Is it payday yet? Though it may not look like it outside, Summer is just around the corner, and with it Ibiza, Glastonbury and Notting Hill all beckon us with enticements of sunshine, fun and frolics. The only two common denominators required to make 2019’s sunsoaked party season go off with a bang? Weather and money. With the next couple of weeks forecast as downright dreary, the temptation is to go into full hermit mode and save a few pennies in the process. But for those who value time with friends and having a spendthrifty spell, here are 5 IDEAL ways to have a social life on a budget.
A BREW, NOT BOOZE
Time to face the facts; no budget ever went successfully when booze played a part. It’s expensive, and everything that goes with it is too, from the Ubers across town, to the new outfits and kebabs at the end of the evening. If you’re to save seriously, it might be prudent to swap the booze for a brew. This could be in the form of inviting a friend round for a cuppa at yours or meeting for a coffee out and about. Either way, the accumulative cost will be way less than several cocktails and the rest.
Take advantage of various offers and deals which high street cafes employ to hook you in. If you’re an o2 customer, for instance, you’re entitled to a free hot drink at Cafe Nero every Tuesday and Wednesday. Or, if you have a myWaitrose card (no financial commitment necessary), then you can have a tea or coffee in any of their stores, free of charge. No excuse, then, to get out there.
FIND FREE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA
Not every public social gathering need come with a price tag. In fact, some of the best are free; all the event asks for is your engagement. As we’re sure you already know, the majority of museums and art galleries in London are free to enter, with restrictions only existing on select exhibitions. So, that’s a month of the V&A, the Science Museum, Design Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Tate, the National Gallery and so many more. There are enough conversation starters and searching questions to pose in these places to keep your social life active until Christmas. Of course, this magnitude of completely free ways to keep you busy isn’t confined to the capital. Check out this list of the best free stuff to do ,UK-wide, here.
BE THE HOST…
Take a casual consensus of any friendship group and it’s likely that you’ll find most prefer to spend a little money on the refreshments than be the one to open up their home to the party. But what about all the cleaning up, the keeping down of noise, the concern about breakages? Well, it doesn’t cost a dime, and your hospitality will be greatly appreciated. A win-win situation, this one.
…& THE ORGANISER
Of equal value to any friendship group is the one who actually sticks their neck out, suggests places and organises outings. Volunteer to be this person, and opt for events which are less burdensome on the bank balance. Be honest with your pals about the state of your finances and, let’s be honest, most of them will probably be in the same boat and grateful for the honesty. If you want to eat at a restaurant, try one with a BYOB; some restaurants may have a corkage fee, however, it usually doesn’t amount to much.
Keep your eyes out and ears to the ground for new restaurant openings putting on a soft launch. This is a bit like a dress rehearsal; it gives new restaurants and bars the chance to iron out any kinks in their service and proposition before it opens to the public proper. However, it’s the ideal eat out at cut-price deals – some restaurants offer as much as 50% off the bill.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR FINANCES
It’s vital that you do your best to monitor your spending, by keeping note of your incomings and outgoings. When once you had a bag full of receipts and scribbled I.O.Us, now there are various apps which help you monitor things. The Monzo debit card, and adjoining app, for instance, has various tools which help you budget, including an automatic organiser of all your spending into categories (eg. entertainment, travel, etc…).
Knowledge is very much power when it comes to your purse. If you do need a new financial service to help you manage your money, be sure to shop around; you can compare insurance, credit cards and personal loans in seconds so do your due diligence. This will help relieve any stress you might have about spiralling costs and erratic budgets.