Guide to Ballin' on a Budget

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By Kia Imani Robinson

Summer is almost here which means social activities will be in high abundance. Naturally, you’re going to want to participate as much as you can, because, FOMO is real but so is responsibility. Summertime for college students in big cities can be a struggle. You’re trying to navigate your internship, your finances, prepare for the upcoming school year, and still have fun. That’s a lot!

I’ve been there before so I completely understand. Sure, you want to have an amazing summer but it’s important that you don’t go broke while trying to do so. Below are some simple tips that should help ensure that your bank account doesn’t suffer while you have the time of your life.

1. If It’s Free, It’s For Me

Even as a college graduate I live by this saying. Events and activities are even better when you don’t have to pay for them. In the age of creativity, there are so many experiences that you can participate in that won’t cost a dime. Those are the ones you should aim to take advantage of.

Just like you, there will be other interns looking for free and fun events. These free events will provide you the opportunity to network with likeminded peers and not spend a dime. Look at activities that are free first prior to embarking on more costly events.

2. Pack Your Lunch

This is self-explanatory. Purchasing lunch every day of the week will become costly and will certainly add up. Find a way (that is most convenient for you) to take lunch to work instead of purchasing lunch every day. Maybe take your left overs for lunch the next day. Maybe purchase sandwich or salad fixings that can last you an entire week. Find a way that works best for you and save yourself some coins.

3. Early Bird Special

There are a lot of events that will have a discount if you purchase your tickets early or if you arrive early. Since you’re in the business of saving money, try your hardest to take advantage of these opportunities when possible.

Specifically, in the summer time a lot of parties that are free if you arrive by a certain time. Sure, you don’t want to open the club by being the first one there but you also don’t want to spend unnecessary money. Put your pride aside and get there a little early if need be. Your bank account will thank you.

4. Happy Hour Special

Happy hours are great because they allow you to meet new people and participate in the treats at a discounted price. When hanging out with friends, always aim to catch the happy hour special. This will save you tons of money in the long run since you won’t be paying full price on your drinks or your snacks.

5. You’re a Student

Most companies offer student discounts but don’t advertise or publicize it. Carry your student ID with you at all times and inquire about student discount opportunities. You’ll be surprised how many companies have discount policies specifically designed for students. Use it to your advantage.

6. There Will Be More

If you have to pass on an activity because you can’t afford it, trust me, there will be more. The fear of missing out is real but there will be so many more activities that you’ll be able to participate in so fret not. Learn when to sit some things out for the betterment of your wallet and understand that there’s always another event on the horizon.


Kia is a recent college graduate that's simply trying to grasp the concept of "adulting". She enjoys hugs, quotes, a good book, and all things motivational. Her favorite book is The Alchemist and she can watch Girlfriends all day long.