When you’re trying to balance socializing with maintaining a budget, you can run into problems pretty quickly. You’re first thought might be that you have to become a hermit and avoid answering the phone for the next two years to pay off your debt, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Before you move out to the isolated shack in the mountains, read this article!
Socializing & Eating Out:
If you like to socialize and dine out but cringe when the bill comes, there’s lots of ways of meeting up with your friends and saving a few dollars. Instead of meeting for dinner, you can meet for breakfast or lunch. Dinner entrees tend to be the most expensive ones on the menu so avoid that by exchanging your latest girlie gossip over Eggs Benedict instead of Steak Tartare.
If you’re interested in trying out that trendy new restaurant that just opened downtown, head down with your gal pals and order an appetizer or two instead of full meals. You’ll be able to soak up the ambiance, sample the cuisine, socialize with friends and stick to your spending limits at the same time. Win, win, and win! Read this article to find out more about mystery shopping for dining out on the cheap!
Finally, if you eat something at home before you go out with your friends, you’ll be able to resist temptation and order within your budget. You can eat anything from a snack to a full meal and then get something smaller when you’re socializing out and about.
Socializing at Home:
Inviting your friends over to your house for an evening is a great opportunity to get fun and creative on a budget. Put together some appetizers and have your friends over for a mini-spa night. Buy the supplies from your local drug store (a lot of them have great selection and are way cheaper than the mall) for a reasonable price and have a girlfriend get-together in house.
If you keep your eye out for good sales on fresh fish and seafood, you can have a sushi making party at your house and split the cost evenly between all your guests. You get to try something new and then enjoy the yummy finished product afterwards!
If you have a friend who sells Avon or other products that you enjoy, you can host a party and invite you friends over for some socializing fun, free samples, and a great discount for you on anything you buy with your host discount. Most companies that are “party” based will offer a great discount to the people who host a party for their reps to attend and make their presentation.
The sky is really the limit when it comes to entertaining at home. Be as straightforward or as creative as you want to be, lots of things to try out there!
Socializing and Fitness:
If you like to go to work out and socialize with your friends, you can enjoy the expense of the gym by planning outings in the community when the weather is nice. Explore the running paths in your city, go cycling on the trails in the local parks, or walk around a neighbourhood that you really like and get a smoothie at a local cafe.
Look around for your city’s recreation guide – there is usually a lot of great classes and activities offered at a fraction of the price you’d see at privately own fitness facilities and studios. Take a yoga class with your friend at $80 for nine classes through the city instead of the $180 for six classes at a private studio. City fitness facilities are also great places to check out and drop-in for a swim or a cardio workout. If it turns out you like the facilities, you can get a monthly membership to most of them without the scary contracts that usually go with gym memberships.
There’s lots of ways to get creative with stretching your entertainment budget to get maximum fun out of minimal dollars.
Tell me, what’s your best tip for having fun on a budget?
Link love for related posts:
47 Cheap Things To Do This Weekend – Wise Bread (also older article but great ideas)
Dianne @ Skinny Seahorae says
Great tips. Learning to socialize on a budget is tough and often the downfall of a well-intentioned saver. I know from experience. 😀
Lindsey D says
To true, I know this is one of my regular money traps. I’m surprised (now that I think about it) that I didn’t write about it sooner – who can’t use a few ideas to have fun on a shoestring budget!
Thanks for posting!
Paul Hampton says
There are some great happy hours down here. Some even offer free food. It’s much more fun than staying up too late and waking up in a fog.
Lindsey D says
Happy hours are definitely a beautiful thing! Cheap (or free) food and discounted drinks. I like the way you think!
Thanks for posting buddy!