Just because you’re saving for a home, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself. Here are some smart ways to live well on a budget.
It’s the eternal struggle – balancing your savings goals with the need to get out and about and have some fun. But you don’t have to sacrifice it all to scrimp those dollars. In fact, if you do allow yourself some treats or outlets, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to stay motivated and hit that savings target. So here are some top ideas to ensure you’re still having fun without breaking the bank.
Look to apps
Apps, such as Happiest Hour, will share all the meal and drink value deals in your area. You’ll be able to see what’s on every night and plan your social calendar accordingly. Loop your friends in on the fun to get a crew together – the more the merrier!
Indulge in after-hours art
Check in with your local gallery or museum to see what events are coming up in the evening timeslot. Some of the larger galleries host evening events, so you can get your dose of inspiration post-work, even wander the halls with a beverage in hand. If you want to boost the amount of art in your life, sign up to the mailing lists of local galleries to find out when openings are on. You’ll be able to get to know the local community better too – a great idea if you’ve recently moved suburbs.
Dance the night away
Give in to the rhythm and dance free of judgement at a No Lights No Lycra event. These super-fun dance parties are all about expressing yourself in a safe and inclusive space. The alcohol-free events have popped up all over Australia, so look for one near you. The lights are dim, the music’s pumping and you’ll pay just a small door charge for an hour of pure dance bliss.
Be a pedestrian in a new suburb
Why not map out an itinerary of a suburb you haven’t been to? If you do your research and make an adventure out of it, you’ll be able to pinpoint the best value spots for snacks and drinks (see point 1). Take a friend and surprise them with a map of your own making. Perhaps they could return the favour next weekend…
Pool funds with your mates
If you’re one to experience a bit of spending anxiety around social events – buying rounds of drinks, issues with splitting bills etc – why not suggest that each member of your social group throws in, say, $40 to contribute to a “night-out kitty”? If one group member acts as the banker/finance director, they’ll be able to manage the cash flow for the evening and avoid anyone paying too little or too much!
Know your area
You can’t go past a quick look at your local council’s website to get a sense of the free (or budget-friendly) events that you can check out. These will range from your family-friendly activities that can take place in the afternoons and evenings in local gardens, parks and community centres to the more cerebral events taking place at the local library. The library will most likely host talks and seminars, even film screenings so you can get the whole family involved. Why not learn something on your night out?
What are your favourite ways to have fun on a budget?