“Use your money wisely” they say. “Be frugal” they say. “Money can’t buy happiness” they say.
But you have friends.
And those friends like to do things.
Things that cost money.
And somehow, you always feel flat broke.
So how do you deal?
Be a hermit
Stay in. Say no. You can’t spend money when you’re sitting on your couch eating easy-mac. (What am I saying? Amazon exists. Of course you can.) But in all seriousness, if you know your friends are going to be dropping over $100 each on drinks, parking, and cover charges, it’s ok to pass. Set aside a designated night to go out with friends, and on the other nights, stay in. Read a book. Catch up on some Netflix. Get stuff done. Go to bed early. And then you’ll have cash set aside for the next big night you really don’t want to miss.
Be the host with the most
Instead of going out, invite your friends over to your place. Have everyone bring something to eat or drink, and enjoy hanging out in a relaxed setting. Talk, watch a movie, play some games, and just kick back. In my humble opinion, it beats a busy bar or club any night.
Be a teetotaler
If you just can’t resist a great night out, be the DD. Even the swankiest bars and restaurants will be happy to make you a killer mocktail for all of a few bucks. I recently had a tarragon ginger limeade at a 5-star restaurant’s bar for $4. All the fanciness, none of the price tag. Plus, the designated driver is the star of the show. You can probably get your friends to spring for your munchies and gas in exchange for your amature-Ubering.
Use your money wisely: splurge a little, save a lot.
Figure out what kinds of purchases really make you happy and enrich your day-to-day life. Maybe it’s that perfect latte from your favorite coffee shop. Or a movie in the theater with popcorn and snacks. Or weekend road trips with your favorite people. Or really fantastic, buttery jeans. Spend your money on things that bring you joy, and don’t spend it on anything else. Trim and arrange your budget so that you know where your dollars are going every month, where you need to dial it back, and where you can afford to splurge a little. You don’t have to be boring, you just have to be wise.