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Not having someone to share the monthly bills with can make it difficult for you to afford to socialise when you’re single. Having a night out can be expensive, especially when you don’t have a ‘plus one’ to share the costs of activities with.
However, there are many ways to socialise when you’re single, without breaking the bank.
CashLady takes a look at some tips and tricks so you won’t have to spend too many nights in front of the TV.
Build a budget and stick to it
Not having two incomes to pay the rent and split the food bills between, may mean that you have to live much more frugally than your loved-up friends.
Although we think it’s a good idea for everyone to have a monthly (or weekly) budget, this can be even more vital if you’re single and having to make your money go further.
If you want to socialise when you’re single, it’s important that know how much you have to spend each month, so you don’t go into debt.
Take a look at our blog on how to write and manage a budget if you need some pointers on where to start.
Socialise when you’re single by going to the cinema for free
If you want to have a completely free night out, you could sign up with ShowFilmFirst to receive invites to preview film screenings.
Occasionally, you may even get summoned to a concert or a show!
Head to your local art gallery or museum
If you want a more cultured day out, there are many free galleries and museums throughout the UK.
If it’s a nice day, you could even arrange with your friends to take a picnic. If everyone brings one or two items, you will have a feast fit for a king, but on a budget. Make sure that you prearrange what everyone is bringing. No-one wants to eat 10 packets of ham for lunch.
Which brings us to our next point…
Lunch out doesn’t have to mean lunch in the pub
Lunch in a bar with a couple of drinks can cost you the best part of £20, a sizeable chunk out of many people’s weekly socialising budgets.
By arranging a picnic in your local park or on the beach if you don’t live too far away, you can have all of the fun of lunch out with friends, without the expense. And if each person contributes something nice to eat and drink, you’ll have much more food for a fraction of the price.
Plus, you can bring some games and spend the rest of the afternoon playing frisbee – you can’t-do that in a pub!
Bring your own bottle
Sometimes, it’s nice to go out for dinner.
Often, it’s the alcohol, not the food, which can make the bill eye-wateringly expensive.
However, there are some restaurants out there (usually the ones who don’t have licences to sell alcohol) who will let you bring your own booze.
You may have to hunt harder to find them, but once you do, you won’t want to pay £20 for a bottle of average plonk anymore, when you can get it for £5 in the local supermarket.
It is worth calling up the restaurant beforehand to find out if they charge corkage. This is a fee for allowing you to drink your booze on their premises. Some do and some don’t, but it is usually only a couple of pounds, anyway.
Look for deals and vouchers
If you want to socialise when you’re single and living on a shoestring, you’ll need to do your research.
There are many vouchers out there that enable you to slash the cost of a day out. It’s just about doing the legwork to find them.
One really great place to start is the MoneySavingExpert Cheap Days Out page, which is regularly updated with vouchers for a wide range of activities.
Make sure you’re getting the best deals elsewhere
If you want more money to socialise with, it’s important to make sure that you’re not paying too much for your other bills.
For example, if you live on your own, check that you’re getting your council tax discount. Also, it’s worth looking into whether you’re on the best deal for your gas and electric. uSwitch.com is a good place to start