Too often, I hear things like, “Oh I can't hang out tonight. I have no money.”
This simply breaks my heart. Aside from the things I post to try to provide information on how to budget income, pay off your bills AND have a budget for fun, it just blows my mind that people always assume they have to spend money to have a good time.
Where did this concept come from?
For years, people were having fun without an XBox, Playstation, or even a movie theater … They found ways to interact with people that was fun, stimulating, and inexpensive (if not free)!
So in order to bring a little bit of that back, I'd like to remind you of a few things I found here that you can do so you don't have to spend much (if any) in order to spend that precious time with your friends. [And I added a couple of my own to the list, too!]
Host a Game Night
I am an AVVID gamer! I love all kinds of games … Board games like Cash Flow, Monopoly, Clue … Card games, PC games, console games, word games, Pictionary, etc … It's a fun and easy way to interact with others, and the more I learn from Jane McGonigal the more I want to play.
Games are an easy and (generally) free way to relieve stress or boredom. You can invite your friends over for some Munchkin or old games that bring back memories of that one time you slayed a dragon or something … You get the idea.
Take a Class
I really like this one because not only are you interacting with others, but you have a chance to network AND you are improving yourself by learning something new!
Odds are there's a local rec center or some church or something that offers several different types of classes, from technical teachings to sign language to cooking classes! I'm sure if you asked around or Googled it, you'd find something in your area for cheap, if not free.
Have a Potluck
Who doesn't like food? And instead of one person trying to accomodate everyone, this way everyone contributes, no one is left out, and there's something for everyone!
(Also a great way to get rid of some things in your pantry!)
Potlucks, in my own personal history, usually turn into a night full of laughter and reminiscing … Occasionally a game might pop out, too …
Have a Movie Night
Instead of spending upwards of $20 or more PER PERSON … Why not just have your friends come over with a favorite movie of theirs? Or put on Netflix? That way, you can watch an awesome movie with friends from the comfort of your own home, with the food you already had in your fridge (or perhaps some snacks you got just for the occasion) and you can make fun of all the goofy lines? Your own personal Mystery Science Theater!
Check Groupon for Activities
Like BOWLING! Even without Groupon, you can still get some pretty stellar deals for bowling – a fun past time AND great competition!
Through my lifestyle club, I actually earn free travel by utilizing our online services, and one day I was looking through the services offered and Groupon was on there! Just to have some fun, I searched for paintball or something, and it found some AWESOME deals for that and even suggested other fun things to do.
So while Groupon may require a purchase, you can actually save big time! AND find nifty places to go and things to do.
This may not be for everyone, but APPARENTLY restaurants will (sometimes for no money at all) provide different backgrounds of wine for you to smell, taste, and enjoy. Possibly even free appetizers, but since I haven't done this one yet, I can't confirm nor deny that this is a possibility.
Go For Dessert
Instead of spending $20+ for a whole meal, you could go for ice cream! Or whatever feeds your sweet tooth. In this way, you're able to socialize over food and not break the bank at every turn, either. A quick treat once in a while can be an AWESOME pick-me-up and provide great social time.
Although this may not be the best choice for city-goers, if you and your friends have a perchance for the outdoors – take advantage! This might be a little more time consuming than the above, but you can generally camp for free in a lot of places … Just be sure to do your research. Would have a knock on your tent at 2am, right?
So there you are! Just a few easy and inexpensive (if not FREE) ways to enjoy spending time with friends.