Sticking to a small budget shouldn’t mean missing out on fun with your friends. By making a few small changes and planning in some cheaper events, you can pack your calendar full of fun while still counting the pennies. If you struggle to understand where your money is going or simply want to discover some new ways of funding activities – you’re in the right place. Here are some of our tips and tricks when it comes to funding your social life.
- Set a monthly budget
Set a monthly budget for social activities and put it aside as soon as you get paid. It’s easier to budget for essentials like bills, but we often don’t consider putting away some money for our social life. Planning in the cost as far in advance as possible means you know exactly how much you have to spend on other luxuries. Budgeting for at least one event every two weeks means you won’t have to miss out after checking your balance at the last minute.
- Tackle any existing debts you may have
Many of us use credit cards to fund our social lives or perhaps you’ve needed a small loan for an emergency situation in recent months, take some time to focus on paying off these bigger debts. Once cleared, whatever cash you were putting towards these can then be used to fund social events in the future and kept safe in a savings account until then.
- Lean towards lower cost activities
There are plenty of low-cost activities you can suggest to your friends instead of heading to expensive bars and the like. Heading to the beach? Instead of going to a pricey restaurant by the sea, bring a picnic and enjoy the great outdoors. If you do fancy eating out, plan before you go and find out which places have offers or deals on. You may even find that some restaurants offer 2-for-1 deals or discounts for big groups. There are plenty of cheap things to do when you keep an eye on your local community boards and websites, so keep up to date with what’s going on around you. If you’re stuck for ideas, you can find a list of some cheap and free things to do here.
- Track your spending
If you struggle to keep track of your spending, try downloading a budgeting app. Check the app regularly to help you better understand what you’re overspending on, so you can cut back and have more money to put towards your social life. It’s easy to forget a budget planner when it’s in the form of a book, whereas you’re sure to carry your phone around with you everywhere you go. This means you can keep track of your budget while you’re on the go. The Guardian has a list of some of the top budgeting apps available to download now. They each have different features to suit your needs, including tips on planning ahead and notifications for upcoming payments.
- Cut back on other spending
Finally, reduce your spending when it comes to unnecessary things. Even seemingly small changes can have a huge benefit on your bank balance, meaning you have more money to spend on social things. For example, if you buy a coffee every morning before you go to work, why not start making them yourself when you get to the office? Look at where you can cut back without sacrificing too much and you’ll have the cash to splash out with your friends.