5 Great Ways to Save Money With Friends
Sharing in order to save is a foolproof path to financial well-being, especially if all of your friends are on the same page.
They say that sharing is caring. And that’s certainly true when it comes to keeping cash in your wallet. You can even have fun while doing it. Check out these ways to save money with friends:
- Host a potluck.
- Use referrals to get credit card points.
- Find group discounts through places like Groupon.
- Share online services.
- Challenge your friends to a budget-off.
1. A Potluck
As soon as you decide to eat in rather than eat out, you’re winning. Restaurants mark up food — especially booze — so much that you could be saving half the cost of a restaurant dinner by making the same exact meal at home.
There are countless ways to turn this from a boring, tedious chore into a fun group activity. One of the easiest ways to do that is to have a potluck in which everyone brings a dinner item (such as an appetizer, a few bottles of wine, or half of the entrée) and shares what they brought. Or you could take turns cooking meals for one another, switching off every other week. Pro tip: Go to Pinterest for millions of easy, inexpensive recipes for whatever cuisine you’re craving.
Further Reading: “The Top 10 Free Things to Do With Friends”
2. Referrals for Credit Card Points
This is a little bit sneaky and indirect, but referring friends for a credit card can often lead to big rewards for both of you later. I have the Chase Sapphire, and I try to refer my friends every chance I get because both of us get 10,000 points through this process. This may not be a direct way to earn money, but it ends up accumulating into credit card points that you can redeem for things like travel, dining, or cash back. Plus, neither of you have to spend any money to do this!
Caution: Don’t let it turn into some zany movie plot by applying for a ton of credit cards just to get the points. This type of thing is more of a one-and-done idea.
3. Group Discounts
If you’re in a big enough group, you can usually find a way to get discounts for various activities. Groupon is typically the fastest way to find discounts in your area. However, you can also call places directly and ask them if they’d be willing to give you a group discount. For example, I went to a magic show in Boston to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and we reached out to the coordinator for the show to ask if we could get a discounted price. We ended up slashing 20 percent off our ticket prices, which amounted to about $10 saved.
Further Reading: “The Groupon Dating Strategy Pays Off (Sometimes)”
4. Sharing Online Services
Another sneaky trick? Share online services like Netflix and Spotify with your friends. Netflix, for example, costs around $8 a month if you want to purchase a “family” plan, which allows you to create multiple accounts. Spotify also offers a similar plan.
I share my Netflix account with some friends from college, though we don’t technically “split” the bill. (I pay for it. You’re welcome, guys!) Still, it’s definitely a great way to share the love with friends. If you’re the one footing the bill, make sure your friends take you out for pancakes or something as a thank-you!
5. A Budget-Off
Okay, okay — I know. But before you roll your eyes, let me just say: This could actually be awesome. Challenging friends to see who can save the most in a fixed period is not only a lighthearted way to create financial momentum, but it also makes saving easier.
Sometimes the hardest aspect of saving money is the feeling of being socially excluded by friends who don’t have the same financial concerns. But if you’re all on the same page and are looking to save money, then it’ll be easier to coordinate free hangout sessions and inexpensive meal plans. Think of fun ways to incentivize yourselves. Perhaps you can plan a trip with half of whatever money you all saved during the budget-off.
Further Reading: “3 Money-Saving Challenges That Help You Meet Your Goals”
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