Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mom's Night Out on the Cheap

Yesterday was my day off. It was a busy day with my daughter's award ceremony, a work conference calling, catching up on my cleaning, and my daughter had three friends over after school. I had plans that night night to see a friend sing at a local coffee shop, then head off to a local bar/restaurant for drinks and fun with three good friends. More often than not in the past, I would have decided to make a fun night of it and spend loads of money to blow off steam from the week. Yet, I only spent $16 yesterday, the whole day. How did I do it?

1) Set the intention. I set the intention when I decided that I was going to go out that I wouldn't spend much money. I planned to have just one drink at the bar, and I stuck with it. I think that this is really important. Your plans to be frugal or careful with money can often by unsuccessful if you haven't committed to do it. You also set your expectations so that you don't feel disappointed or deprived later on. This is especially important if you are out with friends who are spenders. My friends ordered food at the bar, and I didn't feel bad not partaking because I hadn't expected eat out.

2) Eat at home. I made a good filling dinner early on in the day so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat dinner out or buy snacks. I love my crockpot on a busy day.

3) Pay with cash. I got out cash so that I didn't have the temptation to use the "free money" on the debit card.

So how did all add up?

I splurged yesterday morning on a Mocha before going out with my friends. Its my favorite splurge. I'll admit that its pure luxury. Perhaps, that is why I love them so much.

$3.60 Mocha

I also bought the cheapest thing on the menu at the coffee shop while listening to my friend sing.

$1.65 Tea

My drink plus tip.

$10 "Art Snob" (Actual name of the drink. It contains whiskey, ginger ail, bitters, and something else). They pour their drinks strong so it was more than enough to keep me going the whole night.

It was a great night. I had free entertainment watching my friend sing at the coffee shop. More live music and drinks at the bar. I was out for four or more hours. I enjoyed it immensely. Yet, it didn't break the bank. I also don't do this every weekend. It's probably a once a month or less occurrence for me. Well worth the money for mom to have a night out.

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