We’ve all been there. Your friends invite you out and you know you can’t afford it... but you really don’t want to miss out. The FOMO is real. Having quality time with your mates doesn’t have to mean spending money that you don’t have. Here are a few tips for being social and... *charmingly* stingy.
1. Volunteer to choose the plans.
Our first tip is to be the one in control of making plans. That way you can suggest what to do and where to go (which usually impacts the cost) from the get-go. Make sure to be creative with your suggestions! If it’s a nighttime hang, you could throw a themed movie marathon, a potluck at someone’s place where everyone contributes, or a good ol’ fashioned board game night. A night in can be just as much fun as a night out.
2. Tell your friends there’s a thing you’re saving up for.
This is brilliant in the sense that it’s casual but it commands respect. It makes you look like you have your life in order for having something big coming up, and responsible for actually making it happen! Your pals will appreciate your conviction and not judge you for sitting something out. Hey, you might even encourage them to do the same.
3. Consider BYO.
An affordable bottle of wine can sometimes be the equivalent of one glass in a restaurant. BYO typically comes with a corkage fee, but it might save you money overall if you’re planning on having more than one. Plus, there are a ton of delicious BYO restaurants out there! Another reason to appreciate BYO is you won't be tempted to buy rounds and spend beyond your means.
4. Get outside.
We’re lucky to live in a beautiful country that's surrounded by nature. As far as we’re concerned, a dreamy beach view beats any indoor restaurant or bar. You and your mates could get some fresh air on a coastal walk, have a picnic in the park, or throw a barbecue in someone’s backyard. You might even get some great pics out of it. Win-win.
5. DIY means more.
Need to find a birthday gift? Don't buy your friend another bath bomb set for the third year in a row. Try to do something that is a little more personal. You could make something handmade, or organise a surprise party or themed get together to make them feel extra special. A good present is more about time than money, and something from the heart is much more memorable than a trinket they could get for themselves.
Being money-smart is a lifestyle.
Even though being responsible during a night out is a good move, a one-off isn't going to change your life financially. The best thing you can do is start saving money or make sure you’re tackling debt on a regular basis.
Wisr App is a great tool for paying down debt without even noticing. It rounds up your daily transactions so you can hit your goal faster.