If you are trying to stay stick to your budget, save money and get out of your debt at the same time, you need to be thoughtful and frugal about your purchases. You need to stop being frivolous. So restaurants, movie theaters, and vacations should be strike off from your budget. But what do you do about your social life? We humans are social creature and our social circle plays a major role in shaping our attitude towards money and budgeting. You should include friends and family in social circle who encourages healthy financial habits. Your social life can have a huge impact on your budget. Social gatherings involve a cost and just because you are living on a tight budget does not mean that you should not spend time with friends and family. There are several ways that will let you enjoy a social life even when you are on a budget. If the people in your life are not supporting your budget-conscious lifestyle then there are a few things that you can do-
Carefully Pick Who You Hang Out With
Friendship is priceless. Just because your friends are more carefree with their money, you cannot give up spending time with them. However, you can gradually start avoiding such friend and focus spending your weekends with those friends who tend to be more cost conscious. When all your friends are heading to an expensive night club, you may be tempted as well to join them. So, be very careful when you pick your friends.
Suggest Cheaper Activities
Instead of avoiding the group of your friends who are not cost conscious, you can suggest activities so that you can spend time with them as well as stick to your budget. If there is no one to suggest an alternative, your friend will fall back on their standard habits of dining out at expensive restaurants and bars. You can take it upon yourself to mention some different activity that is both fun and wallet-friendly. You can choose to go on a night hike, play board games, play soccer at the park, watch movies at home, or have a jam session.
Tell Your Friends You Are On A Budget
It is better when you are honest with your friends and clue them about your financial situation. It can help you immensely. You do not have to reveal in detail how in debt you are or what your monthly budget is. Simply letting your friends know that you are trying to stick to your budget and save money will make them realize that you are not bailing on the group weekend vacation or dinner at a pricey restaurant just because you cannot afford it and not because you do not want to spend time with them. You can then suggest a cheaper and more cost-effective alternative instead. You can also search for free activities to do and check out for coupons and deals on activities.
Meet For Drinks Or Coffee Instead Of A Meal
When catching up with an old friend, you can suggest going out for drinks or coffee rather than a complete meal. You can also consider inviting your friend at home over lunch or dinner instead of eating out. This will allow you to save money and you will still be able to spend some good time with your friends.
Just because you are on a budget does not mean you have to miss out on life. There are plenty of ways that will allow you to socialize without impacting on your budget. So, you do not have to cancel your plans or avoid going out so that you can keep your budget intact. With some proper planning and a little ingenuity, you can easily save money on activities, meals, and nights out.