8 ways to spend your time [but not your money] outside of dental school


Welcome to Life-Hack Week! All week we’re posting about ways to hack your back-to-dental school experience. Whether it’s saving money, fitting in fitness or making your daily life more tech-savvy, Mouthing Off has you covered. As a special treat, we’re posting all 5 days this week. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss a single post! Now, here’s your first Life-Hack Week post:

Dental school is expensive. So when you finally have a few hours to take a break, or maybe even a week off of school, the last thing you want to do is spend more loan money on recreation. Below are some ideas on how to relax and spend your free time without spending all your money.

  1. Keep an eye out online and in local publications for discounted food/entertainment nights.   Whether it be burgers for $2 or $.20 wings, there are always ways to fit going out into your budget.
  2. Skip taking vacations during breaks from school. Instead, stay home and catch up on a book that you’ve been wanting to read or catch up with friends who you haven’t seen in a while. Consider taking a “staycation” instead. Even if you do indulge in something like golf or a local theater production, you’ll still save big on the cost of travel and lodging by staying put.
  3. Check out your city’s museum “free days.” Many museums and cultural centers offer free days or nights every week or month. Plan to go on a free day rather than pay steep prices for admission.
  4. Photography. Whether you go to school at home or abroad, exploring your surroundings from behind a camera lens will open your eyes to a new perspective.
  5. Blog. If you have a special talent or interest, share your ideas and thoughts freely on a blog. Many hosts like Blogger and WordPress offer free platforms. Need some inspiration, check out this post and this post for dental blogs we love.
  6. Network. It does not take a lot of time to get out your list of contacts and pick a few to e-mail or call to check in. You never know when a contact you have gained will be key to advancing your career.
  7. Go for a walk or a run! Exercise is a cheap way to relieve stress and maintain physical endurance. (Stay tuned for more on working out in dental school this Thursday!)
  8. Volunteer. There are food banks, libraries, churches and organizations that would love some extra help. For a feel-good experience, choose a cause that means something to you.

What’s your favorite free activity in your city? Leave us a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a $50 Visa gift card! You must be an ASDA member to enter. Contest closes at the close of Life-Hack Week on 9/7.

~Megan Mathers, JD, Pesavento & Pesavento

Megan Mathers

Megan is an accountant and tax attorney with Mathers Law, a firm focused on providing accounting, tax, business advisory and legal services to the dental and medical communities. Megan earned her Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Marquette University and her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Megan's practice focuses on tax compliance, tax planning and wealth and estate planning.

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  1. Playing violin in the local symphony or running in my neighborhood.

  2. Jenifer says:

    Playing basketball at the gym or outside in the park towards dusk with friends or learning new songs on the piano.

  3. Rakesh says:

    I get together with different organizations like alumni associations and meetup groups. There’s always free yoga or yoga by donation classes. I also like to volunteer at festivals or going to free outdoor music concerts.

  4. Ileana Lozano says:

    Local art walks and festivals are a great way to see up and coming artist’s works of art. There are also fun and traditional local festivals which can be looked up in the local newspaper or city’s webpage. In my city there is even a festival for citrus where people wear hats decorated with citrus and enjoy a parade. These events are free to the public and are a great way to enjoy what your city offers.

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