I swear the older I get I learn how much I truly did take some things for granted. One of those things would have to be my accessibility to my friends. Like remember being in elementary and middle school when friendship was as easy as both of y’all being chosen for the same team on tag or you deciding to share your food with your friend all the while knowing you’d be able to see them at the same time and place the next day? Or in high school when joining a sports team earned you an immediate family that came with automatic family trips like track meets and tennis tournaments that included melting on some high school’s piece of asphalt or green top over the summer? Or finally like in college when you saved your pennies up to buy a bottle with your best friends who all suddenly had spaces to host the parties you probably shouldn’t have always had haha. Or even like how being in the same class enduring the educational struggle earned you friendship rights that translated into birthday invites and beyond. That kind of accessibility and forced consistency is what I miss. Nowadays in order to achieve that level of being intentional it usually requires a lot of time, planning, and sometimes money that you aren’t always prepared to spend. And that is exactly what I’m here to talk about dreamers--how to somehow afford friendship because let’s be honest it's work!
So now that I’ve awkwardly transitioned you to talk of funds I’ll just be honest here -- I am as you say millennial poor. You know...right at the spot where you make just enough to cover your bills with maybe a couple dollars left to entertain yourself while the whole time you’re trying not to overstretch those funds too drastically until you get paid again? That! That could be just me but anyways now you’re following me. I’m the friend that loves getting invited to all of her friend’s birthday festivities and weddings, yet quietly dreads the invite because I know I’ll go through a serious case of card swipe abuse. I mean we all want to be there for our friends because showing up is important of course, but at the same time we also want to be able to show up with some money in our bank accounts. We want houses and life after debt someday!
(Quick disclaimer first) Since gracing adulthood I must say that I haven’t maintained my friendships as gracefully so a lot of what I list I am either attempting to get to myself or I’ve actually done. In any case, feel free to list the creative ways you hang out with your friends below! Now here is my list of tips and hang out ideas on how to be a beast at maintaining both your friendships and new memories that are pretty affordable.
Idea 1: The Wide Open Outdoors!
At one point the world was our playground (hello recess!) and at times like this when you’re trying to save and have fun why break a good pastime?
- Go on a hike!
- Organize a big game of frisbee or a water balloon fight at an open field. I mean it’s exercise at the end of the day so two birds one stone.
- Kick it at the pool and actually you know….get in the water! (Yes, you too cousins.)
- Go camping! It’s cheap to rent a tent and the memories of actually surviving outside for a night are actually priceless. Trust me….I speak from experience.
Idea 2: Get you some culture bruh!
So it’s actually still pretty cool to learn and experience new things like the arts. It’s an excellent way to make sure you don’t run out of ways to contribute to conversations with complete strangers and friends. Helps people see how impressive you already are outside of the fact you’re reading my post.
- Go to the museum. If you check for upcoming exhibits and dates you can find free days. Also, we’re at this point in life where we still look like we did in college so bring out that old college ID and save you a few dollars! You didn’t get that from me though
- Look for cool festivals and events in the area to go to. Dallas is stocked with plenty of events ranging from free events to events that cost a little bit but are still worth it. I’ve linked here some of my favorites. Eventbrite and Facebook events are also both hubs where you can tailor your search to your area, see friends who are interested in going to the same events you are (and suddenly your work got easier right?), and more.
Idea 3: Volunteer beloved!
So to be honest I’ve met such cool and good hearted people whenever I’ve went and volunteered with friends. It’s totally encouraging and motivating to know that you can impact somebody’s life right where you are. Plus if your friends are live then it’s bound to be a great time. My friends I volunteer with never disappoint! So in one outing you pay nothing, get some much needed hang time, help a life or two, and potentially set yourself up to meet volunteer bae. (Like y’all weren’t thinking it. Some volunteers are fine! You’re welcome.)
Idea 4: The Infamous Kickback
So we all know this one because it’s just as old as we are. Free invite, free spot to chill, free fun in whatever way you chose to have it whether that be a potluck, a game night, crawfish boil, or movie night. The possibilities are endless so I encourage you guys to open up your place and hang with your folks.
And for the Bonus!
If you already come with a plus one aka bae check out my friend Brandon Moore of Moore in Dallas who wrote a post on affordable date ideas that won’t break your bank. To check it out click here!
So to wrap this up here’s the thing….we’re all busy. I’m a firm believer that if you’re alive you’re some kind of busy with something. That's not an excuse to miss out on your friends and family. Sorry. With that it is my sincerest hope that you don’t get so busy you miss out on those big moments. I mean you do want some people to show up at your wedding, your baby shower, the house warming, and all that don’t you? Right! What are some ways that you kick it with your friends for the free already? Comment below! If you're feeling this article hit the like button and subscribe! I'm comical I swear.
To more friending and dating like a boss!