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How do you cut costs in your "social life" without totally losing it?
That makes me sound like a party animal, which I'm not! But, I live in New York City, where going out to dinner, visiting museums, having drinks, etc. are part of life. And it's fun! So, how do you budget more around these things without flat-out turning things down?
The city always has new fun and FREE things through out the week. I like what EMAYO said before - grab a TImeout. They always have tons of stuff. In the summer there are all of the free concerts and shows too. You can check out the parks and rec website. They always have listings of what is going on.
I was amazed at how many things you can do in New York for little or no cost. Almost all the museums have discount days.
Even if you are a party animal :) you can find parties that are being sponsored.
Sign up for Bernardo's list, pick up the Village Voice and the L magazine and Time Out, for sure.
You can also try steering your friends in a different direction and try hosting rotating parties where you live. You could probably make a nice meal for a bunch of people for what you spend on drinks in a typical NYC bar.
And at home it's a lot easier to talk and you can play games, control the music and get comfortable.
Pick up a Time Out magazine, or get your local friday paper. There's always fun, free stuff to do listed in the paper. If all else fails, have a cultural party night at your house. Making dinner and drinks at home is always cheaper than a night out on the town, and often more fun!
There are SO many fun free things, and inexpensive things, to do in NYC. Fall For Dance is coming up, you can see incredible performances at Lincoln Center for $10. Take advantage of the Met's liberal pay what you wish policy (and other museum's free days.)
It costs zero dollars to go down to to the LES or out to Williamsburg to see a band most nights...if you can hold yourself back from the bar.) Being out with your friends is fun in and of itself...no cash required!
My friend Amy is great—she picks and chooses throughout the week and is straight-up honest, saying "I'd love to,but my weekly budget is reserved for X." Then she'll suggest a free activity or just offer to come over and hang instead. The time together is what's key, not where you go!