Board game play pieces, money, and dice

How to have fun on a budget

During my time at university I have had to learn how to be frugal, but missing out on the fun stuff wasn’t part of the plan. Here are my tips and tricks on enjoying yourself when you’re on a budget!

Don’t miss a celebration

If you’re anything like me then you’ve been in the situation where you don’t want to miss out on a celebration but feel like it may break the bank. Well, going out for food on a tight budget can be difficult, as a nice meal in a restaurant can cost the same as a whole weeks worth of food shopping, but planning ahead can help with this. Before I make any arrangements to go out for food I usually scout out all of my options, deciding what I’d likely eat at each restaurant and working out the cheapest options. Most places often have ongoing discount codes that you can usually get by signing up to a mailing list and, don’t forget, you’re a student, so use that discount where you can!

Fake it till you make it

Ordering food and putting on a movie seems like the perfect lazy night, but I live on my own and that means I’m often put off by the minimum I have to spend to get it delivered. Whilst takeaways might be fun to get with friends, alone they can amount to quite a lot of money. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a fan of ‘fakeaways’. There are lots of recipes on the internet that will help you recreate the flavour of your favourite takeaway, so you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff (they are often healthier too, so that’s a bonus!) Try saving even more money by getting each of your friends to make something. You can have more fun making it together, and are left with a range of foods to enjoy.

A night in VS a night out

There is a currently a recognisable culture for University students about going out in the evenings and partying. However, just getting into these events can set you back a bit of cash. Whilst it might not be everyone’s favourite thing to do, I enjoy board game nights as an alternative. You can have a laugh with your friends, enjoy yourself, and it doesn’t cost a penny (providing you pre-own some games). However, if you don’t want to miss out on a particular events, then plan in advance. 9 times out of 10 ticket prices increase the closer to the event you get. The sooner you buy a ticket, the more money you will save!

Explore the city

Make sure to keep your eye out for anything free that you can do around the city. There are often many activities you can do that can be fun and cost very little, and there is always something new and interesting happening around the city as Lincoln is a tourist city in a lot of ways. I enjoy acting like a tourist for the day by exploring the places I haven’t had the chance to and returning to my favourites, like Lincoln Castle and The Collection Museum.


Remember that money does not buy fun, and you can easily enjoy yourself on a small budget. Your experiences are what you make of them. Check out where you can use your student discount and make the most of store cards where you can for extra savings, leaving you with more money to spend on the things you enjoy.