Having Fun on a Budget

Having fun on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your social life; it just means you have to be a little more creative.
Having Fun on a Budget

Here are five ways to create memorable experiences with friends and family without blowing your budget.

Dine on a dime

Restaurants and bars are common hotspots for socializing with your friends after work or on the weekends, but constant trips to the latest hotspot will drain your wallet in no time. Do you have to become a complete shut-in to avoid these expenses?

Of course not! There are plenty of ways to share laughs and good company over a meal or drink without spending excessive amounts of cash. You can:

  • Host a potluck dinner party, where everyone brings one dish of the meal
  • Pick up beers at the grocery store and enjoy them at a local park to avoid the restaurant mark-up on drinks (make sure to choose a DD!)
  • Pack a picnic to take to a local park or green space
  • Take turns hosting ‘bad dinner parties’ with a group of friends
  • Take advantage of happy hours, discount days, and special discounts for students and veterans
  • Host a cooking class with friends, where everyone pitches in for ingredients

You probably aren’t the only one in your group of friends who feels uneasy about spending money at restaurants and bars. It might feel a little awkward in the short term, but starting a conversation about how you can share meals in less expensive ways can help all of you save a great deal of dough in the long term!

Flex your creative muscles to save on exercise

Working out with friends is an awesome way to get your exercise in and spend quality time with your people, but let’s be real: Whether you’re into lifting weights, taking barre or yoga classes, or sweating it up in a cycling class, gym memberships are expensive. You can save a great deal of money by finding alternatives to paying for your workouts.

Our fave? Nature’s gym, AKA the great outdoors! Take a hike on a local nature trail, share a run through the pretty part of your town or city, or look for fun activities to try at your local parks.

If that’s not your thing (or the weather’s not complying), you still have many alternatives for working out together for little to no money:

  • Take advantage of free days offered by local yoga studios and gyms.
  • Follow fitness trainers on Instagram for home workout inspiration.
  • Invest in a few sets of weights and resistance bands to create your own gym at home (or find things around the house to use in your workouts).
  • Channel your inner Rocky Balboa and find some outdoor stairs to run.
  • Watch YouTube videos to break a sweat practicing dance moves to your favorite songs.

Recreate memorable experiences for less

Seeing your favorite bands in concert, going to the latest escape room, or grabbing drinks at that new tiki-themed bar is a treat. But if your budget is tight, your experience is probably tainted by the guilt of spending money.

It might require a little more creativity, but there are plenty of ways to have just as much fun without spending nearly as much money. Think about what you enjoy about certain experiences:

  • Is it the ambience of an open air concert? Check your local parks and libraries’ upcoming events for free concerts.
  • Is it the adrenaline rush of escaping the room in just enough time? Look online for free puzzles you can solve with friends.
  • The novelty of trying new drinks? Watch some YouTube tutorials to learn how to master cocktails you’ve always wanted to make at home.

If you can zero in on what it is you enjoy from those types of experiences, you can find ways to recreate the experience without spending as much money.

Make errands a social activity

We often separate the things we have to do (like going to the post office) from the things we do for fun with friends (like sharing snacks at happy hour).

But thinking this way can be limiting, especially if you’re on a budget. So why not combine them? Doing errands with friends is a great way to make the mundane more memorable while avoiding the temptation to spend money socializing.

It’s likely your friends have to do similar errands. So why not do them together? Suddenly, going to the car wash, running to the post office, or finally taking that return back to the store can seem like an adventure and a bonding experience instead of a chore. Plus, you might learn something from each other!

Enjoy quality time with quality people

Having fun on a budget is all about recognizing what makes things fun for you: If at the heart of it, having fun to you means spending time with people you love, then focus on that. Not the cool new restaurant, or the fancy upscale bowling alley-slash-speakeasy everybody’s talking about: Just spending quality time with quality people.

The novelty of a game night at home can be just as memorable as experiencing the latest and greatest night out. Swapping stories and sharing a $10 bottle of wine and a bag of chips with a dear friend can be more intimate and rejuvenating than expensive drinks at a loud bar.

Get more top budgeting tips!

Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: We do our best to make sure information is accurate as of the date of publication, but things do change quickly sometimes. Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner bank, BBVA USA, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. Individual situations will differ; consult your favorite finance, tax or legal professional for specific advice. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.

Important! This account is for your personal use only

An increasing number of customers are being targeted by fraud scams. Before you apply, review these guidelines to help prevent you from being involved in fraudulent activity.

Do not open an account on behalf of someone else
If anyone asks you to open a Simple Account to receive funds, it is an attempt at fraud. Common fraud attempts include requesting that you open an account to receive a gift or bonus offer, obtain a job or job training, or help someone else receive funds (such as unemployment benefits).

Do not share your login or account information with anyone
Neither Simple nor any other legitimate institution will ever ask for your account information. If any third party requests your Simple Account login information, it is an attempt at fraud. Sharing your account information with another person or allowing someone else to use your account to receive funds is a violation of the Simple Deposit Account Agreement terms and conditions and can expose you to fraud.

Actions we may take if fraud is suspected

We take fraud and security very seriously at Simple, and take rapid action in the instance of suspected fraud attempts.

We may freeze and close accounts
We may freeze and close accounts if fraudulent activity is suspected, including the following circumstances:

We will report fraud attempts
We are responsible for reporting fraud attempts to authorities, including attempted unemployment fraud. There are state and federal penalties for unemployment insurance fraud (including potential fines and incarceration). If you suspect you are a victim of unemployment fraud, contact the appropriate state fraud hotline listed here.

I acknowledge that I have read this notice Continue Application