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How to Save & Socialise Without Looking Stingy
Posted on: 9 / 9 / 2017
Fun loving Aussie millennials have gotten quite the financial brow beating this year.
When you combine Tim Gurner’s infamous advice to ditch the $4 coffees and smashed avo on toast, studies showing that 30% of uni students are graduating with no job prospects, and the ever-increasing costs of living, it’s enough to make you think that enjoying life and being financially responsible are mutually exclusive goals.

The good news is that socialising while saving isn’t just possible - a lot of the time it’s better! That’s why I’ve put together this list of tips to help you make the most of your friendships without breaking the bank or looking like a prime candidate for an audition with Extreme Cheapskates.
1. Listen to Tim, Cook at Home
While his 60 Minutes interview might have been the most cringeworthy thing to hit Aussie TV screens this year, millionaire property developer Tim Gurner does have a point: Eating at cafes and restaurants is very, very expensive.

Humans have been breaking bread with those we love since time immemorial, yet, just because we’re dining together doesn’t mean we have to be dining out.

And just because we’re dining in doesn’t mean you have to host an elaborate dinner party where each meal is prepared with the most expensive, locally sourced, organic and artisanal ingredients.

Ditch dinner plans and catch up with friends over brunch in your garden, balcony or humble dining room.

Not only are breakfast ingredients cheaper to buy than dinner ingredients, but the simple act of preparing a meal for someone is deeply personal and shows a level of thoughtfulness that you won’t be able to reach by just selecting from a menu.

And, if you’re an introverted person, chatting while you’re preparing food is a far less intimidating prospect than staring at one another in awkward silence while you wait for your overpriced meals to arrive.
2. Stop Shouting Drinks
At the risk of sounding “un-Australian”, I think it’s high time we seriously reconsider the way our age old Aussie tradition of shouting rounds is impacting our budgets.
While bonding over a shared jug undoubtedly conjures camaraderie between friends, let’s not forget that Australia has some of the highest priced booze in the world - in fact when it comes to buying alcohol, we’re the 9th most expensive country.

And, the more people you’re drinking with, the more drinks you’ll need to buy when it’s your round, and the longer you’ll have to stick around (lest you miss your shout and your friends dub you the Scrooge of the group).

This seemingly egalitarian tradition is how one cheeky $8 beverage at the pub after work transforms into a $60 expense you can definitely live without.

Don’t feel ashamed to decline to participate in the shouting ritual either. A recent study by ME Bank found that not only do 56% of people think that the Aussie shouting tradition is unfair, but 81% would prefer to pay for just their drinks. By politely saying that you prefer to buy your own bevvies, not only will you save money but you’ll help your friends save too.
3. Be Upfront & Honest 
Whether you’re trying to settle on a Tinder date activity or organising a catch up with old friends, being honest about your financial goals is key.

Many people are embarrassed to discuss their finances with others, but you don’t need to justify your savings goals or explain the reasons why you’re working off a debt to anyone.

Simply letting your friends and family know that you love spending time with them, but you prefer doing a low-cost or free activity will suffice.

Anyone whose relationship with you is worth maintaining will respect your commitment to being financially responsible, and chances are they’ll be relieved at not feeling pressured to spend.
4. Learn How to Get Free Tickets
The lineup of the year has just been announced, and everyone who is anyone has coughed up $150 for a single day of fun in the sun. You, on the other hand, are keeping your eye on the prize and trying your best to channel a financially self-disciplined sensei.
But just because you don’t want to pay doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t go. There are ways to enjoy festivals without forking out for exorbitantly priced tickets, including:
Volunteering: Many festivals, particularly those that go for a few days, allow you to apply for early release volunteer positions.
Usually, you’ll just have to work for a few hours a day pouring beers or picking up litter, and then you can spend the rest of your time with your friends. And, while the job might be mundane, the working atmosphere at festivals is usually pretty relaxed, so you’ll get the opportunity to mingle with other festival-goers in a no-pressure social environment.
Reviewing, photography & promotion: If you’re a bit of a wordsmith, you’ve got a knack for taking great photographs, or your Instagram following is enviable (I’m talking tens of thousands at least) you should have no trouble getting into virtually any event for free.
This tip takes a little more groundwork than volunteering, but the pay off is better in the long term. All you have to do is:
1. Get together a list of street press publications, “what’s on” type websites and music magazines if you’re interested in the media side of things. If promoting is more your style, find out which company is advertising the festival - this will be listed on their website, or you can do a little social media sleuthing to see who is sharing all of their posts.
2. Send an email introducing yourself. Explain that you’re interested in the event, ask if the publication/festival has someone covering/promoting it already, and be sure to attach examples of your work/following stats.

3. Head to the event and take notes for your review or snap some photos, then submit your best work to the publication or make the posts/shout outs you’ve agreed to do. If they like what they see, they’ll put you on a contributor/promo list where you can go many other events in exchange for a little of your creative energy.
5. Club Like You’re Broke, Even If You Aren’t
For frugal people, going clubbing is akin to withdrawing your pay check then setting your wallet on fire, one fifty dollar note at a time. Yet, sometimes hitting the town is unavoidable. If it’s your best friend’s birthday and they prefer a night of bump and grind in the club to an evening of board games and banter in the living room, don’t worry! There are still ways that you can cut back on costs:
Get the party started at home: Ever since Kevin Rudd introduced the Great Alcopops Tax of 2008, more and more young Aussies prefer to kick a night out off at home. Splitting the cost of a bottle (mixing drinks yourself is always cheaper) or a carton is the best way to get a little loose without regretting it the next day. And remember: You don’t actually have to get drunk to have fun.
Suss out happy hours and deals: In Australia, it is illegal for bars that don’t serve food to advertise drink specials, which can make finding the most affordable pubs and clubs a little tricky. If you must drink out, it’s better that you drink cheaply, so try hitting up community groups on Facebook for advice about the cheapest watering holes in your area and use this info when making your plans for the evening.

Don’t pay cover charges: Cover charges are a waste of money. There is absolutely no good reason for you to pay to enter a regular night club, especially considering that most high-end venues don’t ever charge guests for entry. Be firm and let your friends know in advance that you aren’t paying to enter any clubs. If they insist on a particular place, try calling ahead to get on the guest list.
6. Include Entertainment Spending in Your Budget
A common mistake that young people make is not budgeting for fun at all because they want to believe that they can do without such luxuries. Nine times out of ten this technique does not work. You still spend money on dining out, activities, drinking and adventures it’s just that you’re not accounting for this spend.
Be realistic about your entertainment spending. Look at your bank statements from the last three months to work out what your actual entertainment spend is right now and use this information to find out where you can save and how much you should put aside for future fun times.

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