Carpe Diem on a budget

Graduation is right around the corner for some of us, time is running out. And I think I speak for all of us when I say… SLOW THE FU*K DOWN!!! Seriously… I’m freaking out. Whether it’s because you aren’t sure if you’ll get a job in your field, or where you’ll live, or if you’ll ever see your friends again, or you’re afraid your best option after graduation is to jump off a cliff (a metaphorical one, of course)… Either way we are all terrified to soon be leaving the best years of our lives behind us. The 9-5? The “real world?” A husband?! KIDS?!!! How could we be looking forward to this in the wake of the carefree, irresponsible lives we’ve lead thus far? My biggest fear is that I won’t be spending everyday surrounded by the weird, loud, hilariously dysfunctional alcoholics I like to call my best friends. What on earth will I do without them? Maybe we are wrong, maybe the best years are still to come. Old people are always saying “30’s are the new 20’s” or “you’ve got so much to look forward to” or “my kids are my greatest adventure!” (Yeah, I think they’re lying too.) Whether thats true or not will not be determined until years later in 20/20 hindsight. But for now, this very well may be the end. And what do a bunch of 20-somethings do when they fear that a life of somber boredom is only months away? Carpe diem, baby. We start sleeping less and eating out more, drive places, see things, meet people, drink whenever it can be considered semi-appropriate. We make bucket lists, and extravagant spontaneous decisions, and do whatever we can to make these last several months “count.” But I’ll tell you what I’m really counting… my credit card bills. Carpe diem is an expensive lifestyle. Everyone tells you to go on adventures, but no one tells you how much it will cost you. The invention of BuzzFeed sure isn’t helping. “21 things to do before you graduate” and “58 things all seniors wish that had done in college” and “104 things you can’t do once you’re in the real world…” That’s 183 things to accomplish and I guarantee 99% of it will cost money. Well here’s 16 tips on how to try and save a few pennies whilst YOLO-ing your senior year away:

  1. Eat a small meal before you go out to dinner; then just by drinks and split an appetizer
  2. Suggest free activities like the beach or a hike (you may end up doing this one alone)
  3. Try to set a limit on how much you’ll spend a weekend. It won’t work, but you can try…
  4. PREGAME: (for you legal drinkers out there) drink your own alcohol before you head out to save money from buying overpriced drinks downtown. Chances are you’ll buy one downtown anyways but its worth a shot (no pun intended)
  5. Cram as many people into a hotel room as physically possible when going on trips. You may have to sleep on the floor, but you probably only paid $10 a person which is cheaper than renting a camping site (note: think cost/reward on this one… if you get caught it will end up costing you a lot of money you probably don’t have)
  6. When going on long drives, suggest your friend with the Prius drives and save on gas money
  7. Try really hard to never think about sushi. Because once you think about it, you’ll want it. And wanting sushi is pretty much an unstoppable force and you’ll have to get some Unagi stat.
  8. Lemonade stand: its not as cute when you’re in your 20’s but maybe people will take pity on you. Charge $10 a glass.
  9. “Accidentally” forget your wallet at home and see if anyone will pay for you (Venmo really put a damper on this one)
  10. Take advantage of happy hours
  11. When you can’t afford a concert, get some really loud speakers, aggressive lasers, turn off all the lights and stand ridiculously close to one another as you jump up and down. It’s practically the same thing.
  12. Find a dollar theater near you and wait until the movie you want to see plays there
  13. Befriend waiters and bar tenders. Maybe they’ll cut you a deal since you go “way back”
  14. Suggest other forms of payment like a joke or a high-five (nothing sexual, that’s a slippery slope).
  15. Whenever something says FREE FOOD, attend.
  16. Maybe go to Weekend 2 of Coachella… the price difference is absurd! (K but seriously, what is the big deal about weekend 1?)

Whatever you do to try to save money, chances are you’ll probably spend more than you meant to anyways. But the memories you’re making are priceless… right?

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