20 Things You Can Do In Brisbane On A Budget

By Phoebe Grealy
10th Oct 2016

Sometimes the universe sends us little ‘surprises’ when you least expect it: your dog breaks his leg (and your credit card with the vet bill), your car breaks down, you go on an ill-advised online shopping spree and all of a sudden your budget is well and truly busted. We feel you.

So, because we are as keen to keep getting amongst it as you are, we—with the help of Bankwest’s nifty budgeting tool and savings calculator—have put a list together of the awesome things to eat, see and do in Brisbane that barely cost a thing.

Here are 20 epic things to do in Brisbane that will keep you (and the budget) happy.

  1. Meet the squad for mega thick shakes at Chester Street Bakery. At $10.50 a pop, these mamoth-sized dairy delights will fill the belly (not to mention your Insgatram feed), and give you a sugar rush that is sure to make you forget your penny-pinching woes.
  2. Catching the latest exhibitions in town is a fabulous way to speand a lazy Saturday, but can often leave your wallet a little on the light side. Lucky for us Brisbanites, QAGOMA shows some of the most incredibe and relevant works... for free!
  3. Say goodbye to the exxy gym membership and start hitting up some of Brisbane’s prettiest walks. The stairs at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs are one of the best workouts you can get.
  4. The budget doesn’t extend to fancy breakfasts out right now? Coffee dates are the new breakfast, haven’t you heard? Toowong favourite Josie North nails the coffee game AND offers Mork hot chocolates for $4. Four dollar hot beverages are basically unheard of these days.
  5. After your coffee pick me up, pick up an artisan loaf of sourdough at one of our top notch bakeries and make your avo on toast at home. A whole loaf of delicious sourdough at Danny’s Bread in New Farm costs $8.
  6. Is your spending on Amazon, Netflix and Stan getting you down? Maybe it’s time to join the Brisbane City Council Library. The Brisbane Square Library has every book, DVD and magazine you can think of, AND a coffee shop with one of the best views over the Brisbane River.
  7. Date night doesn’t need to be put on hold because the budget is tight. The Schonell Theatre at UQ offers 2 movie tickets and a delicious wood-fired pizza deal for only $25.  
  8. Or if you love a view, drive up to the top of Mt Coot-tha at sunset and watch one of the best views over Brisbane. Tres romantic.
  9. Want to appear cultured and refined despite your budget? Check out Opera Queensland’s upcoming shows; they provide $30 tickets for peeps under 30.
  10. Similarly, the Brisbane Powerhouse has heaps of well-priced shows. Not to mention their annual World Press Photo Exhibition is free!
  11. Want a dog but can’t afford one right now? Volunteer at the RSCPA for a day and play with all the four-legged cuties. They’ll love you for it.
  12. Put on your walking shoes and hit the Brisbane City Council's Public Art Trail around the CBD. The 1.8km walk is a total breeze and takes you past some of the city's best public art and historic architecture. Just download the map and get walking.
  13. Speaking of volunteering, Volunteer Queensland has a whole list of interesting places to offer your services, including the St Andrews’ Saturday Lunch where you can help prepare meals for the disadvantaged. Money can’t buy feel-good endorphins.
  14. Looking for that spa feeling without the spa price tag? I swear the historic, 25-yard Spring Hill Baths is heated over a balmy 30 degrees; and it’s super cute to boot.
  15. California Native in Coorparoo has one of the hugest plates of nachos you’ve ever seen. Share a plate between two and that $16 meal is looking like a pretty budget friendly dinner.
  16. Act like a kid and City Cycle around town all night hitting up South Bank, Kangaroo Point and the Botanic Gardens tracks. It’s only $2.20 for an hour of fun.
  17. If cruising on the river is more your style, jump on a CityCat and experience Brisbane’s best views from the water. We love the stretch of river from West End all the way to Bulimba. Total cost = under $10.
  18. Plan for your future and indulge in the budget-saving art of window shopping. James Street faves Calexico, Camargue and Scanlan & Theodore are a great place to dream about your future wardrobe. You'll get to the purchasing part one day, we're sure.
  19. Brisbane’s old school cinemas know how to deliver a bargain. Rock up to the Eldorado, the Balmoral or the Hawthorne and grab a ticket and a choc top for $10!
  20. And if you've got no money to your name, head on up to Eleven Rooftop Bar and check out the stunning views of Brissy before chatting up a rich-looking stranger to see if they’ll buy you a drink.

Image credit: Ariana Gillrie at Eleven Rooftop Bar

Editor’s note: This article is proudly sponsored by Bankwest and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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