How to Have Fun With Your Friends When You Have No Money to Spend
Now that we actually can go do things with our friends outside of our own homes again, it's hard not to say yes to any and every invite that comes out way.
However, it seems like every time we step foot outside of our houses, it's nearly impossible not to spend money in one way or another—money we don't necessarily have a ton of. So, when you want to go out and have fun with your friends, but have barely a dime to spend, what are you to do? Worry not, we've got some ideas to help you out:
1. Learn to Love Window Shopping
Plot twist: You don't need to purchase something at every store you walk into! Window shopping is a thing, and it allows you to experience the joys of checking out your favorite shops with your friends, helping them pick out new pieces and even make a list of things you want to eventually buy all without the pain—and possible debt—of actually buying anything you can't afford. It can be hard at first, especially when we're bombarded with marketing and cute stuff at every turn, but mastering the art of window shopping will help you improve your own willpower while having fun with friends.
2. Eat Before You Meet Up
If your friends' plans involve grabbing brunch or another meal, it can be tempting to either give in and dish out the cash for your dish or simply skip on hanging out at all. However, there's a way to still enjoy the brunch table conversations without suffering the bill at the end: Just eat before. Yes, it can feel a little awkward the first time you try it—after all, eating is a social activity and being the only person not eating can make you feel odd at first—but having eaten at home before heading out of the house means you won't be left hungry and champing at the bit to order something you can't afford. It's also a valid excuse for not spending money on the meal without making your friends feel weird. When in doubt, you can always blame it on your family ("My mom made so many leftovers she insisted I eat them before going out," "My aunt is in town and made us the biggest breakfast so there's no way I could eat another thing," etc.).
3. Plan a Picnic
Fresh air is free, and having each of your friends bring a little something for a picnic costs almost nothing (especially if you're able to whip something up with stuff your mom already has stocked in the pantry) compared to other activities like going out to eat, shopping or heading to a theme park. Plus, think of the Instagrammable picnic moments just waiting to happen! You could even go all out and pick a theme (we're thinking Bridgerton, Emily in Paris or even a full-on London-style afternoon tea) to give an excuse to get all dressed up to go almost nowhere.
4. Check for Free Local Events
There's a good chance that your town or city throws loads of public events that are free or almost free to attend, so why not get your group together and give them a go? You might be surprised what kinds of cute festivals, farmers markets or public art events might be going on in your community, and it could even become a regular thing for your friends or a way for you to discover a new hobby! If there are any museums where you live, check the websites—plenty of these spots either provide free or discounted tickets for students or visitors under a certain age or offer free entry on certain days of the week or month.
5. Develop a Budget
Although it may not be the most fun way to have fun with your friends, developing a budget is the best way to ensure you can afford to shell out some cash to have some real fun with them when you really want to. Think about things like how much money you spend ordering food or eating out each week, all those iced coffees you pick up when you're already running late for class or even the cost of getting your nails done when you could easily be doing them yourself at home—these are all opportunities for you to cut back and save up for the experiences that really count.
Need a little help saving up and getting that budget together? We can help you out there, too! There's no reason you can't start saving up at any time of the year, so click HERE for some easy ways to save money.