Having fun on a budget

Written by Your Future Now

Do you have to dig deep into your pockets at the end of every month? Do you tend to decline invitations from friends because you simply can’t afford a night out?

The truth is, you don’t have to earn thousands (or spend thousands) to have fun. If you are content with lounging around at home every evening that’s great, but some folks feel like they have to spend money in order to have a good time.

Most people forget to allocate money for entertainment when setting up a monthly budget. The important thing to remember is that you have to be honest with yourself when setting up this aspect of your budget. If you know that you’re a bit thirstier than your friends when you go to a pub, don’t allocate R100 for weekly entertainment.

If you are fortunate enough to live in a coastal area, the surrounding beaches can offer you endless opportunities to have fun with friends and family – a visit to the beach doesn’t cost a single cent. Summers can be spent swimming and playing on the beach with loved ones. If that sentence made you think ‘ugh, exercise’ you can always laze around reading and tanning – just remember your sunscreen. If you aren’t blessed with a beach in your immediate environment and home has an urban jungle vibe to it, don’t be disheartened, urbanites can also have fun on a budget.

Most cities or towns offer various sport activities to the community. Hop onto social media, round up your friends and find a local league that you can join – good news, most of them are free. Community sport leagues are also a great environment to meet new people while getting a good workout. Myth: I need a R 500pm+ gym membership to get some proper exercise. The thing is, you don’t. If you don’t feel safe jogging on your own at night, especially in the big, bad city, why not join a running club?

If simply reading about all of these activities has left you with a shortness of breath, then you might appreciate this section a bit more. Enjoying a night with friends or loved ones doesn’t necessarily have to mean blowing your budget. Invite friends over to your house for something like homemade pizza. Ask everyone to bring their favourite pizza ingredient (no, this is not frowned upon) and have fun making dinner together. Add some wine, great company and a board game to the mix and you have a great evening lined up.

Still not convinced? Well, why don’t you go onto Google and search for the nearest local craft or food market. These markets have become very popular recently and usually offers live entertainment. Entrance to most of these markets are free as well. Now you’re thinking, going to market like this means spending money – not necessarily. Carry a limited amount of cash, from your entertainment budget of course, when visiting these markets. This way, you will probably avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary expenditures.

If markets aren’t your thing and you prefer spending time by yourself, you can always scout your area for museums. I know what you are thinking, museums – lame. Just how much do you know about our beautiful country? And your kids? Entrance to most of the local museums are free while some charge a small entrance fee. Make sure to look into their operating hours before you visit.

With a fuel price hike looming, it would also be ideal if you can share a cab or ride with friends when your gang is heading out. Saving the environment and saving money one ride at a time. So there you go, a list of things to do when you’re wallet has taken a beating and you’re stretched a bit thin. Also remember that it’s only as fun as you make it.

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Life Events · Saving and Spending

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