5 Ways to Live Within Your Means After College

We all know what waits for us after college. Unless you’ve managed a pretty successful plan for post-graduation living, you’re probably going to end up living off of bargain prices and smart shopping for at least a few years.

My first two years out of college felt like a dehumanizing grind that would never end. If there were a concert that I wanted to attend, I would have to say ‘no’ every time I looked at my account and remembered that there were huge bills to pay.

Many nights were spent sitting on a couch watching old DVDs or binge watching whatever was on my Netflix que at the time. The nights where I did go out were few and far between, and the big arena events I used to frequently attend were present maybe one or two times out of the year. The catch 22 of being a grown up, it seemed, was that I found a job and made money to pay for school and everything else.

There are ways to make this process and stage better, and you can become better at saving your money!

  1. Bring the club to you!


    While your apartment may not have the expensive sound system and 300 strangers dancing under a fog machine, you can pretty much cover the basis for fairly cheap. If you have a suitable residence, then you could manage to host 10-20 people. You will save a lot of money by avoiding the jacked alcohol prices at the club, as well as whatever cover charges you’re used to. Bring in a cheap fog light of your own and some strobe lights if you want to layer some ambience, and these days all you need is a smart phone and a good speaker to have a bumping home entertainment stereo system.

  2. Move your movie night indoors.


    You can avoid standing in long lines for $11 tickets and $7 popcorn by staying home! A cheap 92” projector should not cost more than $62, which is no more than three or four movie dates. Combine that with the money saved on popcorn and drinks from your local market, and you’re saving a lot more than you’d expect!

  3. Nix pricey events and check your local coffee shops for open mic nights!


    Open mic can be cringe worthy from time to time, but many of the world’s best entertainers get their start in coffee shop open mics, so it’s definitely an opportunity to grasp at ripe talent before they blow up! The best part about open mics is that they are usually free, bring forth a lot of people in a casual environment, and offer a mix of entertainment in one evening. Coffee shops aren’t the only locations to find open mics, of course, bars are typically hot spots as well.

  4. Think of alternative transportation and get yourself a bike!

    If you are in or around a hub with an excellent transportation service, then you’re probably going to have little trouble getting to where you want to go. On the other hand, you can always rely on ride sharing.

    source: pedbikeinfo.org

    If you have the fortitude to bike ten or twenty miles to get around town, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money as well, and definitely keeping yourself in shape!

  5. Don’t stress too much about where you’re working, your big gig will come!


    source: twitter @ProLogistix

    Chances are you’re probably going to be working somewhere that isn’t your dream gig at age 22. I worked an overnight shift for eight months while in college. I can not explain how I functioned as a student and truck unloader with three hours of sleep a day, but it definitely paid for some of my tuition. I stayed in retail until age 29 and that was when I landed my first big gig that could pay some bills. Jobs come and go, so stay resilient and take that humbling experience somewhere in the trenches. Stock clerk may not look good on your Tinder profile, but it will keep you afloat until you get your foot in the door!




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