Life is for living and it’s important to find time for fun and friends. But socialising often costs cash, so how do you reduce your spend, whilst ensuring that you’re still having fun?
Facing financial facts
Although having a social life is important, so is managing your bank balance! For millions of people life has suddenly got more expensive; energy prices are up, food costs are up, fuel costs are up, mortgage rates are up. Everything seems to be on the up! We also all have certain things that we need to celebrate. Christmas, for example, isn’t something you can just pause.
With things increasing in price left, right and centre, it’s important to face your own financial figures. Firstly, you should take a look at all of your essential finances, including your mortgage, gas, electricity, council tax and water. There won’t be that much room for manoeuvre when it comes to the cost of those items, but try to ensure that you’re getting the best rate available and that you’re paying in the most efficient way.
You may decide to cut some luxuries out, like subscriptions and breaks away. There also should be space to reduce some costs, like your food bill and social budget.
Flexing plans where you can
Sometimes, it is possible to scale back elaborate social plans. For example, instead of having a night out with your girl mates, you could opt for a night in, complete with pyjamas, wine and a decent film. Or you may decide to go out a bit later and to have pre drinks at somebody’s house. Remember, your friends just want to see you, so it’s ok to admit that things are a bit tight and to suggest scaling something back.
It can be tricky to reduce the cost of something you’ve already committed to. Weddings, other people’s birthdays, breaks away and Christmas parties tend to fall into this category. In those instances, you may decide to turn to payday loans. If you do decide to utilise this option, remember that short term loans do serve a useful purpose and as long as you have means of paying the money back, it is ok to turn to credit when you need to.
If you’re somebody that likes to treat themselves to something new before a social engagement, then you’re not alone. It is nice to buy a new dress to wear, or to invest in a new pair of shoes. But if your finances are a little stretched, try to recycle outfits where you can. If you absolutely have nothing to wear, then consider borrowing an outfit from a friend, buying something from a charity shop, or selling something your already own to fund your new purchase!
Learning to think first
Some people love a party and find themselves agreeing to plans as soon as they are mentioned. “Oh that sounds good”, “count me in”, “I’m free that night”. But if leaning to say: “I’ll check the diary and get back to you about that” can provide you with a bit of breathing space, to decide if it’s something you really want to do and if you can afford it.
The importance of enjoying yourself
For most people, having fun with their friends, or those that have a shared interest is all part of leading a fulfilled life. It can give us a break away from the ordinary and a chance to recharge. It’s a cost that we should all try to factor into our lives, no matter how skint we are, because the benefits associated with socialising can be vast.
Note: this is a collaborative post.