Let’s face it, living on a budget isn’t always considered the coolest thing in the world.
Imagine yourself sitting in a movie theatre with your best buds patiently waiting the latest Fast & Furious movie to start. Just before all of the action begins you reach into your pocket with a big smile on your face and pull out a bulk barn bag full of treats.
You might think that you’re the coolest dude in the theatre because you’re saving money on high priced theatre snacks—staying within your budget—but your friends sitting beside you might not think it’s very cool to eat warm, stuck together, fresh from your pocket gummy bears or melted chocolate covered whoppers, not to mention you’re breaking theatre rules. (Just to be clear, the events you just read and possibly imagined are totally fictitious and I would have no idea how that feels.) It is, however, very cool to tell your friends that you purchased a condo, maybe took an exotic vacation using your savings or even bought a sweet ride with cash.
Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?—living fiscally responsible yet going out and having a good time your boys? Well listen up my brother-from-another-mother, it is possible, and in celebration of national Bromance Day on August 14—exactly six months after Valentine’s Day—let me show you a few ways:
- Poker Night Alternatives. Do you and your buds have a tradition to play poker at someone’s place each month? Using cash can make the game seem more serious, being that there’s a very high risk that you’ll be leaving with less money than you came in with, plus there’s also the chance someone’s feelings will be hurt at the end of the night. Why not consider playing poker with something else, like winner gets his seasonal tires changed for a year, his lawn mowed for the summer, or gets hooked up with a buddy’s cottage for a weekend. Make the stakes high, just not with cash. You’ll probably get more value in the end anyway.
- Sports fans. Like going out with friends to a Leafs, Blue Jays or Raptors game? Instead of breaking the bank at a professional sporting event, why not think outside the box and go to a minor league game. I’ve watched the Toronto Marlies play on a few occasions and I was very impressed with both the level of play and the prices. There are other sports, such as lacrosse, which are extremely exciting to watch but also very cost effective.
- Gym rats. Are you the kind of guy that lives at the gym? Is fitness one of those things in life that is paramount to your existence? Why not try negotiating your gym membership price? Remember, gyms are businesses, and like most things business, there’s a certain degree of negotiation you can try to take advantage of. At the end of the day, if the gym is still too expensive for your budget, like me you can always kick it old school. Walking, push-ups, running outside or even finding an empty stairwell and going up and down a few times. There’s also a wealth of information and videos online on exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home that don’t cost you any more than your monthly internet package.
As you can see, there are ways to have fun, live your life and stick to a budget. Think outside the box and I think you can amaze yourself and save some dough at the same time. And if you want some help on how to save, book a free Debt Assessment with us and we’ll show you how you can save for the important things in life while still managing debt.