How to enjoy life without annihilating your bank account
While we’re all a bit caught up in election fever and trying not to engage in full-on fisticuffs with people who don’t share our political views, we need a bit of light-hearted, affordable fun. And not the sort of good times that involve ordering small but vomit-inducingly costly meals at painfully hip cafes. I mean activities we can actually afford and not feel shame about years from now when we’re explaining why the culinary choices of yesteryear mean our children can’t have nice things.
The following options won’t have you proclaiming you’re doing cheap’n’cheerful whilst keeping a stiff upper lip – I swear they’re actually quite enjoyable and won’t destroy your avo on artisan toast deposit.
Cheap night at the movies – or the Reading Cinema all-week $10 deal. Either is a pretty sweet deal – and depending on the type of theatre you can make it a $20 night and quaff a glass of wine at the same time. You can even go with other people, not talk to them for two hours and claim you’ve been social.
- Gastronomic delights
What’s more caring, sharing, cheap and entertaining than pot luck? You only have to cater for your own dietary requirements AND people bring wine. Not to be sniffed at. Is also excellent opportunity to bring out all the forgotten wonders – because nothing says you’re a good host like half an orange stabbed with cheese and pineapple.
- More gastronomic delights
Two for one! A number of perfectly acceptable dining establishments do this – also not to be sniffed at.
Organise a wine tasting at an actual wine shop. Get a large enough group and it’ll be not much each – and you get to look cultured while potentially also learning something about viticulture you can parrot at a later date in an attempt to look smarter than a parliament of owls.
BYO. Has an acronym ever given more pleasure? Just remember to check the corkage fee. I once got charged five bucks for opening an admittedly quite large can of beer in a restaurant. I shake my fist at you, Palmerston North.
- Literature and loos
If you don’t already belong to your local library, then you’re a sad excuse for a human being. All the books. In one building. So you can read them. For free! And it’s warm, the toilets are usually nice and so are the librarians. Unless you make them angry. Don’t do that.
- Glad rags
There are several advantages to clothes swaps, not the least all the items you walk away with. You all also get to have a clothing clean-out so you feel virtuous, your friends feel virtuous, and anything that doesn’t get chosen can go to charity for more virtuous feelings. Or you could try and sell them at a second-hand boutique. As a bonus, people bring wine! And snacks!
- The stretching of the legs
I know exercise isn’t necessarily entertainment for a lot of people, but on the off chance it is – there’s a heck of a lot of rather nice day walks in this country. Get moving. Take friends, walk off some of the cheap eats and fit into your new glad rags.
- Especially for you
Utilise your birthday – and get free things on your special day. I’d say do your research but it turns out cheapies.nz has already prepared a list of places around the country trying to give you gratis goodies. Just keep in mind that for most of these you have to sign up to a mailing list or take at least one another (paying) person along with you when you collect your birthday freebie. Your mum would probably be keen.
Having a social life while not jeopardising the contents of your bank account, or incurring the wrath of anyone you might share said bank account with can be a spot tricksy.
But as you and your beloved wallet walk together through life it’s important to remember that while cheap wine will have you throwing up the next day, a cheap but fabulous experience will leave you feeling nothing but smug. And smugness lasts a long, long time.
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