditch your friends so long as you’re paying rent. Yes, uni life can be hard but apart from taking advantage of free bbqs at uni or finally getting that sixth coffee thanks to your loyalty card, there are a lot of things that you can do in and around Monash that won’t require breaking your already broken bank.
1. Volunteer and get $$$!
If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt after three years of uni, it’s that volunteering pays. And it really does. Volunteering with your student association whether it be short-term or long-term for things like welcoming jaffys gets you points that add up to vouchers, and vouchers that you can definitely be used to get a jug of beer at the student bar. Just don’t forget to log your tasks online so you can get your points recorded!
2. Take a food shot, upload it on Insta and win $$$!
Addicted to Insta and think of yourself as a foodie? Well, then get your phone and take a snap of what your last ever uni bought meal will be and you could win a $20 voucher or more to spend thanks to Monash Foodies #monashfoodies. With new food outlets at Clayton and Caulfield, this is definitely a treat; especially during mid-semester where your assignments are piling up and you need motivation to push through.
3. Share your opinion and get $$$!
If you fancy yourself opinionated, there are a lot of post-grad researchers in need of participant opinions that reward very well just for answering questions like how millennials communicate. Better yet, if you’ve got a day or two to spare, volunteering as part of a clinical study can reward you a voucher or two; plus, you can say that you’ve participated in a research! How great is that?!
4. Attend a free music concert!
From time to time, Monash will run a free lunchtime concert showing off the finest musical offering at uni. Pay attention to when they’ll be and the next time you get asked why you’re fit for this job, you can say that you’re cultured just because you’ve attended an hour of music playing.
5. Don’t forget school fetes!
While you’ve long graduated high school, that doesn’t mean you can’t partake in school fetes where the price is as little as a gold coin donation. You don’t need to spend so much as most school fetes have samples and a cost of a burger is as little as $5. But, if you can’t afford to spend since you’ve already spent it on drinks and a night out weeks ago, don’t forget to eat before going and just show up for the fireworks.
6. Get involved with the Notting Hill Neighbourhood House!
Notting Hill Neighbourhood House may not be for everyone but they do have events that cost as little as $5 which is basically the equivalent of a cheap drink during happy hour. Just remember that the audience may not be quite so young, but don’t let that derail you from learning from the most experienced of society.
7. Form a running group!
Yes, while being broke AF excuses you for a lot of things, like eating Ramen noodles almost every night but it doesn’t mean that you’ve got to stay unfit too. Starting a running group with friends can be the perfect way to relieve stress and distract you from your malnourished bank balance. And you’ll be healthier in the long run so it’s a win-win!
8. Don’t be embarrassed to window shop!
Not the most ideal if you’ve got zero control, but if you need motivation to keep working hard then window shopping will show you exactly why you need to keep pushing with work and study. Plus, there are always competitions onsite and samples, especially at the newly refurbished Chadstone Shopping Centre.
9. Attend the Clayton Festival!
A 10-minute bus trip away from uni, the annual Clayton Festival is one way to immerse yourself in Clayton’s multiculturalism and get to know your community. There’s absolutely no obligation to spend and there are a number of shows and performances from an array of different backgrounds!
10. Don’t neglect your community centres!
Whether it be the Clayton Community Centre, the Waverley one or other nearby community centres, participating in their events is easy because they’re largely free and catered for. There is also a range of events from painting to team sport; it’s a great way to meet interesting people and to expand your network. Who knows where the next person could lead you!
What are your favorite things to do around Monash when you’re broke AF? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source: phillymag.com and callisonrtkl.com
Kim is an Arts/Law student at Monash University. When she's not dying from doing her readings, she takes photos of coffee, writes, and is constantly dreaming of owning a Chow Chow dog named Mr. Thornton.