How to Celebrate Game Day the Better Way

College life is filled with excitement, camaraderie, and, of course, game days! Whether you’re cheering for the home team at the stadium tailgate, or hosting a watch party at your apartment, game days are a cherished part of the college experience.

But as important as these memories are in shaping who you are post college, it’s crucial to take the steps to build healthy money habits and set the foundation for the future. Let’s face it: being a college student often means navigating the tricky terrain of a tight budget. Fear not, fellow students, because, with the right strategy and the Ambition Mastercard® by College Ave, you can turn game day celebrations into unforgettable experiences without breaking the bank.

Hunter eating a large meal on a tray table.

Introducing the Ambition Card

Now, let’s talk about the Ambition Mastercard® by College Ave and how this new student card can take your game day celebration to the next level. Designed specifically for college students, the Ambition Card helps you build positive credit history1 for the future while offering cashback rewards2 on every purchase, like dining, rideshares, streaming services and online shopping.

Even better, the Ambition Card is easy to use and fits seamlessly into your busy college life. Simply sign up, transfer money from your existing checking or savings account to set your Ambition Card spending limit, and start making purchases. While you may start small on when—and where—to use your card, you’re really making big moves for your financial future by building a positive credit history1 with on-time monthly payments.

Plus, with features like no interest or late fees3 and fraud protection, the Ambition Card empowers you to manage your finances wisely while enjoying immediate cashback perks.2

Save On Game Day Essentials

Before diving into the game day festivities, ensure you have the basics covered. From snacks to team gear, the key is to find affordable options without compromising on the fun.

Start by scouting local stores or online retailers for budget-friendly team merchandise. I think everyone should invest in some school merchandise to be a part of the school spirit, starting with at least a hoodie or T-shirt—but make sure you’re using your student ID to save money. Many places offer student discounts, and if you pay with the Ambition Card, you’ll earn cash back on each purchase.2 Additionally, consider pooling resources with friends to buy gear in bulk to get more with your money and cut down on shipping and tax costs. It’s a win-win for both your wallet and your friendships.

Game Day Eats On a Budget

Now, no game day celebration is complete without an array of delicious snacks. The challenge, however, lies in keeping your hunger at bay without devouring your bank account. Consider hosting a potluck-style gathering with friends, where each person contributes a dish or snack. This not only diversifies the menu but also ensures that everyone can enjoy a variety of treats without spending a fortune. My favorite game day snacks and appetizers are simple to make and easy to prepare, such as air-fried chicken wings, tater tots or fries, and a big bowl of chips and dip.

Hunter showing off game day food.

To make your food budget stretch even further, take advantage of grocery store deals and takeout/delivery discounts. Planning ahead and buying in bulk can also contribute to significant savings—think snacks that can be shared or stored for later.

Affordable Entertainment Options

If attending the game in person is not in the cards, don’t fret! Hosting a watch party in your dorm or apartment can be just as thrilling. Stream the game with services that offer free trials, or consider splitting subscription costs with your roommates.

Hunter Shopping

For added excitement, organize game day challenges or tournaments among friends. Whether it’s game day predictions or an appetizer contest, creating your own entertainment can be both budget-friendly and loads of fun. Plus, the memories you’ll make with friends are priceless.

Hunter home with supplies.

Get More Out of Game Day With the Ambition Card

In the world of college game day celebrations, a tight budget doesn’t have to mean missing out on the fun. From affordable team gear to budget-friendly snacks and entertainment options, the key is to make smart decisions, maximize your resources, and pay for it all with a student card like the Ambition Mastercard®. This is how you put your future financial goals in motion. So gear up, invite your friends, and let the game day festivities begin. With the Ambition Card in hand, you’re ready to celebrate in style without compromising your budget.



The Ambition Card is designed to help you build your credit history; however, a variety of factors impact your credit including payment history, utilization, derogatory marks, account age, total number of accounts, and inquiries—not all factors are equally weighted.


Cash back rewards are subject to the Ambition Rewards Terms & Conditions.


0% APR. Account is subject to a monthly account fee of $2, account fee is waived for the initial six-monthly billing cycles.

The information in this article is representative of an individual's experience and not intended as financial advice.

College Ave is not a bank. Banking services provided by, and the College Ave Mastercard Charge Card is issued by Evolve Bank & Trust, Member FDIC pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard and the Mastercard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Rewards are not offered by Evolve Bank & Trust and are instead offered and managed by College Ave. Results may vary; credit history is impacted by a number of factors.


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