Many people worry that they have to compromise socializing to save money. Rather, frame it as prioritizing your social agenda. This Financial Literacy Month, don’t let the fear of missing out--or FOMO--tank the steps you have made to stick to a budget.
Keeping your social life in check with your budget takes planning. I have suffered from FOMO and know from personal experience that trying to attend every event that comes your way is exhausting and expensive. An important part of prioritizing your schedule and keeping your budget on track is learning how to say “no.” Check in and ask yourself:
Do I want to do “x” event because I am bored and I don’t want to miss out on the potential fun?
Or am I doing this because I genuinely want to spend time with this group of friends and my budget can accommodate it?
Your budget shouldn’t control your relationships and social life. Follow these tips to help you stretch every dollar you allocate for “fun.”
Haley’s Tips for Having Fun on a Budget
- Host An Event: Hosting an event at your home is a great way to keep the costs of a good time low. Celebrating a holiday, hosting a game night, or coordinating a potluck are all ways to gather friends for fun on a budget. Ask everyone to bring a different dish or beverage to the event to make this fun event affordable.
- Find Free Activities In Your City: Cities offer many free or low cost activities to enjoy. Exploring museums, parks, festivals, and outdoor movie night are all low-cost activities to do with friends. My city, Washington, D.C., is "free fun Mecca" with many free exhibits, museums, and events such as listening to jazz in the garden .
- Take Advantage of Food and Drink Specials: Researching food and drink specials is a fantastic way to trim excess spending. Many cities have websites that organize food and drink specials by days of the week. Ever heard of the saying “there’s an app for that?” Well, there are many apps for food and drink deals.
Just a reminder, when you feel like giving in and spending money on something frivolous, sticking to your budget has long-term benefits such as prioritizing long-term plans such as paying off student loans or saving for a house or vacation. Being financially savvy shouldn’t keep you from your friends. With these tips for seeking out free or cheap events, your social agenda won’t suffer. Taking control of your finances should empower you to be as smart with your social life as you are with your money.
A food enthusiast and native Georgia Peach, Haley recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development. Currently interning at the United States House of Representatives, she is passionate about the outdoors, improved access to quality education for all, public policy, and documenting “from stress to success in the city.” Click here to read more about and connect with Haley.
Edited by Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.
What is your favorite low cost way to socialize?