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Summer on a student budget

Whilst it’s great to stay productive this summer, the holidays are also a time to take a break, relax from the pressures of uni and have fun! Exotic holidays are appealing, but often out of reach of a typical student budget. However, don’t let your finances stop you from having a fun-filled summer. 

There’s plenty of cheap or free activities available. Get inventive or try some of our suggestions:


If it’s a sunny day, a picnic is the perfect budget activity for summer. All you need is a picnic blanket and some food! It’s much cheaper to make your own food rather than buying it pre-prepared; there are lots of recipe ideas online which cater to a student budget. Spend the morning prepping your favourite recipes with friends and then head out to enjoy your hard work in the afternoon!

Cost: <£5 each

Games night

Invite your friends round and ask each to bring their favourite board game or video game. Not only do you get to try out new games, but it’ll also provide a welcome change from an evening at your local pub. This is a great way to have a sociable evening without forking out a fiver for a pint.

Cost: Free!

Volunteer at a festival

Music festivals are a fantastic thing to do this summer, but they’re certainly not cheap. Instead, why not try volunteering at a festival? Organisers often offer free tickets in return for helping out. This can entail a whole variety of jobs, but you’ll usually work in shifts, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the music too.

Cost: Free! (+ spending money)

Be a tourist in your own home!

We often dismiss the activities that are on our doorstep, but summer can be the perfect time to become a tourist in your own town and explore all it has to offer. Whether it’s museums, the beach or a walk in the forest, there’s usually something fun to do nearby, so try exploring the local area as if you’re a tourist. Plus, if you fancy going to a museum, check for student discount as this can save you a significant amount of money!

Cost: depends 

Walk a dog

Spending time in nature has been proven to be beneficial for your mental health, but it’s even more fun with a four-legged companion. If you have a dog, head to your nearest park or beach to explore. If not, borrow a friend’s dog! They’ll probably be grateful for your offer of a long walk for their pet.

Cost: free!

Keep an eye out for offers

Finally, it’s worth looking out for offers online, especially if there’s a specific activity you particularly want to do. Check out the deals on theme parks, zoos and cinema tickets in particular as you can often find 2 for 1 tickets.

Cost: depends 

It’s easy to fall into a monotonous routine in the summer, especially when you’re working with a tight student budget. However, there are plenty of ways to do something different without spending tonnes of money. Get inventive and let us know what you come up with in the comments…

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