This guest post is authored by Chidinma Zee
These days saving money is hard, though it is necessary, doing it can cause trouble in families, marriages and mostly, between friends.
I have found ways to get around this without particularly throwing it around people’s faces and without making a big deal about it.
There are many ways to save money at home.
You can utilize things like using leftovers and making the best of them, or teaching your kids the value of money with games, and even being conscious about the amount of energy you spend.
Working towards saving money in your social life is harder, and I found that many times people tend to isolate themselves and stop going out or talking to their friends because they are afraid they’ll spend more money.
Lately, I have found some useful ways to work out this issue, let’s find out how I save money without losing my social life.
#1. Make a Social Budget
We all create budgets at home, for groceries, for trips, for bills, but we often don’t budget ourselves when it comes to going out with friends. Even if you are single, creating a social budget is essential to keep up with your finances.
There are many apps that can help with that, I use Mint, but there are others that can help you. What matters is that you create a realistic budget. Before you start, make a list of social outings you usually have per month, whether it is restaurants, drinks, going to the movies or trips.
Yes, the result might be scary, you may be spending more than you think, but this is a good start to cut down some unnecessary expenses. Slowly, you will be able to track down your social expenses and have fun when you go out with friends.
#2. Carry More Cash
I know it sounds crazy not having your debit or credit card handy, but it is a good way to limit yourself when you go out socially.
If you plan on spending $50 during happy hour, then only carry that amount or a bit more — just in case — this way you won’t be tempted to spend more, but you will actually get to enjoy the fun.
#3. Find Good Deals
There is always a good deal somewhere. If my friends want to go to a restaurant, or they want to go camping, I usually spend time beforehand doing some research, and almost always there will be a discount for a fun activity.
Don’t worry about sounding cheap, this time and age, almost all your friends will most likely want to save money too, and you aren’t taking away any of their fun, you’re saving money for other activities in the future.
#4. Plan Theme Nights
I absolutely love having people over at my house, though I admit it can get sort of crazy, when you invite people over you are the one to call most of the shots. Theme nights are great for having a good time while also saving time and money.
Instead of going for margaritas and tacos to the usual Mexican place, next time invite your friends over.
Designate each one to bring some supplies, one could bring the ground meat and avocados, the other one the tequila, you could supply the taco shells, veggies and limes, and if you are adventurous then you can all chip in for some decorations.
This idea works well because the theme changes and people get into it. I have done Mexican night, cowboys, Hawaiian night, healthy baking night, and so far, we all have fun eating, drinking and playing games without going out.
#5. Take Classes
If you are into working out, then you probably have a gym, if you take dance lessons, then you go to a studio and so on. In most of these places there is likely to be a discount for group classes.
Convince your friends to join you for a few classes, it can be about getting healthy, or cooking, or even a book club. Some of these may even be free the first times, and if not, they certainly have some discounted rates during certain days and times.
Save Money, Stay Social!
Overall, the biggest tip I can give you is to not let yourself go crazy over budgeting and saving every single penny. This is hard and will make you frustrated. Make priority lists, track your finances at home and out, and have some fun.
Did you find these useful? What else do you do? Let me know by leaving your comments below!
Chidinma is the founder of Fruitful Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious recipes and lifestyle tips. Most of her recipes help women with fertility issues, especially fibroids, PCOS, and Endometriosis. Sometimes, however, you will find other interesting recipes, as well as cooking tips and tricks there.