How to enjoy a night out without worrying about money
When money is tight, it may be difficult to plan night outs or dinners. When bills are circulating all around you, you may not find it easy to justify entertainment based expenses. But if you set some boundaries, you may still be able to enjoy dinner at a nice restaurant or a round of drinks with friends.
Below are some tips to enjoy on a shoestring budget
- Make a budget purely for entertainment related expenses: to make sure you’re always living within your means, get an idea of how much a night out will cost you. Check which restaurants you would like to go to and go over the menu before hand to see how much the costs will add up to. Check everything from the appetizers to the drinks. Include cab fare etc. Research your past outings and see how much you have ended up spending.
The key is to always be realistic, otherwise you may end up spending much more than we want to. Set boundaries to spend without regrets.
- Create a fund just for splurges: Make some space in your spending plan for fun things. See how much you’re able to keep aside each week for leisure activities. Decide how much you want each month and have it auto-transferred weekly.
Look at all the areas in which you can cut costs. Can you cut some spending on your monthly food or electricity bills? See where you are spending unnecessarily and keep that money for your splurge fund instead. You can also use your tax refunds for your splurge fund.
- Set ground rules: Use ‘when’ statements to help you put down some rules. For example: When I pay off X amount of debt, I will treat myself to Y at Z. Or, when I set aside X in my emergency fund, I will enjoy drinks at Y.
- Find ways to save on costs: It’s far more enjoyable to enjoy without having to always worry about the bill. Hunt on deal sites for good deals or find ways to save on transportation by carpooling or using uber share. Restaurants may have early bird deals. You can try to share dishes or order a few smaller dishes instead of a more expensive dish. Or if you’re going to a movie theater, you can go on a weekday when the price is lower.
If you still feel you’re overspending, check your budget for ways you can cut back. You’ll need to be focused and disciplined. Allow yourself to enjoy without any guilt feelings by planning ahead of time and doing a bit of budgeting and research work.
Want help on your spending plan? Our financial team at Optymoney can assist you in coming up with the best budget so you can still have fun while committing to your financial goals.