socializing with friends while on a budget



The slack pack


When you are on a tight budget socializing with your friends can be a problem....if you let it.  I've been up front with my friends about wanting to pay off our mortgage early and they respect that. But still you don't want to suddenly be the "cheapskate" or "scrooge" when it comes to having fun.  I've figured out a few ways to have fun and still stay on budget.

First I have to say that I have a few very close friends and getting together with them is very important to me. I love my friends so much and they mean the world to me.  So dropping out of my social circle is just out of the question. I've found that catching up over a cup of coffee or tea is an excellent way to stay in touch and not break anyone's budget. Inviting my friends over for lunch or even afternoon tea and long walks are super budget friendly too.  But I gotta get out and let my hair down every now and again!  Here are some of my not so secret ways I've been able to swing it. We usually pick a restaurant that we all like and one that has some sort of happy hour.  Drinks and food are reduced in price during these hours and the atmosphere is usually quite lively, which is fun.

I spent this past weekend at Melinda's condo in Palm Springs.  It was an all girls weekend that included dining out, long walks, tours through gorgeous neighborhoods, window shopping and late night gossip in our pj's.  It was totally relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time and cost next to nothing. Melinda knows the best places to eat here (Cheekys) and for margarita's and dancing (Las Casuelas)  We had fun on the cheap and it was a blast. Here's a little of what went on...



Dream relocating.  As much as I love my little home I dream of living on this cul de sac.  The neighborhood is a small cluster of mid century modern homes built in 1962.  Each one is white but every one has a different brightly colored painted front door.



I'll take this yellow one.





Or maybe this orange one?




This bougainvillea stopped us all in our tracks.






Window Shopping - I think I'll steal this succulent and sea shell planted fountain idea for my own garden.





Have you ever?  Gorgeous pair of antique ginger jars.  $450.  So a snap will do. :)





Scoping out gorgeous little boutique hotels like this one.  Alcazar.

Anyway, I do think it is possible to still have fun while living on a tight budget.  I mean it does help if your friend has a home in Palm Springs but really we could have done all this and just not spent the night.  Even exploring your own neighborhood with your friends is great fun.  The idea is that you are out and enjoying your friendships, not staying locked in feeling sorry for yourself.

So do you have any tricks you'd like to share with us all?  Please share - we could all benefit.  Thanks!


44 comments

  1. What an adorable neighborhood! Sounds like a blast of a weekend. I like your idea of having friends over for tea. We usually meet at Starbucks or Pete's and end up spending way more than is necessary, when the whole point is to visit.

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  2. I'm totally stealing that fountain idea too!

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  3. Oh how stunning I really need to get out of Dodge!

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    Replies
    1. when you come to LA we'll take a day trip there. :)

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  4. We have a small, but wonderful museum in our little city that hosts events, movies, collections and its own charming café. Annual membership is very reasonable and members get reduced prices on everything. It is a gem. Most of my friends are members and we take advantage of $5.00 movies (the last one we saw was "Blue Jasmine" with Cate Blanchett), events like the new Kennedy exhibit and Christmas celebrations in the attached Victorian mansion. Checking out local venues like this can often save a whole lot of money and provide ways to socialize that are different from everyday activities.

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    1. that is so cool. and blue jasmine was my favorite movie last year. hope she wins best actress.

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    2. Loved that movie too...we checked it out from the library last weekend. Total cost=$0 :)

      Linda

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    3. Excellent idea to check movies out of the library. I had forgotten about that service. And Cate Blanchett was absolutely amazing. Watching her dissolution from the beginning to the end of the movie was incredible.

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  5. How beautiful, Janet! Wish I was there. These trips can be affordable if you do it right. :)

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    1. palm springs is so beautiful. it helps that she owns a home there. :)

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  6. Neat little neighborhood. I love mid-century homes like that. I could totally see you living there. But do they have a 99Cent plus store nearby?

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  7. love your honesty.
    love meeting friends for walks, meet at a museum or sharing home brewed tea and soups.
    also love asking friends for help.
    pve

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  8. Oh this is such a fun post! I love Palm Springs! Thanks for sharing. I just wish you could have given us tours of the insides of those adorable homes ;). My friends and I go to one of our homes and everyone brings something to eat and some wine, etc. It is way cheaper than going out, and it is more relaxing.

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  9. My G's and I meet at a great park we have close by - we walk 2-3 miles chatting all the way - then we sit on the benches for a glass of wine and sometimes a little snack one of us has brought. it's a standing Tuesday afternoon invitation - i look so forward to it. This winter we have had to forget the walking at times and have just met at each other's home but thankfully where i live that has only happened a couple of times.

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    1. We love to walk, too! There are plenty of places where you can go by public transportation. We bring our snacks in the backbag. I spend a lot of time at home, on the weekends I have to step outside.

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  10. My days out with friends on a budget is on my blog today - freaky coincidence! Sadly, our life isn't as glamorous as yours so thanks for sharing! xxx

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  11. Gosh. Im so jealous. New city. No small group of friends, and actually, as you get older and everyone gets busy with family and husbands, if you don't have a husband, it is VERY difficult to find women to do things with. Happy for you; sad for me! I love you trip. Again, living vicariously.... Loving ANY pics with live grass or plants right now!

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  12. Melinda must be doing well? It sounds like a lovely weekend. Those kind of weekends are the best, in my opinion. You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a good time.

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  13. Love the desert area around Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage....we were fortunate that my in laws had a place down there when our kids were little so we would visit often. Indeed the mid century homes, palms and climate were the stuff of dreams.
    Your getaway with the girls would have been a blast! Did you get any sleep?

    Lately I do the walk and coffee/tea visits mostly.
    Tonight we are meeting up at a local diner for an early supper. We always ask for separate bills to keep things simple and nopt make anyone feel like they need to chip in if someone has something more expensive. I usually drive some of the gals so I drink tea and save a bit of money that way instead of having a cocktail or a glass of wine.
    Nice ginger jars but wow expensive!

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  14. Dear Janet, It is important to go out with friends, especially while buckling down on finances. If you don't treat yourself once in a while you'll get burnt out on the budgeting and possibly binge in a bad way. You're doing it right by letting your friends know in advance that you're trying to pay off your mortgage. I bet some of your friends may be wanting to be a bit more frugal too, even if they don't say it.

    That area is beautiful. I love the wide cul de sac, and clean look. It looks like you had a great time, I'm glad!

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  15. Hi Janet! How do you watch your movies? Netflix? Redbox? Tv? Movie theatre? How do you watch any series you love that aren't on normal TV? Would love to know how you do that part of your life on a budget. Thanks! Jennifer

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    1. we subscribe to netflix instant watch movies. i believe it is $7-8 a month.:)

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    2. You can stream some programs that are on tv: You can go to abc, cbs, pbs, etc and watch programs: that's how we watch Downton Abbey......

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  16. We do dinner parties. Someone brings the wine, someone brings the dessert and I just plan an affordable but filling meal. My favorite form of entertainment!
    Have a great week Janet!

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  17. Looks like you had such a great time Janet! How nice to have a group of friends like that...while I do have 4 close friends that I get together with on a regular basis, none of them are in the same circle so it's always just two of us going to dinner, shopping, etc.

    My ex and I used to stay in Palm Springs a lot when we were dating and first married. I remember riding bikes through some neighborhoods with homes similar in the pics you posted here. I'm drooling over those ginger jars and that succulent/shell fountain. I'm kind of a shell maniac.

    I'm trying to cut back on going out too. I owed a friend of mine a bday dinner and normally I would take her out. But I decided to save myself $50 or $60 bucks and invited her over one night last week when my husband had a work
    meeting to attend. It worked out great, she hadn't been over to our house in quite awhile and she enjoyed the meal more than if we had gone out.

    Linda
    xo

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  18. If one lives near a college or university, keep an eye on their events online. I've been to some good ones that were reasonably priced.

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  19. How gorgeous!!!! I love every photo here! I like to go for walks with my girlfriends or have them round for lunch or afternoon tea.

    Nothing better than time with girlfriends!

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  20. so much fun!!!!! and your garden is looking so pretty too

    xoxo kelley

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  21. In our group of friends we do rotating dinner parties every six weeks or so and everyone brings one dish so it costs the host next to nothing. And everyone brings their own wine, other times, it's coffee or walks. Love my friends too, and it's important to get together regularly!

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  22. I love that photo! Looking at it, I can see you all as you must have been 40 years ago, real American teens - if you could have had the same line-up in 1974, I bet it would be no trouble to identify you all ;) ;) ;) Reminds me a lot of that time!!

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  23. When my friend and I were unemployed one memorable winter 12 years ago, we began certain rituals that we keep doing to this day. Since public transportation is basically nonexistent in suburban Connecticut and walking anywhere is pretty much out of the question where we live due to distance, we would check museums for free/reduced admission days, carpool to them and spend many hours admiring exhibits. We would pack a picnic lunch and 'tailgate' in the car with the heater on! Since we're both homebodies, we splurge on adult education classes (usually $10/session, sometimes a little more due to cost of supplies) and learn how to refinish furniture, make cheese, and design gardens. Preservation land trusts are popular here so we go on guided walks (sometimes we are asked to make small donations to the causes) and admire old houses, beautiful gardens, stretches of woods and fields. Plenty of time to catch up on our lives and learn soemthing new.

    I presonally like the house with the orange door - can I be your neighbor?
    Wendy

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    1. that sounds wonderful...your days out and about and being neighbors!

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  24. What a great post, Janet! Our babies are finally getting a bit older that Steve and I are now slowly going back to socializing with friends. But we realized $ is a big issue. Especially after spending $130 for a meal for two the other night (it's pretty expensive from our local standard), we needed to rethink how we can/want to socialize with others. We usually invite people over to our house for some appetizers and wine, and we enjoy doing that (we can put the kids to sleep in our house, then party. it's also cheap.) Getting together for happy hour sounds like a great idea! Using coupons may be perhaps another way? I'm not a big couponing type of person, but I was just wondering if I should do it to help our family finance. I'm debating if I should or not... Do you use coupons??

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  25. Janet. You know I already have a problem with blue and white porcelain. So now you need to expose me to RED AND WHITE porcelain?! You might have hushed your wants but you have ignited mine! I didn't even know that was a thing.
    My very best friend and I always socialize on the cheap. We either watch the Birdcage (I'm sure you ran into a lot of Armands and Alberts in Palm Springs) or we watch Downton Abbey in Spanish. You haven't lived (on a budget) until you've watched Maggie Smith as an English aristocrat voiced over by a 20 year old Hispanic woman. Maybe it's just funny because we split a double wide bottle of Pinot Grigio...which is only $12. We've tried incorporating other people into this ritual but they just sort of stare at us uncomfortably.

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  26. Check into your local media (like newspapers and local restaurant websites) and national websites like Urbanspoon -- and find out which places offer deals like Happy Hour or "specials" on a certain night.

    OR have appetizers and a couple of salads to share at a restaurant -- then end up at someone's home for drinks. One of our favorite evenings -- having burgers out with friends and we head home and watch the latest "so-bad-that-it-is-so-funny" monster movies on the SyFy network. Of course -- there are the classic nights -- barbecue, salad and "under-$10" wine ...

    I LOVE this post -- what a GORGEOUS place -- love the homes and flowers!!! Outstanding idea for a fountain!
    ((wow! those are expensive ginger jars!!))

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  27. Cheeky's is one of my Palm Springs Favorites! We also love Bills Pizza in town. And yes socializing with friends saves me a bunch on therapy so it's a win for me :)

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  28. Cheeky's is one of my Palm Springs Favorites! We also love Bills Pizza in town. And yes socializing with friends saves me a bunch on therapy so it's a win for me :)

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  29. Janet, I absolutely love your honesty! You are so refreshing!! Keep doing what you are doing!

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  30. My tips are the same as yours - meet for coffee or brunch, go for a walk - or go and see a film at the local cinema (reduced price on Mondays) and have a beer afterwards.

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  31. Had the opportunity to visit Palm Springs for the first time last month when my family and I visited from Australia, and loved it! My tip is the same as a lot of others - meet friends for a walk and then reward ourselves with a nice coffee at the half way point.
    Lynne

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  32. I keep in touch with a good friend by meeting for breakfast at 6:30 am before we both go to work. We meet every other week and she clips a coupon out of the paper that's for a "buy one, get one free meal". We get the same thing and split the bill. It's a great way to keep in touch and we always motivate each other and we are raring to go and get started at work. (or maybe it's all the coffee that does it! LOL!) so that's my tip! 2 for 1 coupons!

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  33. I don't want to be a "Debbie Downer" but I have to say something. Did anyone else notice how green the friggin lawns are in Palm Springs??? They are down right shocking green. In a time of major drought in California this is so wrong. While in the North and Central Valley farmers have dry fields and are not planting. They have green lawns in a desert. I just had to comment on this. Still glad you had a nice time.

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kindness is never out of style.

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