Author Topic: College Student Entertainment Budget Help  (Read 4683 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« on: January 03, 2013, 09:06:11 PM »
So I am a second-semester senior on the cusp of graduating with a nearly-useless BA in Psychology, and I was wondering what entertainment budget would be allowable to use for fun while I finish up college.  I usually have a weekly dinner out with friends, although I'm trying to change that into a weekly home-cooked dinner in with friends, and I like to have one adventure per month.

 These will be laughably smaller numbers compared to some Mustachians; I came upon financial independence very late in my life after a very financially frivolous high school, and I haven't even passed the 5k mark!  Tuition, rent, and books are all covered, I go everywhere on my bike, and I have a part-time teaching job which pays for groceries and little else.  (Note: My job could theoretically be downsized away at the start of next semester, and if that's the case, I hope to attempt to find a new job, although I'm a little bit slow)

Savings: $4,600
Income from part-time Job: $35/week
Food Budget: $25/week

With these numbers, what would you estimate would be an allowable entertainment budget? I am okay with dipping a little bit into my savings to ensure that I have enough funds to have at least one excursion per semester, provided I don't go below $4,200. 

Bonus question: Is my food budget too high?  I'm vegetarian and kosher, if that makes any difference.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 09:43:04 PM »
From everything you've posted, it looks like you are on track and can trust your decisions.

MMM has said, and I've found it to be true, that it's not what you do on those memorable occasions but what you do between the memorable occasions that counts. Spending $10 a week at a restaurant with your friends doesn't compare to $60 a week on gas-guzzling truck, $5 a day lattes, $7 a day lunches, $80 a month phone plans, ordering dinner in each night you come back from work, etc., etc.

I like the dynamics of a dinner party better than eating out, but you're not engaging in a financial emergency.

It sounds like whatever you're doing now is fine, and if you'd like to change what you're doing you'll probably come up with a good solution.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 12:04:01 PM »
I'd suggest turning your thinking around, and instead of budgeting $X to spend on "adventures", think up the adventures first, then rank them by cost and do the cheap ones first.  E.g. spending a weekend hiking in the local mountains (assuming you have such) or going on a long bike tour could be (depending on your tastes) an interesting adventure, yet need not cost much more than staying home.  (Even less, if it means you skip an night of partying with friends.)


  • Stubble
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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 02:40:19 PM »
Well, given those numbers, you're making $10/week and have $400 to spend from savings.  So, $40/month + ($400 divided by remaining months) = your monthly budget for adventures.  Assuming 5 months, that's $120/month (on average).  Also, you need to get on finding a job for post-graduation NOW.  Do whatever it takes to get into a career-oriented position starting immediately after graduation (unless you have further education plans lined up).


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 02:59:22 PM »
I like what Jamesqf proposed about making a list of your "bucket list" adventures first and then figure out the cost from there. Not sure where your school is located, but I went to a school in California with tons and tons of hiking trails, beaches, cliffs, etc all around. It didn't cost very much for my friends and I to go on an adventure. Picnicking at the beach, sunrise hikes, etc. Are there parts of your town that you could explore while you're still a student there?


  • Bristles
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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 03:50:53 PM »
Doesn't it only take an extra year to turn your BA in psych into a clinical practice? Then you can go anywhere to ply your trade and make a hundred bucks an hour. That's NOT what I'd call a useless degree, mate.

And there's enough free things to do in most college towns that you shouldn't need an entertainment budget, sorry.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 04:52:44 PM »
I wouldn't call a BA in Psychology useless either. I have a BA in Psychology and a BS in Political Science as well as a law degree. Now granted, the law degree is what provided me with a kick-ass income (when I was still doing that), but that Psych degree came in handy EVERY SINGLE DAY. It still does.

What I learned made me better at interpersonal skills, interpreting body language, deciphering individual's motivations, developing deeper client relationships, etc. Don't knock it.


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Re: College Student Entertainment Budget Help
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 05:05:48 PM »
Another Psych degree here.  It's useful, because you can read minds


Ohhh, did it give you chills!