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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

30 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends Without Spending Much

Spending time with friends is, in and of itself, a great way to pass the time without spending a lot of money. But if you and your friends are used to going out to clubs, pubs or eateries together as your way of hanging out, then you can change it up a bit and save some money too.

No matter where you live, there are plenty of places to go and do fun things that don’t cost a lot.

If you are having trouble convincing your friends to do things on the cheap, then be upfront with them. Tell them straight out that you can’t spend that kind of money right now — and don’t let them pay for you either. But here are some great alternatives you can offer.

30 Fun Things To Do With Friends Without Spending Much

1. A potluck dinner party. Host a dinner party and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. If you are not comfortable with cooking, maybe try and learn how to cook a new dish together with your friends.

2. Host a spa day. Give each other manicures. Try out new hairstyles. Make some facial masks or exfoliates using natural, at-home ingredients. Then drink mimosas.

3. Movie marathon. Log into Netflix and watch every episode of “Stranger Things” Or do an ’80s movie marathon, watching “Pretty in Pink,” “The Breakfast Club” and all of our old favorites. Don’t have a Netflix membership? Get the free trial just for the marathon!

4. Pinterest party! You know all of those cool Pinterest crafts you say you’re going to do? Do them. At home one night with friends. Then make up some of those bacon-wrapped whatevers you’ve been dying to try!

5. Go to the park. Pack a picnic. Hang out. Watch people. Play on the swings.

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    6. Have an organization party. Set up a day of each weekend where you go to each of your friends’ houses and help them clean out a closet, a room, a garage, whatever. Serve drinks and food and trade stuff among yourselves.

    7. Hold a yard sale. After all of that cleaning, why not hang out together and make some extra cash too?

    8. Concerts in the park. All summer long, many parks host free concerts. Go with your friends. Hang out, bring a picnic dinner. This is a very relaxing way to chill out on a hot summer night after work.

    9. Volunteer together. Offer to do the yard work for the local senior center or hang out with the kids at the YMCA. After a few hours of volunteering together, you will have new respect for each other and something new to chat about.

    10. Play board games. Drag out the Scrabble or the Yahtzee. You can hang out and play all sorts of games with large groups or small ones. Hold a tournament and compete against each other. Here’re some board games ideas.

    11. Video game tournament. Not into board games? OK. Well, how about a video game tournament? Whether it’s the latest dancing game or “Call of Duty,” play against each other and award prizes (or food) to the winners.

    12. Grab a ball and a bat and go play baseball at the local park. Grab a basketball or a tennis racket. Most parks have courts and fields you can use for free as long as there isn’t an organized event going on.

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    13. Go to the school play. This might cost a little for admission, but it’s a great way to support your community and have a fun time.

    14. Iron Chef night. Bring your friends over and have an Iron Chef night where you cook dinner out of only the items in your pantry. No buying anything!

    15. Go dumpster diving. Yup. I said it. Check out the dumpsters in your area and see what you can find. You might even find dinner! Here are some tips for respectful diving.

      16. Go to yard sales. Take all that money you made at your yard sale and cruise around your town together looking for cool stuff. Maybe you could even fix something up and resell it.

      17. Go fishing.

      18. Go camping.

      19. Find some cool trails around your town and go hiking. Here’re some of the best hiking trails you should try.

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      20. Get out the bikes and bike everywhere for a weekend.

        21. Dig out the old croquet set — or borrow your Mom’s — and play croquet. Do it! Totally fun.

        22. Swap movies and music. Have everyone bring over a box of old movies and CDs they don’t want anymore — or don’t watch anymore. Then swap with abandon.

        23. Go on a walking tour of your town. Most towns or cities have a historic district. Find out if there is a walking tour available. If not, make one up!

        24. Scavenger hunt. Put your friends to the test — yes, this is for grown-ups — to find different things in your city…like a certain bike rack, a vintage sign, that sort of thing. The winner gets a dinner cooked by the losers.

        25. Find out when the free days are at your local museum or zoo. Most have them and they can be great fun to visit with friends.

        26. Hold a quilting bee. No, you don’t have to be fancy — or old — for this. Grab some old T-shirts that you love, old jeans, whatever. Cut them into squares and sew them together. Who knows? Maybe it will become a regular thing?

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        27. Go to Open Mic night. Your town is likely harboring some great talent at an open mic night that has no cover and cheap drinks!

        28. Go to a religious service. Even if you’re not religious, going to a service in an unfamiliar religion can be enlightening and a great way to meet new people.

        29. Find a swimming hole. Head to the old town swimming hole — or find a new one. What a great way to spend a lazy afternoon with friends.

          30. Start a book club, card club (canasta anyone?), sewing club or scrapbooking club. Something you and your friends like. My parents used to belong to a cooking club where once a month all of their friends gathered at one house and the host family cooked a meal from a different country. I learned a lot about food that year.

          You don’t really need to spend much to have lots of fun with your friends! Pick a few of these ideas and start trying them out this weekend with your friends!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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          Published on October 8, 2018

          13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

          13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

          Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

          Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

          So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

          1. Choose a major category each month to attack

          As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

          Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

          By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

          2. Only make major purchases in the morning

          If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

          Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

          Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

          3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

          Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

          The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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          Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

          4. Read one-star reviews for products

          Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

          By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

          Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

          5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

          If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

          The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

          Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

          This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

          6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

          One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

          While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

          The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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          7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

          Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

          That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

          That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

          8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

          Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

          If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

          Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

          Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

          This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

          9. Budget using cash and envelopes

          As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

          Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

          This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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          The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

          10. Join a like-minded group

          Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

          You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

          Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

          No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

          For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

          This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

          11. Reward Yourself

          When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

          Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

          With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

          But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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          Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

          12. Take the Buddhist approach

          You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

          Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

          Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

          The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

          13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

          If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

          It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

          Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

          Conclusion

          Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

          However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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