3 Ways to Enjoy City Life Without Breaking the Bank

July 5th, 2017 at 2:00am

We’ve all been there. Really wanting to buy tickets to your favorite band’s concert or absolutely needing to get that new jacket that you saw online. However, the moment you indulge, something comes up where you need that cash, whether it be going out for a night with your friends, trying out a new restaurant, or the famous weekend brunches. Alas, you can’t enjoy it simply because you don’t want to break your bank.

Being a college student in the city has brought these situations to my doorstep often. Living in an area where the cost of living is high and your wages are low can be really difficult, but this is where creativity comes in handy. Check out these three ways I used to still enjoy life in the city without completely going broke!

1—When it’s free, it’s your friend. As a college student in D.C., it’s absolutely necessary to indulge in the wonderful free sites the city has to offer. All the Smithsonian museums are free, and if that doesn’t do it for you, you can always take a quick stroll around the monuments and enjoy the view. Not only is it a great place to check out the sites, but it’s great to just relax. I love to go and write there or even just enjoy a great book!

2—Grocery shopping is great. While living in a city, it becomes almost all too easy to go out to eat for almost every meal (especially when your dorm has a Whole Foods next door and Chick-fil-a downstairs.) However, if I’ve learned anything from living in a city for so long, it’s that cooking can save you lots of money. So instead of spending $12 dollars on that bowl from sweetgreen, maybe try to use that same money to buy salad ingredients for the week. It’s honestly become one of my favorite past times, strolling the aisles with my favorite tote and feeling like a real adult.

3—Be an explorer. Life can become extremely routine in college, even in a city. You go to the same places, eat the same foods, and see the same faces. I try to break my cycles and do something different every once in while. Whether that be checking out a neighborhood I haven’t been to in D.C., or exploring the inner workings of Georgetown, I love to see what’s out there for me to find. One note for this tip is to always be prepared, and have on great shoes for walking around.

Trying out these three things really helped me. Even though I think they’re great, it’s important to find out what works for you.

What tips do you recommend for saving a buck in the big city? Comment below!


  • Lauren Bell

    Senior at The George Washington University, double-majoring in Psychology and Organizational Sciences. Marylander turned Washingtonian. Loves writing, fashion, traveling and tacos. Like what I'm writing? Check out my blog!: laurenbellisima.squarespace.com Instagram: @laurenbellisima Instagram: @laurenbellisima