Why sacrifice your social life because you can’t afford much? There
are many ways to enjoy each day while living paycheck to paycheck. Don’t
let financial struggles keep you from enjoying life every single day.
Here are a few ways to keep a fun lifestyle while working with a smaller
- Daily Deal Websites: Some of my favorite places to find deals on
food and entertainment are daily deal sites, such as Groupon and
LivingSocial. You are given a limited amount of time to buy each deal,
which may be an excellent discount (as much as 50% off). However, be
sure to check the expiration dates. Many deals are good for several
months, but others can be very short.
- Event Websites: If there is an upcoming festival or event that you
want to attend, look for deals on the event’s website. For instance, I
was admitted for free to Summerfest, a music festival in Milwaukee, by
attending on Children’s Day, which offered free admission for all
(regardless of whether you have kids). Local TV news and newspapers may
also have information regarding discounts on upcoming events. Also, keep
an eye out for deals while at the event. For example, the local state
fair offers a bargain book with coupons for discounts on food from
- Restaurants with “Kids Eat Free” Deal: Many family restaurants let
kids eat for free or at a reduced price on certain days of the week.
Days when business is generally lighter, usually Sundays through
Tuesdays, are popular days for this promotion. However, deals on a
Friday or Saturday are not unheard of. For instance, a family restaurant
in my area offers kids’ meals for $3 with the purchase of an adult
meal, seven days a week.
- Vendors and Restaurants That Offer Birthday Deals: If you can
provide proof, some restaurants offer free dinners or desserts on your
birthday, or even at any point during the entire week or month of your
birth. You can find birthday deals in your area by going to
FreeBirthdayMeals.org and then clicking on your city and state.
- Schools: Schools can also offer steep discounts on tickets for shows
at local performing arts centers. A school in my area once offered $20
tickets to a Broadway show, which was merely one-third of the regular
price. Because the school had bought such a large amount of tickets, the
price was greatly reduced, and savings were passed along to students
and their parents. You can also have fun with your kids by going along
on school trips as a chaperone. For a fraction of the regular cost, you
can accompany your child to a museum, a baseball game, an aquarium, or
many other venues. Of course, you are responsible for your child and an
accompanying group, but it can still be an enjoyable outing for all.
- University Performing Arts Centers: If you live in or near a college
town, there are likely to be university productions, concerts, and
recitals that you can attend for a fraction of the cost of a Broadway
show or professional performance. Also, local theater and choral groups
put on shows throughout the year, especially around the holidays. Check
your local paper for upcoming events.
So make sure to look for some of these offers and deals to avoid
having to miss out on the fun because of a smaller budget. We all
deserve the time to have fun with friends, and that doesn’t have to cost
an arm and a leg! Stay Wise! (References: MoneyCrashers.com, Susan