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?
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