Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
I mentioned last week that as of Friday, I was starting fresh with living within my means. I've been using my checkbook ledger, and seeing that number every time I open my wallet, I have been making smarter choices. That doesn't mean I have become anti-social to avoid spending money and here's how I've done it:
Friday night we planned a pot-luck ladies night. I spent $13 to make a trail mix dessert called Monster Mash Mix.
We found cat costumes for $10. One of our friends has a cat so she decided to be our cat lady. Inexpensive and fun. We decided that going downtown was going to be a nightmare on Halloween between cabs, cover charges, and long lines. There are a lot of bars closer to us that we haven't explored that would be less chaotic on this particular night. We planned our own pub crawl that was much cheaper. When Saturday rolled around, however, we were surprised with a snow storm and we kept our partying limited to one bar close by. Fortunately that made the night even less expensive. One round of drinks was $20, $10 for the costume and $10 for a very short cab ride and a midnight snack. Keeping it to $40 is a huge improvement and we all had a great time.
On Sunday morning after a night out, it is tradition that we do brunch. We laugh about the night before and it's always a highlight of the weekend. However, it can get to be at least $20. After a typical night of spending $100, that's just not going to cut it. This Sunday however, M and I did something a little different. We went to the grocery store and got ingredients to make brunch. We already had eggs and cheese so all we needed was a little bacon, some peppers and M bought mushrooms. We each spent less than $5 and made delicious egg frittatas.
Bake for 25 min at 375 and.....
I was invited to go to a haunted house last night downtown. Again, it would probably require a cab to get there and back and was roughly $30 to get in. Instead, I streamed scary movies on my Netflix and was probably equally spooked.
Ultimately, by weekend's end I'm not completely out of spending money. Even when I find cheaper versions, I know I have to cut back on how often I go out. But it's nice to know that you can still be a baller on a budget with a few small changes. M is happy that she saved a lot this weekend and I'm happy I don't have to go on a no-spending spree for two weeks, like my usual bind.
My motivation for today is proving that it is possible to stick within your means without missing out. Just because sometimes you cook at home instead of dine out or you avoid the big party scene for a cheaper option, it doesn't mean you're going to have less fun. Make do with what you have and really enjoy it. You'll be happier and less stressed.