Personally, I don’t think anyone who is super broke should be leaving the house that often, but not everyone is like me. Some people just need that occasional social interaction to keep from going insane. Even though social interaction isn’t really my cup of tea, I get it. And this post is for all of you.
Before going out on the town, consider these costs. It’s not just the dinner, the drinks, or the movie. You driving there? Gas isn’t free. Have kids? That sitter ain’t free either. Almost everything we do has a direct cost and indirect ones. That movie ticket might only be ten bucks, but are you getting snacks and drinks? Even if you do what I do and buy shit at a store and sneak it into the theater in my britches, I still had to buy it somewhere.
Sure. You hit happy hour to get drink discounts but you still left a tip. And if you didn’t you should be ashamed of yourself. If you can’t tip your waiter or bartender, then please don’t go out. It’s one thing to be poor, it’s another to be an asshole.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Netflix night – Have your friends come over and you can watch netflix and play drinking games. Everyone takes a shot every time Stewie threatens someone. If you want to be a bit classier, invite friends over and make some food. Encourage the people you invite to bring booze or food to share. That way, even if everyone is on a tight budget, you can all drink and eat and be entertained and get that social interaction that you crave. If you don’t have netflix, try board or card games instead.
2. Books – There are more free and 99 cent books on amazon than you could ever read. Sure, a lot of them are terrible. Who cares? If you’re a voracious reader, then a book is a book. Beggars can’t be choosers. Check out some cheap books at amazon, here. Still not good enough? You would rather have free books? Well, here ya go!
Another idea: Write your own stories. Any writer will tell you that they read and reread their own stories until they can’t stand it anymore. Then…they read over them some more.
3. Hobbies – Individual or group. There’s a ton of inexpensive hobbies out there. Google “inexpensive hobbies” like I just did and you’re going to find a million things that you can do for free or cheap. Personally, I do some loom knitting. It’s practical. I make things that I need. If there’s a birthday or holiday coming up and someone needs a knitted item, I can hook them up for cheap. If they don’t want a knitted item, there’s a very good chance that they ain’t gettin’ shit.
4. People watching – People are dumb and do dumb things on a regular basis. Go around your town or city and just sit somewhere on a bench and watch. You will be entertained and possibly assaulted depending on how dangerous your area is. But you will likely get a good laugh or two before anything bad happens. I suggest you wear decent sneakers and comfortable clothes in case you have to cut the evening short and return home in a hurry. If your area is relatively safe, then you can listen to music or podcasts while you observe. Two birds, one stone. You’re welcome.
5. Video games – If you’re a PC gamer, there are free servers out there. WOW and UO come to mind. They’re run by people not affiliated with ea or blizzard and sometimes have custom content that can either enhance or ruin your experience. WARNING. These gamer communities can be extremely toxic. I’ve seen rl threats, estalking, and even some ddosing. Watch yourselves.
6. Youtube – It’s easy to get lost in the abyss of mind numbing crap. But if it’s Saturday night and you’re broke and alone, why not?
7. Part time job – This will provide you with less free time and an extra income stream. Because you’ll be so busy, you won’t have time to worry about entertaining yourself. Woot!