First Person: Maintaining an Active Social Life on a Budget

Yahoo Contributor Network

In August 2012, Lisa Dudson of Yahoo! New Zealand Business and Finance posed this question to her readers: "Is money affecting your social life"? My response to her question is; yes, money was affecting our social life in a major way.

In a time where the price of everyday things have reached all-time highs, it can be difficult to afford an active social life. My husband and I are both still young, and we still love hanging out with friends; however, despite putting money aside for entertainment we don't always have enough left in our budget to do the things we enjoy. Fortunately, I've picked up a few tricks through the years that allow us to enjoy our social life on a small budget. Here are three of the creative ways we get together with friends on limited funds.

Co-hosting

No matter if we are hosting a game night, cookout, or a movie night with pizza there are expenses involved. We have to supply food, drinks, and entertainment for all our guests, and the cost can quickly add up. To keep our costs down, I often ask friends to co-host with us. This way we can all enjoy the festivities, but it will cost us less than they normally would.

Going out for dessert

I have to admit this is more "ladies" thing because the guys in our social circle don't seem to enjoy going out just to have dessert. However, my girlfriends and I do enjoy getting out and about for a while. If we were to go out for an entire dinner it could cost each of us $20 or more, but eating dinner at home with our families and meeting a little later for dessert can cut that cost to $5 or less. That means I can save $15 per outing.

Potluck picnics

My husband is very involved in outdoor sports like fishing, and we often use it as an opportunity to hang out with friends. Much like game and movie nights we usually have food and drinks available to get us through the day because it's normally an all-day event. In order to keep food costs down for everyone, we ask each couple to bring a few dishes/snacks and drinks. This way we have a large variety of foods and drinks to choose from for only a fraction of the cost.

Stepping outside my comfort zone and asking friends and family to pitch in when we get together has really enabled us to enrich our social life.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

More from this contributor:

First Person: I'm Going Credit Card Free This Christmas

First Person: 4 Financial Items I Do Not Carry in My Purse

First Person: Our Plan to Trim Our 30-year Mortgage by 12 Years

View Comments