The quality and frequency of one's social life can greatly influence one's health. Health professionals have determined that the benefits that stem from having strong social relationships are comparable to the health benefits of quitting smoking and increasing physical activity. Mentally and physically, maintaining friendships and social ties improves one's quality of life and longevity. Yet, with dinners out, parties, and other social activities, the cost of maintaining close relationships can add up pretty quickly.
While the benefits outweigh the negatives, social gatherings and outings can put a burden on your budget. Before visiting the local payday loan provider to fund your next outing or disconnecting your phone to avoid social invitations, consider these tips on how to have fun with friends while treating your finances friendly.
*Co-host pot-luck style dinner parties and/or wine tasting events. Catering a party is a huge budget burden for the host. The cost of a party can be significantly reduced by inviting friends to bring their favorite appetizers and drinks to share. This allows everybody a chance to show off their culinary skills, providing a level of variety that otherwise might be lacking. And who doesn't love variety?
*Have movie nights in. Going to the movie theater has quickly become one of the most expensive social outings. Just purchasing tickets and snacks strikes up fear in the hearts of the budget savvy. Instead of breaking the bank, break in your couch with a friendly movie night in.
*Get creative with DYI party decorations. Party costs add up quickly, but this doesn't mean that you should request a cash advance from your credit card to fund one. Think about creative ways to cut costs, such as making your own table clothes, center pieces, and other decor rather than buying them pre-packaged. You can also invite friends over to assist in this endeavor, adding another social gathering while protecting your wallet. For things you can't make, visit your local dollar store where you can find a multitude of inexpensive party essentials.
*Exercise together. Whether taking walks or jogging, playing sports in the park or swimming in your neighbor's pool, exercising with your pals is a great way to foster relationships. Additionally, it makes working out fun--a factor that can never be overemphasized.
*Take advantage of free community events, such as live music, festivals, farmer's markets, and art shows. Community events are often inexpensive or free, making them ideal forums for friendly gatherings. Refer to your local community guide or online community page to plan a social gather at an upcoming event.
*Take a class together. You and your best friend don't see each other as often as you once did, but you both take art and yoga classes, right? Take them together. Friends generally have common interests, making a fun class a prime place for social bonding.
*Start a book club. Discussing books with friends can be an intimate and revealing way to socially bond. Before you take out a cash advance for an elaborate book collection, however, try visiting your local library to access a variety of books for free. For the budget minded, books can provide hours of entertainment with little cost.Utilize your natural resources. Live near the beach? Have a friendly picnic in the sand. In the mountains? Plan a hike with friends. Take advantage of your particular habitat while cultivating lasting relationships and having fun.
Many might be willing to get into debt to keep their social relationships, but they are far more valuable when they are given freely. Think twice before taking out a payday loan if it's only to provide temporary fun.