Have Fun without Paying for It
The bills keep piling in and you can feel your stress levels rising. You don’t know what to do. You want to cut costs, but you still want to maintain a high quality of life so you can enjoy new and exciting experiences with your friends and loved ones. Maybe it’s time to use a budget plan.
If you have a hard time budgeting, you are not alone. Only 47 percent of Canadians budget their money to balance their finances. Although budgeting takes a lot of planning, it will save you major money in the long run. Setting—and sticking to—a budget will not only help you pay your bills and cover unexpected emergencies, it will lower your stress and help you find new ways to have fun.
That’s right—you can cut costs and still have a good time.
Although it may seem like a stretch, it is possible. It doesn’t take truckloads of money to take part in fun activities and meet new people. If you incorporate the following inexpensive activities into your daily life, you can stop worrying about overspending. Instead, you can focus on maintaining a budget to get you one step closer to achieving financial success.
Ways to Save Money
Join a Book Club
Book clubs are a great social outlet for bookworms. Although many book stores and libraries host monthly book clubs, you can host one yourself without spending any money at all. here are a few steps to get you started:
- Pick a book. It’s best to shy away from favourites. Instead, choose a book that will allow for good discussions—a real page-turner.
Spread the word. Invite your friends to join you and post notices on social media sites.
- Ask everyone to contribute. Ask people to RSVP (for the first meeting) so you can get an accurate idea of how many people to plan on. Encourage everyone to bring a treat so the group can nibble on something during discussion.
Put books on hold at the library. Most libraries encourage community book clubs. Ask your local librarians if you can put a few copies of your book club book on hold.
- Prepare. Read the book. Mark your favourite passages. Keep a list of questions or unique discussion topics.
- Hold the meeting. Invite everyone to your home for an evening full of good food, books, and discussion.
Note: If you make your book club into a monthly event, encourage a different person to choose the book each month. Make sure everyone gets to choose at least once.
Attend an Open Mic Night
Most communities host a free open mic night—find a venue in your area so you can experience free entertainment like you never have before. Browse through your city’s online site to see which bars, clubs, and coffee houses hosts a monthly open mic night. Open mic usually consists of the following:
You can either prepare an act or sit back and enjoy the expense-free show.
Get in Touch with Nature
Nature has so many things to offer—endless hiking and biking trails, freshwater lakes to swim in, pure snow to sled on, and swift rivers full of fish. Take advantage of the free outdoors and plan a fun activity that doesn’t require any money at all. Try any of the following:
Give back to the community. Although service is rarely convenient, it’s always worth it. Volunteer at a local food pantry, at a nearby refugee community, or at a tutoring centre for children from low-income families. There are opportunities aplenty—go find one that fits into your schedule.
Plan a Progressive Dinner Party
Get ready to have a good time. Invite a group of friends to host a progressive dinner party with you. A progressive dinner involves successive courses prepared by different hosts and consumed at different residencies. Get a group of friends together and pair a host with one of the following:
Soup and Salad
Each host prepares their course and then you travel around to each home to partake of delicious food and revel in even better company.
Learn a New Language
Guten tag! Bonjour! Ni hao! How many languages can you speak? Now’s the time to learn a new one. Many cities and libraries offer free language courses to members of the community. Browse the internet to find out where you can sign up for a free language course so you can converse with people from all around the world.
Although it’s fun to attend movies, concerts, and other forms of pricey entertainment, those activities will drain your wallet and raise your stress levels. Keep entertainment costs low and try any of the activities listed above to have a good time without going into further debt.