I love going out with friends, don’t you? Going out to dinner and a movie, maybe a little looking around at the mall is my idea of a really fun time when I’m with a group of friends. There is one problem though. It can get really expensive and that usually means I don’t go out as often as I would like.
There are a number of ways to have fun and not spend all of the money you have been saving for college though. Here are 7 Simple Ways To Budget A Fun Night With Friends:
1 – Decide in advance how much you can spend and take only cash with you.
Making this decision is really important. If you only take $25 with you and commit to not using your debit card this will go a long way to keeping you on track with your spending.
2 – Don’t be afraid to use a coupon.
If you are going out to eat take some time to look and see if there are any coupons available before you leave the house! Many restaurants have some sort of coupon on their website or a way to get a discount. One of our favorite places sends you a coupon for a free appetizer if you sign up for their email list. Most places like bowling, mini-golf, go-carts, laser tag also have coupons online.
3 – Find fun and FREE activities in your community.
Most places have fun activities and things to do on the weekends. Take a look online or in a local newspaper. There might be some sort of new thing to do that you wouldn’t normally do so take a chance and have fun with it!
4 – Drink water…
It might seem silly, but I almost always order water when I’m out with friends. It’s free! Water also happens to be much better for you than soda anyways.
5 – Don’t get the popcorn.
It’s $12 for a bucket of popcorn. TWELVE DOLLARS. And don’t even get me started on the price of the sodas. I never get anything to eat at the theatre. Now, I’m not saying that you should bring a snack with you but they made big purses and pockets for a reason people.
5 – Make your night out a day out.
Going out with friends in the morning and at lunch time is also a great way to save money. At the AMC theatre near my house movies are only $5 if you go to the 11am showing. Most of the time friends and I go to the movie and then have lunch. Lunch menus are always less expensive than dinner so going early really can save a lot.
6 – Share
If you are out for dinner with a friend you can always share a meal. This really reduces the expense and most places bring enough food out on one plate for two people. You can also check the menu and see if they have the 2 for $20 type deal like Chili’s offers. There is also another way to ‘share’. My friend Lexi and I take turns paying for each other. One time I pay for lunch and a movie and next time she pays. I guess it doesn’t really save any money but it is a nice treat for the other person’s budget.
7 – Plan to stay at home.
There are so many fun things you could do at home with a group of friends. Everyone could bring their favorite dish or you could all go grocery shopping, split the expense, and cook a great meal together for fun. The RedBox is always an option for a cheap movie rental or you could play a board/card game.
There are plenty of ways to save money and still have fun with your friends. I know there are so many other creative ways to do this and would love to hear what you do to save.