Look, being on a budget is hard — especially in the beginning — but there are plenty of ways to still enjoy yourself without spending a ton of money. Many people struggle with adapting to a budget because they feel it limits their enjoyment of their free time. It can be hard to say no to friends who only want to go out for expensive drinks or eat at pricey restaurants. It can feel like you are missing out on all the fun.
But, with a little bit of creativity, you will find there are plenty of ways to have a great time while not spending a lot, or any, money. First, it is up to you to make plans with friends that are not spending-focused. Invite your pals out to the following get-togethers and you might find they like the cheap fun as much as you!
Take Advantage Of Parks
If there is one place that always makes me feel really happy, it’s my favorite city park. We are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful, city-run parks. Parks offer a way to relax, enjoy the weather, experience the seasons, and stay active. Best of all, parks are almost universally free. Free!
Gather your friends for an afternoon at the park. Bring a frisbee or other park game, a blanket, some cool drinks in a bucket full of ice, and just enjoy their company. Adults often find themselves reverting back to a more playful childhood when they have the opportunity to frolic in freshly cut park grass.
Schedule A Rotating Pot-Luck Dinner
If you’re friends like to eat out, suggest that once a month or so you all get together for a potluck dinner. The host can rotate each month, but everyone who attends brings a dish. If you want to make it even more interesting, make each month a theme. You can do a different country’s cuisine each month and make kitschy decorations and play music from that country. The sky’s the limit.
Having an at-home dinner party is great because you get a variety of foods and good company for a fraction of the cost of an expensive restaurant.
Board Game Night
Some people hate board games, but it’s likely that they just haven’t played any great ones since they were a kid. Board games are a fun way to have a blast and spend very little money. If you’re friends are not into board games, no matter how much you insist it will be fun, consider offering a “poker night” instead.
Of course, do not play with real money, but maybe make the stakes something small like a six pack of beer for the winner, or something similar.
Go On A Hike
Hiking is probably the world’s best low-cost hobby. Almost anyone can enjoy the benefits of a really great hike. It is wonderful to get out of the city and into the countryside or mountains. The fresh air and exercise is invigorating, especially after a busy week. The best thing about hiking? It’s free. Totally free.
Gather your friends for a weekend hike and you’ll be surprised that you’ll have more fun not spending a time than spending the weekend out and about in expensive locations.