Money & Shopping

Ways to Have Fun on a Budget

I’ve been trying to spend less money recently, and that can be hard to do when I have the urge to treat myself somehow. I know I deserve the occasional pampering or relaxing evening, but there are definitely cheaper alternatives to some of my go-to ideas.

Instead of going to the spa, consider pampering yourself from home. Buy your favorite kind of ice cream, put on a playlist of your favorite music, and turn off all distractions. You can give yourself a mani-pedi, put on a face mask, and take a nice, relaxing bath. Sure, it won’t be exactly like going to a spa where you don’t have to lift a finger, but you can still feel relaxed without leaving your house or spending as much money.

Another way to save some money is to stop eating out. I know it can be fun to go out to eat. It’s nice to be around other people and to get out of the house. Maybe instead of going out, though, you can cook some of your favorite items and invite your friends over. If you wish, you can even put up a few decorations to make it feel a little more special. I’m definitely the kind of person that loves to plan and host events, so this is one that always makes me pretty happy. If you’re not big on cleaning up, use disposable plates and cups. And if people offer to bring anything, feel free to take them up on the offer. You don’t have to be the only one spending money.

Although going to the movies can be fun, there are other ways to have a good movie night. One movie might not seem like a huge expense, but it can definitely add up after a while. Instead, you can rent one or more movies from Redbox (or Amazon or wherever else you’d like to rent from) and create a unique movie night. Go to the store and sock up on your favorite movie snacks. Whether it’s popcorn, chocolate, or sour candy, it’ll be cheaper than buying what they sell at a movie theater. Again, you can invite friends over to really turn it into an experience. If you plan ahead and plan well, you can divide up snack duty and pick out a movie (or again, more than one movie) days in advance.

If what you really want is to get out of the house, there are definitely some ways to do that and keep from spending too much money. A lot of cities host free movie nights at parks or other outdoor venues during the summer, or maybe even all year long. If you’re not sure about the options around where you live, google it. These things will typically be online somehow.

Besides free movie nights, other ways to get out of the house and avoid spending too much money include going on a hike, going to a park and having a picnic, or camping in your own backyard with friends.

Hopefully these ideas can get you started with spending less while still having fun with friends or by yourself. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

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