5 Ways to Save Money Going Out With Friends – When you’re on a budget but still want to have friends, you don’t need to live under a rock to make that happen! Here’s what you can do.
“I love you, but I can’t go into debt to hang out with you!”
I’ve wanted to say this to almost every one of my friends when they asked to go out for the night. I work with a very strict budget and I budget in “fun money,” but I don’t really want to blow all of my “fun money” on a single night out!
When you’re living on one income and a budget, you’ll likely find yourself in a situation where you will have to choose between spending time with friends or staying on budget. And that’s not a fun place to be!
But there’s another way! You can have both!
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Here are my ways to still have time with friends while sticking to my weekly $25 fun money!
1. Change the start time.
Dinner is so much more expensive than lunch or brunch! Plus, there’s no need to buy drinks for breakfast! Bagels and coffee are much easier to pay for than chicken alfredo or brick oven pizza (can you tell I’m thinking about Italian food?)
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2. Change a night out to a night IN.
Who needs a Girls Night Out, when you can have a Girls Night IN?! Instead of going out to a movie with girlfriends, invite them over, turn on Hulu, watch The Bachelor, have someone bring wine (uber money saver: skip it altogether, since alcohol is so expensive!), make some amazing bark, and hang out. You can even order takeout if you’re feeling really lazy, and it would still save you money.
An even greater idea that some of my girlfriends and I love to do, is we all bring a recipe that we’ve seen on Pinterest for us all to try out. We get the variety that we would if we went out to dinner, and we all only have to make one thing. It’s a lot of fun!
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3. Have a potluck or BBQ.
If you host a potluck or barbecue with a lot of friends you can usually get away with spending very little and just asking everyone else to bring food. Is hosting best. Either way, they’re fairly inexpensive, easy, and a great way to catch up without breaking the bank.
If you and your friends all have kids, this is the best way to get together! No one has to pay for a sitter, and you don’t have to worry about being those people who brought the terrible children to the nice restaurant and are ignoring them tearing up the place while they catch up with their friends. It’s a great way for whole families to get together.
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4. Window shop.
Some of the most fun I’ve had has been window shopping with friends after grabbing some coffee. I love to window shop! But only because I know I won’t buy anything. If it’s too tempting for you, this is a bad idea! But if you’re comfortable in your wallet control, it’s like a real-life dream board on Pinterest! I go out and get great ideas to then go home and find out how to do them for cheap on Pinterest!
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5. Just say “no.”
It’s not always easy, but sometimes you just have to say no. When it comes down to it, friends will get the choices have to be made when money is tight. Chances are, someone might get their feelings hurt. But at the end of the day, you won’t regret your choice to save money.
As with everything, going out with friends can be as expensive or as inexpensive as you want to make it. You could get together at a 5-star restaurant and get a spa day, or you can get together once the kids are in bed and catch up on the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows while eating leftovers. What matters to most is spending time together!
My friends all know that I love them dearly. They also know that I’m just about the cheapest person known to man. You don’t have to choose one over the other. You can have friends and still save money. Sometimes it requires a little bit more work and planning, but in the end, it’s all worth it!
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How do you get together with friends without breaking the bank?
I found you from the via the #tttparty and I LOVE this post! As I was reading it, it clicked that my girlfriends only invite me out to brunch. If we don’t do that, they come to my house after my children are sleeping because babysitters are crazy expensive where I live.
Also, I have four boys, had all natural births (not at home), cloth diapered, and love coffee (My blog is actually named “Coffee Colored Sofa”) so we have a ton in common! I’ll look forward to reading more of your posts!
Thanks Nicole!!! And It’s so great to meet someone else who’s so similar!!!! 🙂
With my group of friends we do take away (that’s a very English was of saying take out I think) nights in at each other’s houses, that’s always fun and not expensive so I totally agree with your nights in idea. The host provides drinks and a dessert and we all pay for our own take away. Who hosts changes each time so it never gets too much for one person and we usually end up laughing till we cry and the host doesn’t even have to drive or get a cab home!
Jenna @ A Savory Feast says
Great ideas! We like to do a potluck with friends to save money. Everyone brings a dish so we don’t have to buy and make enough food for everyone.
Thank you for the great ideas, I have been trying to find a way to get together with my friends without going out. I am a single mom and I can’t afford a babysitter, but all my friends are into getting together and going out. I will have to suggest a get-together in my backyard for next time after my kids are asleep.
Cara recently posted…Getting rid of dryer sheets
Cara, I feel your pain! My husband works second shift (WORLDS different from being a single mom, and I give you all of the credit in the world for it!), so when friends go out during the week, they’re able to get their husbands to watch the kids… I always suggest low-key, inexpensive dinners or nights IN watching The Bachelor when we can all put the kids to bed and still get a chance to hang out!
Elizabeth Ziegler says
Hi Caroline, being with friends is one of my favorite things and I like chatting with them with a cup of tea or something else, talking about our lives. Thank you for providing such a good way and I will denefitely try it next time!