pouring drinks into martini glasses

How to Have a Social Life Without Breaking the Bank

May 24, 2013 | Coupons & Deals, Ways to Save

If you’re hanging up your hat in a big city, having fun for free may seem absolutely impossible–but we’re here to reassure you that is not the case! You can learn how to have a social life on a budget without limiting yourself to pajamas, a movie and a $3 bottle of wine (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Voice Your Concerns

There’s a good chance that your friends’ wallets are suffering too. It’s hard when friends suggest going out for a nice dinner and venturing to bars with $10 cocktails, but let them know your situation. Is there a game on that everyone is dying to watch? Suggest having a get-together at your apartment or another friend’s pad to order a pizza and have a few drinks.

Free Transportation

Whether you’re limited to public transportation or you roam around the city with four wheels, fees can quickly pile up, especially if you’re taking a cab around town. If you live in a bike-friendly city like Chicago, Boston or Austin, cycle to your destination. Not only will you shed some pounds–and more quickly than you think–you’ll be able to travel throughout the entire city for free. When you’re finding a place to go for the night, suggest a neighborhood bar that you and your friends can walk to.

Find the Specials

Chicagoans have access to the website Smalltabs.com, which lists food and drink specials by day and neighborhood. Check your city for similar websites or check out apps for saving money while socializing. When planning to go out, find a place nearby listed on the site and make a suggestion. Plus, it’s always fun to try new places!

Scour Free Events

Summer is on its way and this is the prime time for free outdoor events. Magazines like Time Out or local newspapers often list free or super cheap events and festivals taking place for each week. Check these religiously and ask friends to go. If your Saturday is already filled-to-the-brim with plans that don’t cost a thing, there’s no chance of accidentally spending too much dough.

Opt for a BYOB

Going out with friends is the easiest way to run up a tab. If you’re caught up in conversation and in the mood just to have a good time, it’s not hard to forget those beers are quickly piling up. If you’re going out with friends for the evening or even on a date with your beau, suggest going to a BYOB restaurant. You don’t even have to compromise on the food, because there are some top-rated establishments that allow you to bring your own booze. Helpful hint: Before going out, make a call to the restaurant and ask if they have a corkage fee.

Go Outside

Head over to a park or field to throw around a frisbee, have a picnic or just relax in the sun. Got an outdoor space? This is the perfect excuse to have friends over and save some money!

What are your favorite ways to be a social butterfly on a budget?

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