10 cheap things to do this summer

As college students, we’re all familiar with the instant feeling of regret and visible wince upon glancing at our pitifully low bank account balances.

Just about everything costs money, a fact that becomes even more apparent when you’re supporting yourself and/or living on a very small budget supplied by a minimum wage job.

For most of us, disposable income is practically unheard of. College students are forced to search for activities that are free or very cheap, which can be hard, especially when you’re stuck at home for the summer with seemingly nothing fun to do.

Thankfully, these 10 activities will break the boredom, not the bank.

Raid the fridge and cook something.

This could be done alone or with friends. Just open your fridge, see what’s there and throw some random things together that would seem like they taste good.

Free university activities

If you’re still on or around campus, check out what your university has going on. There’s usually something for you to do on campus — whether it’s $2 bowling, a free movie or free food on the quad — that would be better than sitting at home.

Blast music and clean!

This might not sound fun, but cleaning while jamming out to your favorite summer anthems can be strangely cathartic.

Go swimming at a local community pool/lake/spring.

One of these bodies of water is bound to be within at least 20 miles of your location, and if it isn’t, just defer to No. 5.

Run through the sprinklers!

As we get older, the novelty of this activity gets lost on us, but is there really any better way to stay cool during the summer than running through your sprinklers?

Board/card game marathon

Another fun thing we forget about as we grow up is playing board and card games. That time when you stole Boardwalk right out from your Uncle Louie’s nose or triumphantly proclaimed “UNO!” in your brother’s face is sure to be a favorite childhood memory.

What better way to keep that memory alive than by playing your favorite board or card game with your college friends? Make it more interesting by turning it into a drinking game (if you’re of age). Speaking of alcohol, here’s No. 7.

Two-Buck Chuck at Trader Joe’s

Perhaps one of the best things to happen for people 21 years old and up is the $2.99 bottle of wine at Trader Joe’s. Grab a couple bottles, gather some friends and put on a movie or your dance party playlist.

YouTube tutorials

What better time than summer to learn how to do something new? Whether it’s baking a delicious dessert, using makeup to transform your face or twerking, there are a myriad of things on YouTube for you to tackle.

Read a book.

I know, I can hear the scoffs, but what’s the beef with reading for fun anyway? You can read anything you want. You could have thousands of books at your disposal just by signing up for a library card (which is free, by the way).

There’s a rewarding sense of freedom in reading something that hasn’t been assigned to you by a professor. Plus, everyone looks more intelligent holding a book. It’s a fact.

Paint something!

Finger paint, chalk paint, watercolor … the list goes on. Artistic or not, there is something strangely satisfying about smearing color all over a blank white paper.

If you’re itching for some home improvement, you could paint your room — maybe add an accent wall (which  seems to be a thing that decorators do to “liven up a room” or something).


Hopefully, at least one of these things sounds fun, and you can’t wait to try it out. If nothing appealed to you though, you’re clearly self-sabotaging or just really enjoy watching TV all day.

We don’t blame you. Whatever you do, make sure you make the most of what’s left in the summer!

Featured Image: Bigstock

About Ashley Tressel (7 Articles)
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