Guest Post ! Reduce Your Monthly Spending But Double Your Fun

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Spring is almost upon us, which means the weather is finally worth venturing out into, but your budget is lower than ever! You’ve tried to set budgets to avoid hitting your monthly cap, but just because you know you’re reaching capacity doesn’t mean you know how to keep it from happening. The question still remains: How are you going to reduce your spending so you don’t bust your budget?

Break Up With Social Media, I’m Bored 

It may seem like going on sites like Facebook and Instagram are fair game in the budget world, but there are secret costs to being social, even online! A recent study by Propeller Research and Varo Money found that social media makes millennials spend more money.  Forty-seven percent of millennials spend up to four hours a day scrolling, leading to 38 percent of scrollers purchasing something after seeing it on social media.

You don’t have to give up on sharing cute pictures of your dog on Instagram to avoid mindless online shopping, but maybe cut down the hours and spend more time IRL with your friends. Not sure which activities are best without busting your wallet? We got you. 

Having Fun Isn’t Hard, When You’ve Got A Library Card

Let’s start with the basics when it comes to entertainment: books, movies, and television. With so many new shows and films it can seem like you’d have to quit your job and make it your full-time career to keep up. (We don’t recommend it!) And staying up to date can add up quickly with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, and Showtime subscriptions. Books you want to read can also be rather pricey, and subscriptions like Audible start high and only climb higher. Interestingly enough, all of these problems can be solved at the same place… Your local library!

You might think libraries are just full of books accumulating dust, but they’ve evolved rapidly in the past decades to become a one-stop-shop for free entertainment, including:

  • DVDs of new movies, full seasons of television, and more
  • CDs of your favorite artists or a full book-on-tape
  • Magazines
  • Online Resources to music, movies and tv, audiobooks, e-books and more

Spread the Love

Other tricks to keeping up with your shows without spending too much dough include sharing subscriptions and their costs with friends or going over to those who have access to your favorite show (Weekly Game of Thrones party, anyone?) to experience it together.

And while you’re there, why not have a potluck dinner instead of going out to eat? For the cost of one bulk-made meal, you could have access to ten different dishes. Secret Perk: If you host the party yourself, you’ll get all the leftovers… dinner for days! 

It’s Probably Free, If You Plan Right

And don’t think you have to watch movies at home every night to save money. Going out on the town or exploring a nearby city is an exciting way to spend the night or weekend, and shouldn’t be given up just because it could be costly. Luckily, there are ways to see the city without eating into your monthly budget. 

Check local calendars for free-days at your local museums, zoo or science center. Just type your city’s name and “Free Museum Day” or “Free Zoo Day” in your favorite search engine and you’ll be able to plan multiple weekends of free fun!

If you’re a concert goer, check out the listings for free concerts in your area… Coffee shops, pizza places, bars, and restaurants often host. Talk about music to my ears!

Birds Who Flock Together, Save Together

Have a specific paid event that you’re hoping to attend? Fear not, because groovin’ in groups will keep dollars in your wallet. Websites like Groupon and Living Social have two-for-one deals or large-party offers you and your pals can use for decreased meal costs, a few rounds of bowling, wine tasting, and more.

And, of course, try to carpool wherever y’all go to save on gas, tolls and parking. Or if you take a cab to your adventures, take it together and split the cost.

(This article was originally published at HiCharlie.com. For more Love and Money articles click here.)