We hear you…a straight-laced budget and a thriving social life were never intended to be besties; they operate in different circles, claiming diverging interests and social speeds. One loves the thought of a long and lazy Netflix and chill, while the other hits a list of bars, clubs and dancefloors, sparing no expense. It’s an impossible relationship, right?
Like any new living arrangement, your budget and your social life just need time to get to know each other and shift their expectations – nothing ever stays the same. To speed along this period of adjustment, we’ve pooled our experiences and figured out how to save money without sacrificing your social life.
Honesty is not overrated. Instead of dodging RSVPs, taking leave of your social networks and inventing new hobbies to get you out of saying no (at least directly) to everything, let your friends know what’s going on. You don’t need to take them through the finer points of your savings plan or describe your goals at length, but letting them in on the overall end game might help in managing their expectations. They may even have their own goals in the works – help each other to achieve your individual aspirations and have a party at the end to celebrate.
Become a Groupie, Scoopie or Socialite
Don’t worry, we’re not communicating in hipster code. Groupon, Scoopon and Living Social sites are incredibly useful and dedicated to discounts – food, fitness, tickets, theme parks and everything in-between. All you need to do is sign-up, comb through the offers and find something to suit your mood this weekend – easy, low cost and fun.
Be Our Guest…
Instead of catching a flick and grabbing a bite with a group of your closest friends, jump on the marathon bandwagon. Pick a TV show and gather around to eat, gossip and drink, it costs the price of a few bottles of wine and BYO food and snacks. If you’re after something a bit more civilised, host a weekly ‘pot luck’ night and have everyone bring a dish – it’s the perfect opportunity to test out a recipe or two you’ve always wanted to make or try.
Sharing is Caring
Do you want a new movie to watch or a good book to read, but you don’t have the budget? Create a social swap event on Facebook and invite your friends over to trade their favourites – you may be introduced to flicks you would normally pass over or stories you couldn’t imagine buying for yourself, expanding your pop cultural and literary horizons…sounds like a good deal to us.
Buy it Slowly
It’s time to bring lay-bys back. We know most people just put their pleasure shops on credit (or Afterpay) these days, but you should break those bad habits before they take hold. You’re not like everybody else. You have a budget – a goal. So there’s nothing wrong with waiting for something you really want and paying it off incrementally, according to what you can afford. You’ll appreciate it more when pick-up day arrives. You can have nice things on a budget – it just takes longer to get them.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not account for individual financial circumstances and outcomes.