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Hanging Out With Friends on a Tight Budget

Posted by MoneyKey on June 21, 2019
hanging out with friends

We all love a fun day out with friends, but if you’re struggling to keep up with them financially whenever you go out, something has to change. After all, you shouldn’t have to empty your bank account just to enjoy the company of friends. Fortunately, you don’t have to. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want your bank account to limit you when you’re hanging out with friends, there are things you can do to help close the financial gap.

Here are five money saving tips to help you when you’re looking to have some affordable fun with friends.

Organize cheaper activities yourself

If you want to start hanging out with friends on the cheap, you might have to start taking the reins when it comes to what activities you do together.

If your friends’ idea of fun tends to come at a higher price point, take some initiative to suggest and plan less expensive or even free activities. This could be things like:

  • A day in the park. Put together a picnic, bring a frisbee, and enjoy the nice weather
  • Find a free hiking trail and explore the surrounding nature
  • Find bike trails. You could even use this as an opportunity to exercise together without going to a pricey gym
  • Find reasonably priced places to go out for a meal

hanging out with friends on a bike ride

A great way to start hanging out with friends on a tight budget is to take full advantage of the outdoors instead of spending your weekends hopping from bar to bar. The price of drinks adds up quickly, and you could be left with an empty wallet and a swelling headache the next morning.

Finding ways to stay physically active while enjoying some recreational fun with your friends is a great alternative to burning through money in the evening. If you want to really dive into hanging out with friends in nature, have a campfire or even organize a camping trip for the weekend.

Host activities at your house

If you’re the one suggesting activities, why not organize some fun that takes place in the comfort of your own home? This is a great way to be hanging out with friends without the extra cost of paying for restaurants, drinks, cover fees, and travel.

For example, hosting a dinner and making food is likely going to cost you less than what you’d pay to eat at a restaurant. And you don’t need to make anything extravagant. Try these cheap meal ideas next time you’re hosting a dinner party. If you want to cut back on costs, ask your friends to bring a few dollars each to cover the cost of food. You can even ask them to bring a dish each and turn it into a potluck!

Eat before you leave the house

eat before hanging out with friends

If do end up deciding to go out to eat instead of hosting a dinner party, there are still some things you can do to avoid spending more than you should on dinner. One of those things is to eat before you leave the house. If you have plans to be hanging out with friends at an expensive restaurant that you can’t really afford, fill your stomach up before you go. All you’ll need to do is contribute a few dollars to snack on something, or if everyone is getting a more substantial meal, order a small appetizer instead.

Use general money saving tips

General money saving tips can help in specific instances when you’re hanging out with friends on a tight budget. If you look hard enough, you can often find sales, coupons, or discounts on fun things to do.

Once you’ve established what your plans are going to be, do some research and see if you can find the same activities at lower rate. Look for sites that offer discounts on tickets or events, or see if your workplace offers any employee discounts for events around town.

Here are some great places to start your search:

  • com. This site provides a one-stop location for deals that you would find in places like Groupon and also gives you ideas for things like weekend getaways. They’ll offer discounts on events in a wide range of locations, so you may not have to travel far to have some fun hanging out with friends
  • This site isn’t necessarily about finding discounted tickets, but instead will help you find local events that are very cheap, or even free. This could be things like amateur comedy nights, after hours parties for store openings, or bookstore readings
  • If you love theatre, this is the app for you. You can find discounted theatre ticket prices and it also has lottery giveaways for big ticket shows

Be honest about your situation

When it’s all said and done, your friends are your friends for a reason, and if you can’t keep up with them financially, they should be sensitive to that. Opening up about financial struggles can be uncomfortable, but if you want to keep hanging out with friends without having to constantly stress over whether you can actually afford any of the activities you’re doing, then you’ll need to be honest. In the end, it can strengthen your friendships.

talk about financial situation when hanging out with friends

This doesn’t mean you have to thoroughly go over your financial records with your friends, it just means that you may have to be a little more assertive and honest if your friends keep doing things that are out of your price range.

For example, it’s common for a large group to split things evenly when you’re taking care of the tab at a restaurant. But if you’re on a tight budget, this might make your heart drop. After all, you shouldn’t have to pay for your friend’s steak and whiskey when you ordered a water and some fries. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s important for you to remind your friends of your situation.

Don’t let your tight budget stop you from hanging out with friends

You may not have the same sized bank account, but the fact that you’re on a tight budget shouldn’t stop you from hanging out with friends and enjoying their company to the fullest extent. If you’re honest about your situation and you keep some of the money saving tips we’ve mentioned in mind, you may be able to find plenty of ways to have fun with friends without breaking the bank.

Do you have any tips to keep hanging out with friends despite your tight budget? Share below!

 

Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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