Keeping up with your social life was simple in college. There were plenty of free university-sponsored events and concerts, student discounts at the movies, restaurant happy hours for students and house parties galore. Maintaining a post-college social life becomes a little more complicated and not to mention, pricey.
Here are a few tips to help keep your social live alive without busting your budget.
Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather and soak up some vitamin D. Spending time outdoors with your friends gets you active, outside and best of all, doesn’t cost much. Explore your local hiking trails, nature walks or public parks. Pack a picnic with cheese, crackers, fruits and drinks to enjoy at the peak of the mountain or on a grassy field.
If you’re fortunate to live next to a body of water such as a beach, lake, river or creek, plan a day full of water activities such as swimming, tide-pooling, lounging and body surfing. Be sure to stay protected outdoors with sunblock, a hat, a pair of sunglasses, extra sunglass lenses and bug repellent.
Arts and Entertainment
The arts and entertainment industry is known to be costly. To enjoy concerts, museums and theaters without spending an arm and a leg, follow your city or community calendar to stay informed about free events. Most museums have at least one day a month with free or discounted entry. Certain museums are even free or only require a donation in lieu of an entrance fee.
During the holiday season, some museums and art galleries offer free entry with the donation of canned goods or a contribution to a toy drive. In the summer time, your local public park might host free concerts featuring local bands and artists providing your friends and family another great opportunity to picnic on the grass.
Giving Back to Your Community
You might not consider volunteering an integral part of your social life, but it still gives you and your friends an opportunity to get together, while giving back to your community. Volunteering is also a great opportunity to meet new friends who have similar interests in sharing the amazing feeling you get when you volunteer your time. Besides volunteering at a hospital or animal shelter, register to volunteer at concerts, athletic events and festivals for music, film and food. Get creative with the ways you and your friends give back and have fun listening to your favorite musical artists or taking the shelter dogs on a walk.
The saying goes, nothing in life is free. Although true, it doesn’t mean you can’t find things in life that are great bargains, discounted or affordable for your enjoyment. Start with finding the best happy hours to take advantage of. Restaurants and bars offer discounts on beer, cocktails, appetizers and even entrees. Even starting your night out at a spot with an excellent happy hour will shave a significant amount off your evening damage. Use websites like Groupon to hunt for bargains on restaurants, concerts, shows, activities, museums and so much more. This is also a great opportunity to try something new and save money doing it.