Being broke is no fun! But when you're young you don't tend to have much in the way of finances. It's worrying of course because you need to pay the bills. But it can be really upsetting too when you see the people around you going out and doing things or buying things that you just can't afford right now.
You don't need to sit at home bored and crying over the fact that you don't have much cash. It is indeed possible to have lots of fun for free or on the cheap. You can also get new stuff without spending lots of money. How is this possible you ask. It's all about being smart with your dollar.
If you want new things you have to be smart. You need to look for the best deals, trade your wares, rejuvenate what you already have. There's no shame in it, it's better than having nothing at all. You can also keep up with your social life, which is another big fear for people who need to stay frugal. In both cases you need to start getting creative and thinking outside of the box to keep up while staying thrifty.
15 Go on free nights out
You might end up doing something that you wouldn't normally do, but why not try something new? There's loads of amazing nights out you can have for free or cheap. For example, there's free comedy nights featuring up-and-coming comedians or comedians who want to test out there material for a tour. There are free gigs where you might find a great new singer or band. Also lots of clubs don't have a cover charge, or let girls in free and make guys pay – tehe! All you need to do is check your local listings or sites like TimeOut.
14 Shop for clothes at thrift stores
It's always been cool to shop at thrift stores, Macklemore didn't make it cool. Hipsters and girls who are into vintage fashion absolutely love it. It's surprising the cheap finds you can get if you spend the time rummaging around thrift stores. I bought numerous cute dresses and my favourite faux fur coat at second-hand shops. A lot of the time all the clothes need is a good wash and you're onto a winner! You can even team your thrift store fashion with stuff from the high street to make sure you're getting at least a couple of bargains.
13 Go on free days out
If you're lacking in the dough area it doesn't mean you have to sit around all day bored out of your brains. You can always have a free day out. This could involve chilling out in your local park. You could do something cultural too like visiting a free gallery or museum. Pretend you're a tourist in your own city and go and see the sights, you'll remember exactly why you love where you live. Keep an eye out for free talks and workshops where you can learn something. There are lots of opportunities to do stuff for free or cheap.
12 Have a great night in
There's nothing wrong with getting the girls together to have a great night in rather than a great night out. You can have a catch up and lots of fun without spending lots of money. Of course you can have a simple night, all it takes is a bottle of wine and a good movie. But if you plan on having fun nights in regularly then you'll probably want to mix it up a bit. Relive your childhood with a girly sleepover, try your hand at mixing tasty cocktails, have a games night or have a right laugh doing karaoke. Come up with some fun ideas and enjoy yourself.
11 Workout at home or take a run
Gym memberships can be super expensive. Everything you do at the gym you can do at home, minus the equipment of course. You can even workout in the park or take up running in order to keep fit while you're on a budget. You might need to do a little research to come up with exercise routines that will work for you, these can be found at places like Pinterest or on fitness blogs. It could be a lot more fun than doing the same old thing at the gym every week. You get the opportunity to mix up your workouts.
10 Trade stuff to get new stuff
This is one of the best ways to get new stuff when you can't afford new stuff. It can be as simple as swapping books with your friends when you've read them. Another idea is going to stores that specialise in buying and selling second-hand goods for things like tech and electronics. When it comes to clothes you can try and find local swishing parties where you take your old garments and swap them for new ones. Hell, you could even host your very own swishing party with your friends. When you swap stuff you don't use anymore it's also better for the environment than throwing your old goods away, aren't you a good person?
9 Go out on free dates
No ladies, I'm not talking about simply getting your beau to pay for all the dates, we live in the twenty-first century and it doesn't/shouldn't work like that anymore. So you'll have to come up with with some cheap or free date night ideas if you're being frugal. It's surprising how romantic it could be too. Lots of cities have free open-air cinemas, during the summertime at least, which is amazing because you can cuddle up under the stars. Another example is you could take a romantic stroll somewhere which gives you the opportunity to have long and deep conversations.
8 Travel on a budget
You shouldn't have to forsake your vacation, we all need to get away sometimes. You'll just have to travel on a budget instead. There are plenty of blogs and even whole sites dedicated to this subject to give you some ideas. But I can share a few basic tips. A major expense is obviously the means of travel so shop around using comparison sites to get cheap air fares, and it might take a little longer to get to your destination but coach and train travel is often a lot cheaper. And for accommodation you could try couch surfing and stay with locals for free if you're up for that kind of thing.
7 Shop for clothes on sites like eBay
Fashion changes so quickly we barely have time to keep up. We live in a culture of throwaway fashion these days. So if you want to keep on trend without constantly shelling out cash then you'll need to shop in a much more savvy way. This means using sites like eBay to get cheap clothes. You can even get brand new pieces that maybe just didn't fit somebody for a good price on the auction site. Just beware of fakes and stuff that doesn't look at all like the picture the seller put up. Always look at the seller's reviews before buying.
6 Shop at markets for healthy food
Unhealthy foods can be a lot cheaper than healthy foods, a frozen bag of fries is cheaper than a bag of apples. You can still keep up a healthy diet without breaking the bank though. All you need to do is shop for groceries, fruit and vegetables in particular, at farmer's markets and from street sellers. If you're good at bargaining then you can make your fresh produce even cheaper by asking the seller for a good deal. I'm sure they'll be happy to oblige if you give them a sweet smile.
5 DIY everything
Rather than splashing the cash and making new purchases why not try making things yourself?Pinterest is the Mecca of all things DIY. You'll find a million tutorials and inspiring pictures. In particular, you'll find beautiful ideas for things you can fill your apartment with from rugs and pillows to furniture and art and lamps, the list goes on. It's also handy for ideas on how to recycle your wares or rather upcycle them. It's all about revamping the things you already have to make your apartment look sweet.
4 Revamp your wardrobe
While we're on the subject of revamping things, this goes for your clothes too. You don't have to go out and buy a load of new clothes if you rejuvenate the garments you already have. You can add embellishments such as patches, lace or prints to make a shirt look better. You can even cut up a shirt to make it look like a brand new style of shirt. You can dip-dye and tie-dye and basically do anything you want to a tired piece of clothing. It's time to get creative! You'll probably have a lot of fun doing it and if you're good at it you can open an Etsy shop and make cash to buy clothes even though you probably won't want to anymore. That would be brilliant.
3 Swap expensive items for cheaper items
You shouldn't miss out on socialising with your friends when you don't have much money or you're trying to live frugally. You can do the same things you would have done by making little swaps here and there. For example you can still go out for that coffee with your friend but rather than getting something extravagant like a double whipped caramel mocha frappuccino (I don't know coffee) just get a plain old Americano. You can still enjoy going out with a friend but cut your bill in half. The money you save with the little things will add up eventually.
2 Use vouchers and Groupon deals
Savvy savers always look for the best deal. Voucher codes can be found all over the internet so always look to see if you can make savings before you buy. Groupon is great for days and evenings out. With companies like Groupon you can get cheap deals on restaurants, gym memberships, beauty treatments and all sorts of other exciting things. Basically it is possible to cut the price of everything you want to buy or do from going out to places to fitness to buying clothes and even travelling.
1 Get a free meal at new restaurants
I've never tried this, I'd really love to, I really should! Here's the deal, I've heard that when new restaurants open they want to attract attention and get a bunch of customers so they offer a free dining experience. It's a try before you buy kind of thing. There is such a thing as a free lunch after all. You have to keep your nose to the ground with this kind of stuff as it might be spread through word of mouth by someone who's going to work at the new place for example. So you can eat at the trendiest new restaurant and it's entirely free, amazing!