How to have fun and not splurge until payday

January can be a bit of a tight month after all the festive season spending but who says you can’t still have fun? Here’s how you can still have fun and not splurge until payday.

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Enjoy the outdoors with a picnic

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Since I’ve moved to Cape Town, I haven’t been on one picnic. Apparently, it’s not a Cape Town thing. But do these Capetonians (those who say it’s not a Cape Town thing) know what they are missing out on. Picnics are relaxing, free (at most parks) and a cheap way to enjoy the day with family, friends or your partner. All you need are:

  • Drinks: A bottle of wine, a six pack of beer or a 2 litre cold drink or two.
  • Snacks: Potato chips will do the trick. Grocery stores always have the best bargains on potato chips so check there first!
  • Food: This doesn’t need to be anything expensive. Fast food is usually my go-to but there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying a loaf of bread or some rolls, some cheese and mixed polony or ham and making some sandwiches or buying a box of slap chips and a loaf of bread or rolls and you’re sorted.


Take advantage of happy hour

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Going out for drinks is a complete downer in January because you are even more conscious of the fact that restaurants and bars actually charge double the price you’d pay at a liquor store. Thank goodness for Happy Hour. I prefer Buy One Get One Free deals but Half Price bargains give just as much satisfaction. The only catch is that it is usually on cocktails, shooters and SAB beers so if you’re a craft beer and wine drinker (like me) then you must search even harder. All you need is:

  • To hunt for the bargains and know when they happen: Keep your eyes peeled on the social media accounts of your favourite (or the neighbours of your favourite) bars and restaurants. Happy Hours are usually Mondays, mid-week or over the weekend between 4pm – 7pm. It’s an odd time but worth the save!


Hangout at home

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This has got to be the cheapest “have fun and not splurge” way to spend January. Food should be sorted so all you need to get are drinks and you can spend the rest of the day lazing in front of the TV (or your laptop) binge watching your favourite shows or movies. Or, you can simply invite people over and ask everyone to bring along something. All you need is:

  • Your fridge
  • Locate your nearest liquor store
  • TV or laptop, series and/or movies and your PJs, or
  • People who are keen to come over


Franchise restaurant specials are a winner

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People will say you’re cheap but take advantage of the weekday specials at restaurant franchises. You’d be surprised at how many half price, two for the price of one and eat as much as you like deals are out there. All you need is:

  • To check the social media platforms of your favourite (or competing) franchises
  • Make sure you’re free on the day
  • Go and eat for half price, two for the price of one or as much as you like


Split the bill

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Splitting the bill is another winner. But – and this is a very big but – be sure to discuss it thoroughly with the people you’re going out with so that you are all on the same page about the budget and how the bill will be split. You can split the bill equally, you can just pay for what you’ve ordered or delegate who’ll be paying for what when going out. All you need are:

  • People who are down for splitting the bill
  • People who will include a tip and not leave you scrambling to sort out the bill


How are you having fun and not splurging until payday? Share your tips below!

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