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Socializing on a budget

A lot of people view their lives as having two important periods: before and after children. When people become parents, they usually start behaving differently than before. Ideally, they become more sensible, and they need to be more frugal. One of the consequences of becoming a parent, in my case, was - I stopped hanging out with my girlfriends as often as I used to. I don’t think of that as neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s only natural. The good thing is that, though we see each other rarely, we make sure we have a really good time.
If you stopped socializing because of any of the following things:

1. You don’t have money to go out to expensive cafes/restaurants/clubs;
2. You don’t want to “bore” your friends without children with talks about parenthood;
3. You can’t afford to return the favour when someone invites you to dinner; and/or,
4. You don’t want to leave your husband/children alone;

Then you should probably reconsider.

1. Chances are, your husband will be happy to take care of children while you’re having a girls’ get-together, (return the favour - he can do the same next week with his buddies);
2. Your friends without children, if they are real friends, will be happy to hear what’s cooking in the parenthood department, as long as you really don’t run the show all night with baby stories.
3. Skip the fancy cafes and have a get-together at somebody’s house. Make arrangements with your girlfriends to have each one of you bring something to the house that everyone is "invading", so that no one takes on the burden of cooking/preparing/spending all the money on food and drinks.
For example, you could have thematic get-togethers. Let’s say, you have a “dip night”. Each one of you will make one dip and bring one bag of tortillas or French bread. You could make fresh guacamole, salsa fresca or something more elaborate, like spinach-artichoke dip, and everyone contribute to the drinks.

You don’t need much money to have a good time. Just be creative and enjoy the good company!

Author bio: Ana Brady is a mother, wife, writer and big food fan. She loves spending time with her family outside.


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