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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

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Top 5 wallet-friendly ways for socialising

By Annie Button

At Money for Life, our aim is to give 16-25 year-olds the skills to manage their finances and make their money work for them in every area of their lives…

 This year Loneliness Awareness Week runs from 17th to 21st June with the aim of raising awareness of the profound effect of loneliness whilst also supporting people in finding friendship and connection.

Loneliness isn’t just a concern for the elderly: a report published by the Mental Health Foundation demonstrated that 18-34 year-olds are more likely to experience loneliness and isolation than those aged over 55. It can be tough enough to make friends and maintain a social life as it is, let alone if you’re strapped for cash. Hanging out with friends doesn’t have to cost you a fortune though – here are five great ways to be sociable when you’re on a budget…

Tip 1: Join a new group or club

Indulging your hobby or passion by becoming part of a club will help you to meet other people who share your interests. Plenty of clubs are free to join, or offer cheap introductory fees – perhaps you’re:

  • A sports fan?

Team sports, cycling or running clubs, and martial arts or athletic groups provide a brilliant way to make friends, as you’ll regularly meet up with the same people.

  • A bookworm?

Reading is a solitary pursuit but starting a book club makes it a sociable activity. Starting out with just a few like-minded friends, all it takes is a little organisation, a packet of biscuits or two, and a few tea bags. To grow your group, encourage each member to extend an invitation to a friend from a different circle so that you can meet new people.

  • A mover or a shaker?

Have a look at your local listings site and join a dance, yoga, or exercise class; these are often operated on a pay-as-you-go basis and needn’t cost a lot of money. Exercising releases endorphins and you’ll meet new people with common ground.

  • A creative soul?

If you enjoy being creative then a weekly art, writing, or cookery class could enable you to devote more time to your hobby while also making friends who share your passion.

Tip 2: Search for free activities in your area

Google ‘free things to do in [your town or city]’, join your community’s Facebook page, or visit a local listings website for a calendar of events that are taking place in your area. Grab a friend and take a chance: although it might not be exactly what you’d normally choose, you’ll have fun and might discover a brand-new interest, for example:

  • Battle of the Bands and smaller scale music concerts in public places
  • Food festivals
  • Cultural fiestas and celebrations
  • Lectures and talks
  • Exhibitions in museums and galleries

Live in or near London? Here’s a great article on things to do in London for free to provide you with some inspiration yet affordable entertainment in our vibrant capital.

If you live on the South Coast then here’s a handy list of free things you can do in Brighton.

Or, if you’re based further North then take a look at this long list of things you can do in Leeds for free. There’s also plenty of free activities in Manchester. No matter where you live there’s likely to be several places you can visit without having to spend a penny.

Tip 3: Boost your income with a sociable part-time job

Getting yourself some part-time work kills two birds with one stone, as they say. Not only will you be working with a whole crowd of potential new friends but you will also be earning money as you do so.

Fun part-time or temporary jobs include:

  • PR and promotions for bars and clubs
  • Bar or pub work
  • Concert or festival stewarding/event crew work
  • Resort holiday rep or ski season jobs

For more advice on getting yourself a ‘side hustle’, check out the Balance Careers’ article – ‘best second job ideas’.

Tip 4: Volunteer for a worthy cause

Helping out with a local charity or not-for-profit organisation benefits others and also means that you’ll meet new people. Plus, it will keep you busy and provide you with that all-important feel-good factor.

Giving back – whether helping out in a shop or shelter, lending your skills to a project, or mentoring someone who needs support – is humbling and will give you a new sense of perspective.

Tip 5: Get out more

Venturing out into the great outdoors is completely free, plus fresh air and vitamin D offer health benefits and an ideal way to reduce stress and lift your mood:

  • Grab your bike and a friend and go for a cycle
  • Don your trainers and go for a walk, hike or run with a mate
  • Take your dog to the nearest park, woodland, beach or lake – there’s nothing like a dog to spark social interaction (if you don’t have a canine pal of your own then try a site like Borrow my Doggy)

Not feeling so active? Why not try:

  • Going to restaurants or cafés with communal tables – far more sociable
  • Reading a book or doing some work at a coffee shop – you never know who you might meet!
  • Joining forces with a friend and packing up a picnic to enjoy in the park

When it comes to your social life – whether it’s admission fees or tickets, meals, and drinks, or travel and accommodation – costs can soon add up. Read this article, for more useful tips on how to avoid making purchases that you will regret. As well as this post on how to take back control of your money.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some inspiration for sociable activities that won’t blow your budget, allowing you to strike the balance between friendly and frugal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Money for Life work in partnership with the Money Advice Service, an independent organisation set up by government. Money AdviceService provides free, unbiased money guidance across the UK to help people make the most of their money.  If you have a question or need help, you can chat to them here.

Launch Chat

Chat to the Money Advice Service
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm.