Whether you’re underpaid at work or just broke from the holidays, that doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home and eat ramen this winter. Although some people would consider that totally awesome, it’s nice to get out once in a while, but it can be hard on a budget. Naturally, I came up with a list of how I manage to have an awesome life while mostly sticking to a budget.
Get out of the house
The winter is cold and long but it doesn’t get any shorter by staying inside and you won’t feel awesome staying at home. Go for a walk, experience new things, and just get out there! You never know what you’ll find.
Surf the internet
Ironically almost the polar opposite of the previous point, but you can also do this outside of the house (at a coffee shop, perhaps!). Websites like Facebook and Twitter are great resources for things going on in your area. Local websites like Wicked Cheap Boston and Boston on a Budget have posts about great deals in and around Boston and there’s bound to be something similar in your city!
I’ve been going to free fitness classes courtesy of Sweetgreen Passport, a movement to get people moving and shaking for free in 2014! So far I’ve been to 4 of these free fitness classes, including a boxing class. Molly at Wicked Cheap Boston just posted about these too!
Make plans with friends in advance. A couple weekends ago I went to Body Worlds Vital in Faneuil Hall with my fellow blogger buddies Kate, Jodi, and Rachel. I got the tickets in advance so it wasn’t a super expensive day.
Making plans in advance means that you don’t feel the burn of activities on your wallet at once. That Lady Antebellum concert that I wouldn’t spend $60 on now that I’m broke? Thankfully, I already got tickets months ago before some unexpected expenses and what do you know–I now have a free event to go to tomorrow night with Kate and Jodi because I’ve already paid for it!
Some hobbies are expensive, there are plenty that can be a ton of cheap fun! I recently joined Social Boston Sports indoor volleyball league with people from my summer Waka kickball league. At first, I balked at the $90 registration fee and then I did the math. Breaking down $90 over 6 weeks is only $15/week, which is less than 2 lunches out at work. Not to mention, you get 2 hours of playing time, unlimited laughs, and new friends. Get out there, bring your lunch to work and spend the money getting fit with awesome people who might be your new best friends!
Follow through is important in life. If you sign up for events, go. No one likes a flake and if you don’t follow through, you’ll lose invitations to awesome things. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but try to always follow through with what you say you’re going to do. Having a bad day and don’t want to go? Maybe your day will turn around! Follow through with what you say you’re going to do in life and you’ll open doors.
Last night I attended a Cupcakes and Cocktails event with Blog and Tweet Boston at the Boston Center for Adult Education. It sold out within hours and due to high demand, the organizer was inviting only people who hadn’t cancelled on a previous event. I had a great time baking cupcakes and making new blogger friends! Bonus: I got this adorable cupcake carrier and delicious cupcakes to take home!
Professional, blogger, or personal. Some times it might be a miss, but it’ll all be worth it when you make those few, or even one, connection that changes your life. If all else fails, you’ll at least end up with some good stories. Not to mention these events are often free. If they’re not, there will usually be some free food or drinks!
Be a regular
If you really need that Starbucks, get a value card so you can earn points. Reward your spending with frequent flyer miles or reward points to get free stuff. If you like going to bars (who me?), become a regular. Bartenders don’t give free drinks to strangers!