4 Ways to Spend Less and Still Have Fun

It’s a couple of months into the new year and you’re reflecting on your new budget. I will not spend money on useless things, you tell yourself.

Then, along comes your social life, hitting your wallet like a brick wall.

We feel you, it’s pretty difficult to save those funds when you’re out on the town several days a week. With a social life comes inevitable spending, making it hard to stick to your budget. Now, you may choose to opt out of the social scene, gravitating towards a night in with your one true love: Netflix. As fun as it is binge-watching an entire season of The Mindy Project in one night, sometimes a little social activity is needed. Stop stressing about being strapped for cash, and check out our 4 ways to spend less and still have fun.

1. Potlucks over restaurants

Wining and dining is fun – just not as fun when it’s on your own dime. We get it, exploring the city, trying different restaurants and eating out is always a good time. There’s nothing like bonding with your mains over some good food. Once in a while though, try switching it up. Host a potluck with your girls instead of hitting up a restaurant. Ask everyone to bring a different plate (appetizer, main course, dessert), and kick-back in the comfort of your own home.

Let’s do the math:
  • Average dinner plate at a restaurant (including tax, tip, and drink): $35
  • Ingredients to make a meal for a potluck: $10
  • Hosting an all-you-can-eat potluck in your pajamas: priceless
2. Accessories over the outfit

Hot date coming up? Huge party next week and you want to make sure you’re dressed to impress? Whatever the occasion, buying a complete new outfit unmerited can often be a total money-waster. A lot of times, we’re hesitant to repeat outfits, avoiding wearing the same outfits we’ve already worn in an Instagram pic before. Here’s the trick: choose a simple outfit (little black dress, for example), and accessorize the heck out of it. Accessories can change the style and vibe of an entire outfit, giving it a completely new look. Whatever it may be: throw on a fur vest, put on a chunky necklace, throw on some statement earrings, switch from black open-toe heels to thigh-high beige suede boots – and watch your new outfit unfold. We call it, the power of the accessory.

Let’s do the math:
  • A brand new dress: $65
  • Accessories: $20
  • Not having to worry about the sloppy dude on the dance floor spilling beer all over your new dress: priceless
3. Pre-drink instead of buying drinks

This one’s an easy one. Drink before getting to the bars. If you’re heading out on a quest for a wild night out, skip the drinks at the bar and do a solid amount of pre-gaming beforehand. If your plan is to save your buzz until you’re out, don’t be surprised as to why you’re racking up the booze bills. Set up a longer pre, giving you enought time to get, well, tipsy. And let’s be real, the pre is always more fun.

Let’s do the math:
  • 3-4 drinks at the bar: $30
  • A bottle of wine (3-4 drinks): $10
  • “Innocently” cutting the club line and getting in first because you were too drunk to realize: priceless
4. Cash over card

You’ve probably heard this one before, but we’re going to repeat it again. Leave your cards at home. If you’re going out and you know it’s going to be a rowdy night, your best bet is to ditch the debit and the credit. It’s the go-to cash-in-an-envelope rule: only bring the amount that you want to spend with you in cash. That way, you can avoid major damage caused by spending more than you should have, accruing insane bank fees, or losing your card. Most places only take cash for cover anyways, so this is an obvious win-win.

Let’s do the math:
  • Cash: However much you want – you set the rules
  • Debit / Credit Card: ATM fees, bank charges, transaction costs, and the fear of that huge credit limit
  • Waking up without regret because you didn’t end up buying the entire bar a round: priceless

And there you have it! Some say mo’ money, mo’ problems. We say, mo’ funds, mo’ fun.


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