7 Ways to Socialize Without Burning a Hole in Your Pocket

Look around yourself at the time of any meal and you will see most restaurants almost over flowing with people. There was a time when going to a restaurant was an occasion in itself and it was considered a downright luxury. Today, socializing over food and drinks is the new normal. But how can you socialize without burning a hole in your pocket?

However, have you ever tracked your expenses? Do you ever notice the amount of money you could end up spending in just socializing, often even with people you might not want to, like unpleasant colleagues in the flow of the moment? Or the times when you might have really nibbled at food to only end up paying for an equal share in an evening where the drinks and food kept flowing on the table?

Does that mean you need to stop socialising altogether to keep your budget intact? Not at all. All you need to do is take some smart measures to be able to socialize without burning a hole in your pocket. You can indeed have your cake and eat it too. Read on to know about 7 such ways that you could look to adopt:

1. Have a frank conversation

socialize low budget

Chances are high that you might have close friends who might not be facing similar financial struggles or have the same financial values. However, good friends are those who understand your dilemma and work it out with you to be on the same page.

If you trust a friend implicitly but are ending up splurging extensively while going out with the person, do not hesitate to have a frank chat. By the end of it, you will not only come out with a plan for more budget socializing but also with a stronger relationship. Read this post if you need help before you can embark on having an honest conversation.

2. Say no when a proposed outing is out of your budget

socialize low budget

When an outing is proposed and the venue is finalized, ensure you check it out online. You should be able to see the price points of all the courses on the menu and get an approximate idea of the potential damages to the pocket.

Even with the type of group that you generally hang out with, once you have been out with them you would have a fair idea of the kind of spending tendencies the group possesses. Know when to say no to a proposed outing. If it doesn’t work for your finances, then it doesn’t work for you and you alone are responsible for using the word no. This post can help you with the basics of saying no to people who matter.

3. Suggest a house party instead

socialize low budget

Most restaurants today have a high premium on dine in as compared to takeaway options. When you add drinks to the mix, the difference in cost can be staggering.

If you are meeting close friends, instead of deciding to meet out at a pricey restaurant you could suggest a house party. Check out some fun options that you could look to organise in a house party, even if it is raining.

4. Pick the venue

socialize low budget

Admittedly a sneaky ploy, this works if you want to go out yet not have a conversation about being within budget. Simply confirm the locality which is convenient and agreed upon by all parties and take up the responsibility for coming up with a venue. Research a bit online and zero in on 2-3 options in your budget which you can then propose to the group of people who are to meet.

While there might be times when people might not agree to any of the options, most of the times the meetup might happen in your proposed location or venue.

5. Choose the company over the food

socialize low budget

Socializing has two main components – the company and the food & drinks. For me the best part of meeting people is the company and the interactions, which while costing nothing is actually the priceless part. The F&B which is the part that costs money, is something I can do without.

A possibility is that you can eat or drink at home and then go out to meet people, telling them that you are full or had to eat earlier. Most people will understand after trying to make you budge once or twice.

6. Adjust categories in your budget

socialize low budget

If you still want to go out and spend money on socializing, get an idea of what amount you end up spending every month. Check how far overboard you are going than the maximum viable spending amount. Then strategically cut down on the budget for some other category to ensure you get to socialize without going overboard.

7. Find new friends

socialize low budget

Before you dismiss this suggestion completely, consider this – how worthy is a relationship where you are not able to have a frank conversation about budgetary constraints or where you cannot choose a place to go out or where you can’t say no even if you want to? This is an extreme step whereby you can then choose to go to meetups and meet people who share your ideas of socializing which also then fit in your budget. Go ahead and read up on more ideas of how you can make new friends.

Have you ever faced a dilemma of maintaining the delicate balance between socializing, people pleasing and remaining within your budget? If yes, what do you do to socialize without burning a hole in your pocket? Let me know in the comments below.

Aparna Aggarwal


A Certified Financial Planner, Aparna is passionate about writing fun, relatable yet financially enlightening content. She blogs extensively at elementummoney.com .