Socialising can take a toll on your financial health. But did you know that you can cut down on expenses and still have fun? Here’s how to socialise on a budget.
Have you ever ignored a friend’s call or text to avoid going out with them? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Quite a few of us have done that for financial reasons. No, we are not avoiding them because we are not able to repay the money we borrowed from them or we are scared that the person is going to ask us to lend money. We are just scared that they are calling us to a restaurant or maybe for shopping and we just can’t afford it.
Friendships are similar to expensive subscriptions. With subscriptions, you get access only when you pay your dues. And when it comes to friendship, you actually get proper access to your friends only when you are shelling out money on food, drinks, movies or other entertainment places.
Besides, socialising is one of our favourite pastimes apart from watching television and sleeping. But, unlike watching TV or sleeping, hanging out with friends involves spending money. And this does have a serious impact on your finances.
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However, none of us would want to stay at home, getting bored and lonely, just to save some money. We would obviously choose to go out with our friends even if it wrecks our finances, right? But what if we told you you could actually hang out with your friends on a budget.
Here are a few tips on how to better control your spending:
Cut down on your pub bills
The idea of hanging out with friends for most of us is pubbing. It is a great way to chill out, but alcohol, especially at pubs, can be costly. And if you are really concerned about your finances, we would advise you to skip the pubs. Instead you could have social drinking sessions at someone’s home? This could save you a lot of money.
In addition, if you’re planning to have a party or indulge in regular drinking sessions with your friends, then we would suggest you buy the booze in bulk. It is much cheaper than running to the beverage store to pick up bottles every time you run out.
If you still want to drink outside, then you should take advantage of happy hours to save a bit.
Additional Reading: What Your Choice Of Alcohol Says About Your Financial Acumen
Say no to shopping
Not just shopping, say no to window shopping as well. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, you are likely to be tempted when your friends are filling their carts with new stuff. It isn’t easy to stand up to peer pressure; it takes a lot of willpower. So, if your friends want you to go shopping with them, agree only if you need to buy something or if they really want your advice on a purchase.
Visit places during the non-peak hours
Certain places like movie halls, entertainment parks, tourist spots, bowling alleys and clubs offer reduced prices during non-peak hours. For example, going for a movie in the evening may prove more expensive than going for one in the morning or afternoon. Similarly, entertainment parks may offer great discounts during weekdays than weekends, and during the pre- and post-season months.
Nightclubs also have great offers such as free entry before a specified time, free entry for couples, free drinks for ladies, etc. Well, the ladies certainly get more offers than the guys at clubs, but there are a lot of money-saving opportunities out there.
Say yes to coupons
Making use of coupons is one of the best ways to save a lot of money. With portals like Nearbuy and Little, you can find amazing deals across categories. They aren’t just restricted to restaurants and clubs either. They cover a lot more like spas, entertainment activities, travel and even fitness (if you want to work out together). So, the next time, before you head out, check for deals at your favourite places.
Although you may not know about them, there are a lot of free activities that you could participate in with your friends. Local band performances, art events, karaoke, workshops, storytelling sessions, book launches, etc. are some of the free activities that usually happen across the city. Search for such free attractions across your city and get going.
There is a lot of fun stuff to do at home. From indoor games to gaming to movie nights to eating events, you and your friends can have a gala time without spending much. Binge watch your favourite series, organise a potluck, play board games or watch a few movies on NetFlix. Why do you need to go out and do stuff when you can do a lot more at home at a fraction of the cost? Think about it.
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Hit the park
Remember the good ol’ days when your parents used to pack sandwiches and you used to go to the park and have some great family time. Good old times, weren’t they? How about a small picnic with your friends? Sounds like a good idea, right? Pack some sandwiches, hit the park, judge people, play on the swings and have a good time with your best buddies.
Organise a treasure hunt around your house
Treasure hunts are fun. Take some time out and organise a treasure hunt around your house. Call your friends, divide them into teams and let them find the treasure. After the hunt, you can prepare a fabulous meal at home. Less expenditure and lots of fun, right?
Go for a long drive
Who doesn’t love a long drive? It is an economical way to spend time with your friends too. The only costs you’ll incur are fuel and food. If you want to reduce the food costs, you can pack food and beverages from home. Cool, eh?
Ultimately, if you change the way you socialise, you can build better friendships, try new things and save a lot of money too. Don’t you think so? Do you have any other ideas to socialise on a budget? Let us know in the comments section below.