How to live in the 305 and keep your bank balance above $3.05

Miami is not cheap. It has one of the highest costs of living in the nation, and if you’ve never lived in the 305, you may not have a realistic concept of costs.

But by planning and budgeting wisely, UM students can spend less and save more on everyday expenses, such as groceries and transportation, and not-so-everyday “fun stuff” expenses, including day trips to Miami Beach, brunch in Wynwood and downtown museum outings.

New students will find that there are many free events and discounted activities available to them, but there are still lots of things such as off-campus meals and coffee runs that won’t be priced to appeal to students.

A seemingly innocent string of off-campus food trips can run anywhere from $15 to $45 per week, depending on how frequently you eat out, where you’re eating and what you’re ordering.

Be mindful that it does add up and opt for dorm room coffee and snacks a couple times a week if you’re trying to manage expenses.

If you visit a museum once a month (and not on Free Second Saturday at the Pérez Art Museum Miami), it will cost you around $10 to $25.

Miami is home to a bunch of weekend-worthy exhibits at the HistoryMiami Museum, the recently opened Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum and even the World Erotic Art Museum on South Beach. If you have an interest, you can likely find it in Miami.

Concerts, local shows and headliner tours abound in Miami. A cover charge could be as cheap as $5, while a nosebleed seat at the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami could start at $65, not including taxes and fees. Save your dollars for your favorite artists because chances are they’ll stop by Miami at some point.

There’s also a thriving performing arts community in South Florida, movie theaters screening indie films and documentaries, outdoor activities galore and near-constant open mics and karaoke nights.

Check out for $5 tickets to shows and museums in Miami-Dade County. It never hurts to flash your UM Cane Card in case there’s a student discount.

Featured photo shows Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, $10 with student ID.