Affording Boston and mini-trips

Going to school in Boston always seemed like a good idea. The ample amount of things to do around the city gives us the opportunity to live out our wildest twenty-something dreams. 

Once you pursue some of those experiences and realize you have to buy tickets, pay a bill at the end of the night or pay an entry fee — this whole living in Boston thing may not seem like the best idea anymore. 

What’s the point of living in Boston for four years and never exploring your surroundings? If you never went to a Red Sox or Celtics game, visited the museums, ate some really good Italian food and hit up some of the famous bars, did you really live in Boston?

Chloe Patel | Senior Graphic Artist

It’s important not to let finances get in the way of living the full Boston experience — and no, I do not mean that in a privileged, burn-through-your-dad’s credit card kind of way. I mean that there are simple practices that could ensure you have a fun activity every couple of weeks.

For starters, keep ordering out and going to restaurants in check. It’s not the smartest choice to neglect your dining plan or a home-cooked meal in favor of fast food or Grubhub. I like to keep my eating out to a minimum of once a week — or I at least try to. Even though it might be $10, the money adds up quickly. 

What adds up even faster is coffee and other daily beverages. Investing in a coffee machine or a monthly plan at a local coffee shop helps prevent unnecessary spending. A simple cup of coffee doesn’t come out to anything less than $3 these days. 

A part-time job could be incredibly beneficial, if you can make time for it in your schedule. The good thing about living in Boston is that there are a million job postings for tutoring, house-sitting or nannying that pay good money and are usually flexible with students’ schedules. Campus jobs are great because the faculty are in touch with the workload and adjusts expectations accordingly. On top of that, the commute is short if you live on or close to campus. Part-time jobs may seem like they’re paying very little — and they often are — but a couple of shifts a week could be just enough to pay for your weekend outings. 

If you’re like me and are originally from the opposite coast, or maybe the Midwest or abroad, chances are there are a lot of places on the East Coast that you’ve never seen. A lot of the time, state borders can be crossed within an hour or two. It might be worth it to invest in short trips. If any friends go to school near you, maybe pay them a visit and see what their new life looks like in college. Many mini-trips can be done without the necessity for a hotel room or airfare, which cuts down on expenses. 

My point is, as long as we’re in Boston, we might as well have some fun, right?


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