How to Balance Frugality with Fun

This is a guest post brought to you by Check ‘n Go.

In this tough economy, many people face overwhelming financial decisions. While some have to choose between paying bills or going into credit card debt, others are making smaller financial choices: To spend or not to spend? Figuring out how to balance frugality with fun can be tricky.

If you’ve decided to rework your budget, the first step toward balancing frugality with fun is identifying your goals. Basic needs are the most important part of your budget. While you can cut back on food, electricity, and water usage, it’s impossible to cut them out completely. Be sure to budget for your utilities.

After you feel sure that you have enough in your account to afford your basic needs, automate your savings. Every time your paycheck comes in, automatically deposit an amount you can manage into your savings account.

Maybe none of this sounds particularly enjoyable to you, but there are ways you can have fun even while you save and cut back. Bargain hunting can turn shopping into a frugal activity. Make a deal with yourself about how much you can spend on specific items, and start with a goal in mind. If you need a new pair of pants, don’t buy six new shirts. Consider checking out your local thrift stores before you visit a department store. In addition, shopping with coupons is another way to make your visits to your favorite shops and restaurants more affordable. Many establishments place coupons in local newspapers, or in books that feature other area vendors.

Finding ways to dine in can also help you balance frugality and fun. Having a potluck with friends, or even cooking dinner as a group, can be a lot less expensive than going out to eat — and everybody can take home leftovers. Consider a movie night, or a poker night. Collaborate with your friends to find ways that you call can save money, and still have a great time together.

But getting out of the house is important too. Many community centers offer low-cost activities for their residents. They provide everything from art classes to sports groups for a low fee. For your workout needs, check out your nearest YMCA, and find out if their rates are lower than a private gym. Your employer may also help you get a discount on YMCA membership.

While figuring out how to balance frugality with fun can require more forethought, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop spending entirely. If you make little extra effort to find deals and spend less, you’ll be able to find a middle ground between frugality and fun.

About the Author

Check ‘n Go, the fourth largest consumer financial service institution in the United States, offers installment loans, payday loans, check cashing, and cash advance loans as part of their commitment to ethical and responsible lending. Check ‘n Go has consistently set high standards for their payday loan and installment loan services to ensure that their customers continue to have options available for whatever financial circumstances come their way.

This was a guest post brought to you by Check ‘n Go.

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