Empower Blog

May 04, 2021

Saving Money as We Head Back Out into the World

Money-Saving Tips
Slowly but surely, we are headed in the right direction to getting back on track with our normal lives. The weather is warming up, COVID restrictions are being relaxed, and almost half of the country is vaccinated – just in time for those summer events to start picking up! Whether it be a family gathering or adult outing, the costs can add up pretty quickly if you’re not prepared. There are plenty of resources online that offer advice about throwing events affordably, but very few on how to not break the bank attending these events. This week, I’m sharing my go-to cheat sheet on how to save money on your outings this summer.

Share a Meal

Dinner parties are officially back and if you’re like us when we go out, we really try not to have a bunch of leftovers, get uncomfortably full or end up with a huge bill. As long as neither of us are overly hungry, we will typically end up splitting something – which keeps us satisfied and saves money as well. This is actually a bonus tip because it encourages portion control if you’re watching your food intake, while saving you money. This could be an especially helpful tip if you have children. Many kids won’t make it through an entire meal, so save yourself the waste (and money) and have them share something. This makes a night out way more financially reasonable. This sounds obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been with a group and I see people leave plates of partially eaten meals. It makes so much sense!

Become a Dollar Store Regular

The Dollar Store is my go-to place for birthday party, housewarming, or host gifts. They sell very cute bags and wrapping paper, as well as little gifts and goodies you’d never know were from a Dollar Store. In fact, when shopping for Easter basket items this past April, I visited the Dollar Store and Walmart in the same night to do a comparison. The items for sale were eerily similar at both locations, but with very different price tags. If you’re headed to an event and need a gift of any kind, a Dollar Store of near you should be your first stop. You never know what they might have!

Skip the Full Occasion

It is becoming more and more normal for people to throw these two-parter events. A lot of events these days will consist of dinner then some sort of after party at another destination. If I don’t have the budget to splurge, I break it up and attend one or the other. Some people do this simply because their schedules are busy, but I do it to avoid killing my social activities budget it one day. And you know, I always end up having a nice time regardless. If it does not make sense with your budget, do not stress yourself out trying to attend both parts of an event. The host will be happy to see you at all!

At the heart of the matter, events are for connecting and spending time with your friends and loved ones, which is so important after the year we have had. Believe me, nobody will mind – or likely even notice – if you take a few measures to cut your costs. I’m guessing they would much rather just see you at their event! Keep these little tips in mind and you won’t feel so conflicted about RSVP’ing “Yes” on that next invite!
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About the Author
Professional Picture of Kat Hnatyshyn
Kat Hnatyshyn

Branch Manager

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. When not blogging or caring for her little ones, Kat is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union.