budget tips

5 Simple Tips To Help You Enjoy An Affordable Social Life


Manila is a very expensive city to live in. In fact, given the average income and the cost of living in the city, most people just prefer to just stay at home during their free days. Filipinos, sociable by nature, find this difficult to avoid.

There is always that itch to interact and to see important people. Social life is a necessity in order to have a balanced life overall. This can help you achieve a relaxed state for another work week. With the year end festive and holiday season around the corner, social gatherings are almost a given.

But of course, it is somehow difficult to meet with friends and acquaintances without spending. So how to be frugal while maintaining your own social life? It is all about being practical with your options. Frugality and social life don’t always have to be two terms that can’t be merged into one. Here are some financial tips that can go a long way.

1. Stick with your budget

If it’s a Friday night and you are out with friends, how do you still practice saving your money while enjoying the company of acquaintances? The first thing that you need to do is to have a reasonable budget. Some people forget the fact that they’ve worked so hard for that money. You have to first know how much are you willing to spend. Second, you have to judge whether or not it is a wise decision to spend.

The bottom line is that you have to be realistic to know when it’s time to go home. You don’t want to spend P1,500 in one night if you are spending P800 everyday for five days. Hold on, you need to do some mental math, knowing how much you are going to spend on transportation, beers, entrance fee, and tips. These things can accumulate FAST. If you are using your credit card whenever you are spending on these things, be sure to take into account the interest rates, rewards and anything that you could capitalize on. Be sure to look at points that you could accumulate, or if there are monthly promotions.

Though you can have points on credit cards once you spend using these purchases, let’s agree that credit cards encourage you to spend. Putting just enough cash in your wallet is one of the most effective ways on how you can stick with your budget. In fact, this allows you to not spend more than your means. If you don’t have discipline in your spending, this can help you a lot. This can discourage you from heading to the ATM.

2. Schedule your trips with friends

As you go older, you will realize that you don’t need to meet your friends at posh restaurants every week. You can try to meet each other every four weeks, or even once every three months.

The point is, you want to have a schedule. And of course, don’t set a schedule where you have to spend so much money to enjoy each other’s company.

Try to look for different venues where you can save and still get to have a chat and enjoy each other’s company without any problem. Perhaps a park and bring some snacks.

3. New establishments on the block

If you are going to be opening a new bar, a restaurant or any establishment for that matter, what’s the first thing that you will do? Of course, you want to start with a bang.

Most of the new establishments will have promos to gain loyal customers. Typically, they will provide discounts to attract more customers. It is suggested that you try these new establishments and enjoy the most of their introductory prices.

4. Budget and friendly alternatives

You don’t always have to spend a great amount of money to enjoy your social life. What if you can just invite friends over to your house? Could you imagine just how much you can save? If you and your friends could just chip in for pizza, soda and booze, this helps eliminate a huge chunk of your expenses such as parking, service charge, not to mention long lines on bars and other enterprises. Why not have a potluck.

Here, you can assign who brings what and end up with a smorgasbord of different food without spending so much! The more people you invite, the more food ends up on the table. Now, that is something to look forward to.

Another means of saving up while still enjoying the company of your friends is by checking out bulk buying websites. Sometimes these sites give out coupons that can provide huge discounts to well loved establishments. But of course, you have to deal with the fact that it has to be done on the selected dates. Bulk buying has provided vouchers that can help you save some money.

Aside from vouchers, do you have a go to a restaurant? You can also get discounts from these places if you subscribe to their mailing list. You can get discounts delivered straight to your email. You can also check out the loyalist clubs offered by these establishments.

5. Are there freebies?

One of the things that you need to consider when it comes to going out with friends are the establishments that offer freebies. For instance, do they offer an additional dessert for specific orders? Or perhaps, it is a gig that comes with free drinks? If you think that nothing comes free these days, you have to think again. A great number of businesses do their best to capture the interest of customers and expand on market share.

Whether you want to enjoy food, music or movies with friends and family, it is possible that you can still save. It is not far from reality that you can still have some savings and have a healthy social life. You just have to be wise with what you do.

This article was first published in April 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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