Most young people don't want to spend a Friday or Saturday night stuck in the house. But if you don't have money, you might think this is your only option. However, you have more options than you think. Here are seven ways to have fun going out without wasting all your money.
1 Befriend a Cheapskate
If your friends are big spenders, chances are you'll spend more than you have. But if you want to go out without wasting all your money, you need to find cheapskate friends or hang out with those who appreciate frugality. These people are financially savvy and more interested in keeping their cash, so they're more likely to choose low-cost recreation and spend money wisely.
2 Call in a Favor
If you want to get out the house but you don't have money, call a friend who owes a favor. Maybe you covered her meal or movie a few weeks ago. Ask if she's able to return the favor. If so, the two of you can hang out on her dime.
3 Load up on Freebies
Some restaurants offer freebies, such as chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants, or bread while you wait for your meal. Plan your night around these restaurants. If you load up on freebies, you can order a side salad or another side dish and leave the restaurant full and satisfied without going broke.
4 Second Run Movies
If you're working with a limited budget, forget movies on opening night. If you can wait three or four weeks, these movies might end up at second run theaters. You can watch a flick for cheap – as little as $3 to $5 depending on where you live.
5 Groupon's Your Best Friend
If you haven't discovered Groupon, now's the time to browse the site. The site offers a variety of discounts – up to 50% or 60% on local entertainment, dining and hotels. Personally, I've seen Groupon deals for amusement parks 50% off retail, and many restaurants offer two-for-one deals. There are also hotel deals if you're looking for a weekend getaway, as well as discounts on tours and concerts. You can download the Groupon app directly to your smartphone or tablet so you'll always have access to great deals in the area.
6 Pull out Your Student ID
A student ID doesn't only benefit you around campus. Many places in your local area will offer a discount if you present your student ID. For example, you might get $3 off a movie ticket or discounts to events and places in the city like museums. If you don't have a student ID, contact your school and inquire about getting one. Even if you're only taking one class, getting a student discount saves money.
7 Get an Annual Pass
Whether it's an amusement park or a waterpark, getting an annual pass is one way to have fun on the weekends without going broke. It's the perfect choice if there's an amusement park within a short drive of your home. An annual pass might include free parking, plus discounts on food and retail purchases.
It's hard to have fun when you don't have a lot of money, but it's possible to go out without wasting all your money. You'll need to get creative, and you'll need to choose your friends carefully. What are other tips for having fun without going broke?
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