This blog is not stating or supporting not having a social life or going out with friends and family, and enjoying other’s company.
It is simply asking one to look at what the costs can be involved in having a social life, and ways to save money and still be social.
You know the scene:
We are all going out for drinks tonight after work, coming with us?
Its Friday, and also a payday, and everyone in the office is meeting up at the local pub or watering hole for drinks at 6.
Then one drink at 6, becomes 3 drinks by 7, and next thing you know, you are hailing a taxi home at 2am.
This may not sound familiar to everyone, but it has and does happen.
You had not planned to go out, let alone stay out till 2am, but yet it has happened. And in the course of the evening, you may have spent more money then you had planned to spend.
This is just one of many scenes that happens in creating a social life for us.
Another is you may be siting at home just planning on doing the “chill and Netflix” thing, when you get a text from a friend, and texts from other friends stating they are all meeting up for a quick drink and bite to eat at your old haunt.
You decide to go for one as you don’t want to be the “wet blanket” of the group.
Go, have fun you tell yourself. The film and shows will be there when I get back.
It can be this unexpected going out that can cost us money, money we may not have or have planned to spend in our budgets.
And for some, this constant socialising may even bring about spending money they don’t have, which means using credit, and falling into debt.
There are many a person who after a few years working and just following the social flow of friends and work colleagues, has woke up one day to find themselves with more debt on credit cards or overdrafts then they had planned.
And it is not just these unplanned or even planned social events that can be costly.
Weddings are not a cheap affair, brides and grooms want their day to be the best it can be. They want to have all their friends and family around them as they state their love for each other.
And going to a wedding you need to look the part, which means having the clothes, make-up and hair for many, and also the gifts.
Guests can spend hundreds of pounds, if not thousands if you are a part of the bridal party, on going to a wedding.
You also have to figure in the cost of the stag or “hen do” as well.
And what about a wedding gift and the cost there?
While we are on the subject of wedding gifts, we may as well cover gifts in general as a way our social lives can cost us money.
There can be the “whip-rounds” at work or where ever to buy leaving gifts, gifts for baby showers, birthdays, holidays, the list can go on and on.
And do we budget for these gifts….probably not. How can we anticipate all the gift giving dates and times all the year round.
Ways to Save
There are ways to save and still have a good social life, and one way is to choose your battles, or choose your social times.
You cannot say yes to every office outing, and party that comes along. You just need to say not this time, or only go every other time, or certain occasions.
Giving gifts can be reduced as well, you can give gift cards of a set amount. Not very creative or exciting, but you know what you are spending, and so does the recipient.
Some people prefer to make gifts for their friends, which can be a personal way to give a gift, and keep it within a set budget.
House parties can be a good way to entertain, seeing your friends, and not feel the pinch of the pub’s till.