If you’ve ever checked your bank account after a day of being at the mall, grocery shopping, or paying for textbooks and have seen a number lower than your age, the struggle is real. Fortunately, more cash doesn’t always mean more fun – so you don’t have to miss out just because all your cash is MIA a week before payday. Keep reading for ten amazing activities for when you are down to your last $8.
1. Go sample shopping.
You may be surprised how many mall stores offer sample products, free goods, or can make you a sample – just ask. Challenge your friends to see who can get the most free stuff, and meet up again in an hour to share your loot and have some fun with your sample sized prizes.
2. A Relaxing Day In
Chances are you already own ton of nail polish. If you need to satisfy a colour craving and grab a new bottle or accessories, stopping by the drug store is much cheaper than the salon. Grab some popcorn, chocolate and find a good movie (sci-fi thrillers always do the trick for me) and make some DIY face masks (or grab some of the $2 ones at Shoppers Drug Mart) to have seriously radiant skin while you enjoy a movie. Plus, invite your friends over for a coffee pot luck – everyone can bring a roast, flavored cream or toppings and you can make your own Starbucks at home!
3. Dollarama Craft Blitz
Sometimes dollar stores have some awesome deals outside the realm of candy and pens. Thanks to Pinterest, there are all kinds of hacks for turning dollar store items into awesome decor. Grab some change, see what your local dollar store has to offer, and get creative!
4. Go on a hike or picnic.
One of the best ways to save your cash is to prep meals instead of eating out. Taking a few extra minutes to load up a bag with drinks, make sandwiches or salads, pack up some fruit, granola bars and of course M&Ms (or, um, trail mix) is a great way to save some money. Take your picnic and a date to the park, through a bike trail or on a nature walk and get some fresh air.
5. Try free on-campus events.
Campus events can range from sports, to movie nights, trivia or even bonfires. Chances are, even if you go alone, you’ll run into someone from a class to chat with and meet some cool new people. Campus events are area great way to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. The events are usually super low commitment too – if you show up and decide the event isn’t for you, you can always try something else!
6. Browse cheap books.
Believe it or not, Chapter’s has a sale section of books that range from $2-$6, and you can always find some major gems if you are willing to search through the stacks. Thrift shops also have great titles for super cheap prices. Don’t forget to hit up your local library for books, magazines, movies and more for a rainy day.
7. Hit the arcade, or a local carnival.
In an arcade, a few dollars can go a long way! Grab your friends, and have a friendly gaming competition, or get some carnival tickets – who doesn’t love cotton candy and ferris wheels?
8. Hit up a Farmer’s Market or Bazaar.
Window shopping is one of the best ways to get out and browse stores on the cheap. Farmer’s markets and local street vendors always have awesome home-baked goods as well as unique items to buy from local sellers, so you’re supporting local businesses while getting a change of pace from your everyday mall.
9. Drive In Movies
Drive in movies can be found in lots of places, and they feature classic films as well as new ones. Drive in movies have way better seating, a better atmosphere and are a great change of pace from a regular theatre. For some extra culture, find a foreign film night. Bonus: bring your own candy and curl up under some blankets to enjoy the experience as much as possible. When the movie is done you can always stargaze, too.
10. Work it out.
Hit up Groupon, use your college gym membership, or find a deal on a one-time class. Spin classes, boot camps, and even trampoline fitness are great ways to burn off some energy with your friends, and to achieve some #fitnessgoals.
Bonus: Donate to a charity!
You work hard for your money, and on a tight college budget spending on other people may not be the first thing on your mind when you get a paycheck – but even $5 to a charity or buying food for the food bank will help multiple people, so consider doing some goodwill next time you change a $20 bill.
What are your favorite activities to do on the cheap? Share yours in the comments section below!
Featured photo source: tumblr.com
Student at Trent University, majoring in Business and Arts. Proud Slytherin, loves animals, sports, music, fashion and reading. When I am not in class, I can usually be found at the gym, watching anime, reading comics, or doodling while frantically trying to study.