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Most would begrudgingly admit that lack of planning is why they’re in debt. It wasn’t planning ahead that put us into $51,000 of credit card debt. It was a bitch to pay off, but we did it with a plan that included this social life calendar. So take it from us, while the “gay life” seems expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips for leading your best life without going broke.
Keep from going broke by listening to this episode of Queer Money:
1. Put family first.
Whether it’s the one you were born into or the one you found, your friends and family are most important. On your social calendar, fill in your time with them first, including birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and other special occasions.
Also, become a card giver. It’s great to let your loved one know you’re thinking of them on their special day, even for $3 to $5, when your finances are low.
2. Get more with less.
When we were paying off debt, we reminded ourselves that not everyone’s party is our party. You can’t hit up every party without going broke, so don’t try.
Pick a few of the big, gay events where you’ll see the most friends. This way you won’t be missed and you’ll get out and have fun. It also allows you to budget for those specific events rather than random events that can quickly drain your wallet.
Maybe mix things up and plan the Drag Race viewing as a house party where everyone pitches in instead of each dropping $30-50 at a bar.
3. Go cheap.
It was always important for us to have fun while paying off debt. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t stay the course. So it was vital that we find cheap and free things to do for fun. Whether it’s cruising the park with your gaggle, watching a local gay kickball game or doing a free day at the museum, there’s lots to do for free or cheap.
4. Hit the ATM and leave your cards at home.
Use cash. Did you know that using debit or credit cards typically adds 12% to 18% to your purchases? When first paying off our debt we used the envelope system with cash only. You get creative when you only have $40 bucks to your name.
Try Money Chunking for managing your cash-spending for the month.
5. Set fun and fabulous financial goals
Whether it’s saving for a gay cruise, your big gay wedding or a downpayment on a house, having financial goals will keep things in perspective. Print a color picture of your goal and pin it up as motivation.
We always ask ourselves if we want margs at the local Tex-Mex or on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. It reminds us that the fabulousness doesn’t have to happen right now. Then, when we’re in PV, we feel extra good because we do it all with cash.
It’s all about a plan, whether spending time with friends and family or going big with a vacation or purchase. Big lives don’t happen without big plans. Keep all your plans in one place with this Fabulous Social Life Planner.
Now, have a fabulous summer without going broke.