One huge budget buster for young Australians is the alluring satisfaction of having a successful social life. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing now and it is diminishing millennial bank accounts across the country. At Nifty Personal Loans, we believe that having a healthy social life is vital for a person’s overall mental health. You know what they say, laughter is the best medicine, which is why we’ve come up with a few tips on how to save money will still enjoying an exciting social life.
We want Australians to be able to get everything they want out of life while still being able to save money! Whatever do you in life, there’s always a more affordable way to do it and that’s exactly what we plan to show you. Spending money is easy, especially when it’s on a nice night out with your friends and that ‘last’ round of drinks – it’s saving money that everyone struggles with. That’s why we have worked on this list to show you how you can have the same amount of fun and save money at the same time.
The importance of having a healthy social life
As corny as it sounds, life is so much better when we’re connected. Human beings are an incredibly social species and the health of our social life carries huge influence over our mental state. Without positive, durable relationships, both our minds and bodies fall apart. Therefore, it is very important to maintain our social living. Being socially interactive is said to keep a person’s mental and physical health in good condition, and boost their immune system.
When it comes to older adults, maintaining a healthy social life has been known to reduce blood pressure, decrease their risk of depression and potentially lower their risk of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Social interaction keeps the brain active! Don’t believe us? Just take a look at this article on the Huffington Post which explains how social interactions lead to the release of our positive neurochemicals. (We’re not just trying to be smart – it’s a real thing!).
When it comes to anything in life there is always a line between healthy and too much. This doesn’t mean that your social life should include a book club and yoga, but it also doesn’t mean it should include destructive activities and behaviour. Find the happy medium and you’ll be on your way!
How to have a healthy social life
Sometimes life gets busy and we put our social needs aside to focus on our work or studies. It’s easy to do but can be quite detrimental to our well-being, so here are some tips on how to maintain a good social life:
- Schedule lunch and coffee breaks with friends during the work day – everyone needs to eat, right?! So, even if your day is jam packed, put aside half an hour to have a quick bite with some friends. It doesn’t always need to be a bought lunch – if there’s a park nearby, grab the sanga you brought from home and get some fresh air.
- Work with friends – this is a great one for students. If you normally stay cooped up at home studying, try get out to a coffee shop with a friend to do your work. This way you’re out and about while still getting everything done.
- Plan an evening out at least once a week – whether it be to dinner, the movies, to a bar, or just spending some time at someone’s house, being with real people outside of your normal environment is very good for you.
- Take advantage of the area you live in – if you look hard enough, there is probably always something going on. Find a gig, an art show, a festival, or an exhibition to go to at night or on your weekends, even if it means liking a community page on Facebook.
- Be flexible – don’t stress if things don’t go according to plan. Learn to adjust accordingly when plans don’t work out the way they were supposed to or they fall through. Worst case, you just saved a few dollars that you can spend the next time you go out.
How to have a healthy social life and save money
Now that you know how to have a social life, it’s time to get down to business. Knowing how to have that social life on a budget. If you’re a young Australian, and going out on a Saturday night is more important that eating lunch on Monday, we may be able to help you do both. Having to be the one that sends the “sorry I can’t come, I’m broke” text on multiple occasions is never nice so our aim is to show you how to live socially and affordably.
Our tips on how to have a healthy social life on a budget include:
- Make a budget plan – every payday you should sit down and work out how much you need for bills, general living, how much you’d like to save and then whatever’s leftover can be your social funds. You should always prioritise bills, essential living expenses, and savings, of course, but make sure you’ve got a little left over to treat yourself.
- Cash is your friend – once you’ve worked out your social funds, go to the ATM and withdraw that exact amount in cash. Then when you leave the house, leave your card at home. This way, you won’t be able to bust your budget even if you want to. The only other expense you should need is a ride home, so just make sure you have your phone in case an Uber is necessary. This will also teach you how to better manage your money.
- Dinner parties – hosting ‘potluck’ dinner parties is a great way to, A, eat lots of food for free and, B, hang out with your friends. At a potluck dinner, everyone just brings their own dish to someone’s house and then you feast. You’re able to eat for a week for the price of just one meal, and contribute to your social well-being.
- Pick your restaurants wisely – going to a nice restaurant with your friends and only being able to order sides can be slightly soul-crushing. Make sure you do your research on what restaurants in your area are cheap to eat at, or offer daily specials (e.g. burger and beer for $10 on Mondays). There are so many ‘cheap eats’ websites, like https://www.goodfood.com.au/eat-out for different cities that are all about eating out and saving money.
- Picnics – these are a great way to socialise with friends over food and alcohol without having to empty your wallet. Pack some sandwiches, some cheese and crackers, a bottle of wine, and a Frisbee and head down to the park for the afternoon. You’ll save money and have a fun, social time!
- Get Crafty – although so many Australian friendships revolve solely around food and alcohol, it’s a great idea to get a little creative with your friends. Have an arts and crafts or DIY day, play some board games, jam out to music, or even go for a hike somewhere; anything that means you can chill out with your mates, take a break from your regular ‘go to’ hangs, and save money.
- Happy hours – alcohol is a huge budget breaker throughout Australia and the idea of having to cut it out to save money can be quite painful. Cutting back could be an idea but if that still doesn’t suit you then there are ways around it. We don’t encourage binge drinking, however if you are going for a night out with your friends, try and ‘pre-drink’ as much as possible. Your $5 bottle of wine will be much more affordable that the $5 you’ll spend on a single glass while out. Keep an eye out for happy hours as well. The Happiest Hour app is great for guiding you on your cheap night out.
- Drink smart – don’t do rounds with your friends as they are expensive and never work out to be fair. However, sharing jugs of beer can be cost-effective as you can normally share those more equally. It’s best to just buy your own drinks and always look for the cheapest specials.
- Know when to stop – it’s important to know your limits, especially when it comes to alcohol. Drinking too much will not only hurt your head, it will hurt your bank account. Know when you’ve had enough and then swap to water or soft drinks, or grab a few in between rounds. This will also allow you to save some money on the giant kebab your friends will get at the end of the night.
- Hang out with friends who have similar lifestyles – it’s always nice to be able to relate to the people you spend your time with. Maybe they’re students too, or full-time workers, or just broke like you, surround yourself with familiarity. If your friends are complete opposites then that’s okay! Just be honest with them about your financial situation to avoid be pushed to do things you can’t afford. Chances are, they’ll appreciate the cheap hangs.
- Take public transport – even if you’re only going 15 minutes down the road, try and take public transport, carpool, or even walk as much as you can. Getting a $15 Uber every weekend may not seem like a lot at the time but it adds up. Jump on the bus, carpool with other friends, or get your walking shoes on and you’ll be saving money every time.
How to look good and have a healthy social life on a budget
Another appealing aspect of being out and about with your friends, is being able to dress up a bit. This may be another reason you’re saying no to things because if you can’t afford to go in the first place, you probably can’t afford to buy something new to wear. Now that you know how to have a healthy social life on a budget, here are some ways to save money and look the part:
- Be flexible with your options – a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t look good. It just means you need to be a little more flexible with your choices about when and where to shop – time to get creative. Op shops and second-hand stores are great for hidden treasures and you won’t even miss the dollars you spend. Outlet stores normally hold great deals as do online buy, swap, sell sites. All great ways to find something new to wear while you enjoy your healthy social life on a budget.
- Gift-cards and sales – look out for sales. If you have favourite stores, make sure you follow them on social media to kind out whenever they’re next sale is and then take full advantage. Gift cards are great too. If you’ve got a birthday or Christmas coming up, maybe ask for a gift card to your favourite store so you can deck your wardrobe with all new goodies as you need to!
- Sharing is caring – a great way to look good while you enjoy your healthy social life on a budget is to borrow clothes from friends. If they’ve got a pair of pants you like, or a dress you think is cute, ask if you can borrow it. That way, you look great in a new outfit and it’s free!
- Go through your wardrobe – everyone has a section in their wardrobe where they put the clothes they never wear. Go through those clothes and maybe you’ll find something you’ve been looking for, or maybe that dress that didn’t fit before, fits you now. Then you’ll avoid a trip to the shopping centre and spending any money on more clothes you probably don’t need.
Having a healthy social life is very important, and have that social life on a budget is equally as easy. Just follow all the money saving tips we’ve put forward and you’ll start to notice the savings in no time!
If you are finding it difficult to get your finances sorted then contact us and find out how one of our short-term personal loans can get your bank account looking as health as your social life should be. Let us help you enjoy your social life on a budget today!