Hang Out on a Budget: Finances Can Coexist with a Social Life

Posted by James, 27 Jan

When you're trying to save money and spend less, it may feel like you have to become a shut in, pinching pennies and tending to your 12 cats. But that is not the case. Saving money doesn't mean that you have to live as a hermit; it just requires some forethought and creativity. If you're a single person who wants to maintain an active social life without killing your bank account, there are several activities to partake in that won't lead you astray from your budget.

Entertain at Home

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When trying to save money, the most obvious solution is simply to stay home, but that doesn't have to be as depressing as it sounds. Invite a few friends over to join you for a simple but tasty home-cooked meal. Choose a theme to add a little originality, like Indian food with a Chardonnay or Italian fare with a bottle of Sangiovese. Follow dinner with popcorn and a Netflix film and you've got yourself low-key party. Best of all, you won't need a designated driver.

Outdoor Eating

Though meeting a date or some friends at a restaurant is everyone's go-to casual gathering choice, you can save quite a bit of cash by cutting the restaurant out of the equation. Instead, invite friends to meet up at that food truck that everyone's been talking about. You can have a great meal while enjoying some fresh air for a fraction of the cost of an indoor dining experience, plus, there's no server to tip! As a more romantic option, a picnic date can be more quaint than a trip to a loud restaurant as you and your date kick back and relax on a comfy blanket with some artisan sandwiches. For dessert, some luscious fresh fruit and a creamy beverage with citrus undertones like Guinness Nitro IPA can create an affordable and enjoyable afternoon.

Get Coffee

If your goal is to catch up with an old friend or to meet up with a potential new one, the old coffee date is a tried-and-true option that allows you to indulge in conversation without over-indulging in your spending. Even better than sitting in the cafe and contemplating purchasing one of those overpriced pastries, take your coffee to go and enjoy a stroll with your coffee date. For added flair, find an free, outdoor event, like an arts and crafts fair, farmers market, or even a swap meet to wander through, coffee in hand. The many sights of an outdoor festival could generate some good conversation.

Check Social Buying Websites

If you are bound and determined to do something more extravagant, don't hastily run out an buy a couple's massage package or tickets to the theater. Check social buying websites like Groupon first. These sites host promotional offerings for events, restaurants and new products, but cost significantly less than the market price. They provide a huge listing of things to do, places to go and food to eat. Anything from walking tours to cooking classes are posted there for pennies on the dollar.

When you normally go out with friends, it ends up costing you an arm and a leg. Or when you want to impress a date, you can practically hear your wallet groan. Love may be blind, but it certainly isn't cheap. If you want to have fun but still be able to pay your utility bill, try a few techniques for socializing without wasteful spending.

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