How to Save Money without Giving Up Your Social Life

The following is a guest post from SB as part of a Yakezie blog swap. SB blogs at One Cent at a Time, where he writes personal finance topics like earning extra money, becoming rich and saving environment. My guest post on the same topic is up at his blog so please check it out!

 

When I wrote 101 ways to save money, I received mails asking if I was advocating giving up life. Sure some of the suggestions, like reducing drinking habits, etc. do feel like giving up on social life for many, I admit. Then, again, for many more drinking is not suitable option.

 

You can’t go on renting movies forever; you need to visit movie theaters every ones in a while. You need to buy stuff that is not essential but gives us joy. A Nintendo DS for you kid is not essential but, when he gets bullied at school for not having it, you may need to think twice about not buying one. Similarly, you can take good photos with your regular cheap digital camera but, you can take better quality pictures using your DSLR camera.

 

We are social animals; we cannot live without a society, friends and family. I admit I often cross the border when it comes to saving money, and then, my wife teaches me to be a motivated saver (you can follow the conversation with my wife there).

 

Let me write about some key pointers which will keep you sane in your journey towards saving money without giving up on life.

 

Step 1: Make a Personal Budget

 

While saving money is a highlight of any working person’s ethical scheme, the decision mostly happens as a matter of fact. It was time one changed this mindset and determined to make a personal budget, consciously, that also includes a prerogative to pay oneself. Here are three steps to ensure that this plan achieves success:

  • Assign a reasonable package of, say, $40 per seven days. This will reduce the chances of overspending blindly. Of this sum, $15 may go towards shopping for a single luxury item for the week, while the $25 remaining can be used for other passing luxury demands.
  • Know that one can watch a movie in the comfort of his or her home without necessarily going to a movie theatre. The latter costs more, yet today the systems at home have so advanced that one can enjoy a rented movie on their screens for just a single dollar.
  • Finally, relinquish the savings scheme from one’s hands to an automated banking outlet. The system will keep a person happy by knowing that there is some hidden cash somewhere that is out of reach, and possibly gaining on in value.

Step 2: Draw a line Between Fitness and Money

 

One of the easiest ways to save money without having to give up social life is to engage in physical activities. These, while cheaper than attending a movie theatre every week, can replace money as a source of joy in life. Thus, one should do either of the following to feel physically and emotionally a good spender:

  • Choose a cheap yet effective gym activity. For a simple monthly charge, this form of training allows us to engage with others. It also adds a sense of wellbeing that psychologists show reduces stress and also the urge to spend.
  • It would even be better to set up a communal social hall or get membership to one such establishment nearby your area, where all activities ranging from gym to entertainment takes place under one roof.

 

We go to YMCA and made a few friends over there. This single decision to join YMCA improved our social life big time.

Step 3:  Get that Second source of Income

 

It sounds like a pro-slavery idea, but the global mindset has changed in recent years towards double employment. In an age where home based jobs go hand in hand with formal employment, it would be a great idea to work all week and then have a whole weekend to oneself or with family.

 

The pressures of single jobs often force us to work on week-ends to make ends meet. Here are some of the attributes of a second source of income that can release some pressure on your finances and let you enjoy a rich social life.

  • You get to enjoy dining out with friends and family which would otherwise have been impossible with only one source of income.
  • A high income, no doubt, increases social stature. Many may disagree but, this is what I see around here. A poor family is looked down upon by others in the society. If you wear same dress to every party, others would talk about you, if you know what I mean.

 

The final step towards saving money while still retaining most of your social amenities is to know where basic needs and money cross the line. If one likes to stay out nights, it is likely they will dine away while they could have just made some supper at home less expensively. If one is still repaying borrowing, it is also still possible to enjoy a substantial lifestyle. One can just prepare food at home while still enjoying the same delicacies that a dining outlet offers.

 

The one difference between eating shrimp scampi, baked salmon or steak at home and the same delicacies at a restaurant is that, in the former case, a lot of money is saved. This can help to settle some of the accumulating debts in the long run.

 

You can have the same social gathering at your place (or your friend’s) with food and wine. A bottle may cost you $12 at grocery stores but it will cost you $25 or more to order the same bottle at a restaurant.

 

Lastly, there are options to maintain good social lifestyle even with nominal income. At the same time, there are ways to remain fulfilled in your life with whatever you got. If you get like-minded people around you, saving money, even extreme of it, may not raise a question.

 

Readers, can you share your experience when your frugal habits were questioned and how did you react to that?

 

photo from grampymoose

 

Written by

Filed under: budgeting, frugality, income · Tags: , ,

12 Responses to "How to Save Money without Giving Up Your Social Life"

  1. I love how you point out the importance of fitness in our psychology. That’s super interesting that it applies to our money psychology, as well.
    femmefrugality recently posted..How to be RADical in 2012

    1. A bad health signifies your lack of effort.
      SB @ One Cent at a Time recently posted..Know more About Injured Spouse Tax Relief?

  2. I grew up in a very lower-middle class household and got all kinds of grief as a kid for not having Nike’s. As an adult, I’ve never been given any problems for my frugality, other than my wife occasionally complaining that I’m a cheapskate!
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..Bringing the Party Back To Your House

    1. Its the same story here Edward! My upbringing and wife calling cheapskate …they are the same for me 🙂
      SB @ One Cent at a Time recently posted..Outsourcing Trend in America, Where are we Going in Terms of Outsourcing?

  3. I have to say that we haven’t been challenged by any of our friends. We all support each other and don’t judge. Many of us are a fan of potlucks and back yard parties which are very affordable. I guess it helps to know that everyone else finds these types of frugal activities fun. You don’t get hassle then.
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter recently posted..Ethical Investing and Shareholder Rights – What You Should Know

    1. We are also fond of Potlucks and often have it, in fact tomorrow is our next potluck. But you got to admit listing to some criticism for your frugality.
      SB @ One Cent at a Time recently posted..Know more About Injured Spouse Tax Relief?

  4. Most of the people we associate with regularly are pretty frugal and appreciate ways to socialize without spending money. We have great local parks and a rec center that is very affordable. Our extended family does tend to spend money on things we don’t think are important, but they expect us to as well sometimes. My mother thinks we are having financial difficulties if I try to explain why we will not be purchasing something or how we are trying to save money. It’s hard to change lifestyles if family is used to the way you have been in the past, but for us, it was something we had to do.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Can’t Take My Eyes Off These Blogs #4

    1. Yes, its always some people who have high noses. Not all. The problem is with those.
      SB @ One Cent at a Time recently posted..Know more About Injured Spouse Tax Relief?

  5. […] swap!  The prompt was how to spend less without giving up your social life.  Please check out SB’s post on my blog and my post on One Cent at a […]

  6. David says:

    My wife and I love steak, but going out for a good steak dinner will run you a minimum of about $25 per person, not including drinks and tip. Instead we have been making our own, which brings the cost down to around $10/person. When we invite friends over and ask them to bring a side dish in exchange for a quality steak. Few people complain about such a trade off, and then after dinner we can play a game instead of leaving the restaurant and going home. In my opinion this is more of a social life with less expenditure.
    David recently posted..Should You Refinance?

    1. Excellent example David, I love this idea. But, frankly we never told anyone to bring a side dish in exchange of anything yet.
      SB @ One Cent at a Time recently posted..Managing Finance Together – How to get Partner Interested in Personal Finance

  7. martha says:

    I grew up with a large family and we had to learn all kinds of interesting ways to save. As a kid it used to drive me crazy but the older I got the more I realized that we weren’t poor we were secure. By spending less and being crafty in how we had fun we had more money we needed it! Or when my mother wanted to spoil us once in a while she could afford and we appreciated it more since it didn’t happen everyday
    martha recently posted..Marty’s Top 100 Post of 2013,Part 5: Post 60-51

Leave a Reply to martha Cancel reply

*

CommentLuv badge