On a Budget: Entertainment and Activities

Students often complain about being bored and looking for new forms of entertainment. Unfortunately, finding something affordable to do on the weekend can be tough. While the mall may be a popular hang-out spot, and shopping a fun activity for some, there are many more options that won’t cost an entire paycheck, and can still provide something fun to do.

If you’re up for a movie, try going during a matinee showing, which, for most theaters, is anytime before six, and tickets are several dollars off the regular price. Also, renting a movie is much cheaper than going to the theater. At places like Hastings, movie lovers can purchase used movies at a steep discount or even join a rewards program for a small fee, which saves you a ton of money by providing a certain amount of free rentals a month, and discounts on new releases.

An even better option for movie-lovers would be Netflix, where for $10 a month you can rent as many movies as you like. There are also kiosks such as Redbox, which allow you to rent new releases for just $1 per night. These options allow movie watching to not only be affordable, but easy as well.

If you enjoy doing something more interactive, fun activities like bowling, ice skating and ceramic painting are always available. These activities are normally on the more expensive side, but you can get great deals if you know the best times to go. From 11A.M to 1P.M on Sundays, bowling costs $9 an hour, which is a significant discount from the normal $19-$23 an hour during normal bowling hours. You can even rent shoes for $1, which is $2 off of the normal price. If you go ice skating at Artic Wolf with a friend on a Thursday, you’ll only pay half the price with their two-for-one special. U Paint It, a studio that sets up ceramics for customers to paint and take home, offers a half off sitting fee on Wednesday.

If you are really low on cash, and would prefer something completely free, there are still many options for you to consider. You can always go for a walk in the park, or get a group of friends together and play a sport like ultimate frisbee or soccer, and, if you know someone who lives in an apartment, many complexes offer free swimming pools to their residents and their friends, another free fun alternative.

Free options also include walking and looking through the stores, libraries and museums of Downtown Bryan, a historical place in our own community that is undergoing significant development. Other options, such as volunteering at the animal shelter, Children’s Museum and retirement homes, can be fun, free and give you a chance to help out your community and provide volunteer experience for your college applications.

Having fun shouldn’t drain your wallet. By being conscious of where your money is going, it’s possible to have fun, and still save money.