Explore Dallas, have fun on a budget

A new year means new possibility and resolutions. The harsh reality is that most of the resolutions we were determined to keep on December 31 have been broken or forgotten by the time we near February. Whether it is to work on personal fitness, kick a nasty habit or save money, everyone can acknowledge what he or she needs to work on, but are unsure of the steps to reach their goals. For young people, or college students who are trying to save money while living on a tight budget, there are easy ways to cut costs while keeping the lifestyle that you want.

Living on a tight budget, and trying to keep up with friends who seem to have pockets deeper than the Mariana Trench, can be a daunting task. Having fun with low funds isn’t impossible; in fact some of the best things in Dallas are free. From date ideas to skipping out on the cost of a monthly gym membership, there are endless ways to save money and live an exciting life.

Dallas has a large collection of art museums, which are perfect places to go on dates or take visiting friends or family. The Dallas Museum of Art has free general admission every day, and the Nasher Sculpture Center is free admission every first Saturday of the month. Some of the other museums in town charge anywhere from $10 to $21 per ticket, but checking online for special days and deals can help you save money.

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Klyde Warren Park is Dallas’ pride and joy and is known for adding a patch of green to the concrete jungle, but most people are unaware that most park activities are free. Save money by attending the weekly yoga, Tai Chi and Zumba classes or bring friends, or a date, to the park to explore the botanical gardens, play foosball in The Commons area or play on the putting green. Klyde Warren Park’s website has a long list of events for kids, dogs and adults to enjoy that are easy on the wallet.

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Gym memberships and boutique fitness centers can cost a pretty penny. To save money look for free trial classes or get a month of unlimited classes to bring the cost per class down. Some fitness stores like Luke’s Locker or Run On offer free social runs or training sessions. Saving money and staying fit doesn’t need to burn a hole in your wallet.

Saving money is the hardest on the weekends when everyone wants to go out to dinner or hit the bar scene. Splitting Uber rides with friends, finding cheaper menu items or avoiding the top shelf alcohol are just a few ways to avoid spending your entire paycheck. Other helpful hacks are drinking before you go out to avoid the overpriced drinks at the bar, avoiding places with a cover charge, ordering pitchers when possible and setting a budget for the night. It’s still possible to enjoy a night on the town while living on a budget.

And don’t forget to use your student ID whenever you can. Stores and restaurants around campus often have a discount that students can take advantage of, but lots of companies have a discount that applies to all college students. From Amazon to J.Crew and Club Monaco to Eurail, there are dozens of companies that can help you save money on clothes, technology and even your first car. A full list can be found here.

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