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Monday, June 24, 2013

Socializing on a Budget

split an appetizer instead of going out for dinner!

I've talked before about the fact that I'm currently underemployed, meaning I'm working a part-time retail position despite having a college degree. Underemployment influences my life in lots of ways: I'm very concerned with learning to budget and I try to keep expenses low by DIYing lots of my clothing instead of tossing things that don't fit anymore. Underemployment also really influences my social life. I often work one or both days of the weekend, making it challenging to make plans with friends that have 9-5 work weeks. I also can't afford to go out to dinner and drinks every weekend. So, what's a girl to do? Here's some of the "going out rules" that I live by:

  • Instead of dinner and drinks, stick to just drinks or splitting an appetizer instead of a meal.
  • Find places that offer great happy hours and use them!
  • Go out during different times of the day. Having brunch or lunch can be much less expensive than going out for dinner.
  • Go off the beaten path. In my city, the bars and restaurants downtown on main street and by the waterfront and more expensive than the places a few blocks off main street or uptown. 
  • Take advantage of free, local events. Our town offers lots of outdoor events during the summer, and yours may too! Even a farmers market or flea market can be a fun time to catch up with friends.
  • Most museums have a free admission day, or pay what you can, which are great for people on budgets. We went to the Philadelphia Art Museum on one of these days and had a great time with our friends.
  • If you have the space, invite your friends over. One person can bring a bottle of wine, and everyone else brings a dish. 
How do you socialize on the cheap? I'd love to hear your advice in the comments! 

In other news, A North Star in an Eastern Sky is now on Facebook!! Come on over an say "Hi!" I'm friendly :)

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