Money Talks, So Should You

Budget Whisperer: Living large (enough) on a budget

Susan Russell
by Susan Russell, Dimespring 30

So, you’ve made your budget, and now you have to lie in it. Fear not, my financially astute friends, there are ways to live the life you dreamed while still keeping your bank accounts plump. 

Eat out: If you haven’t heard of Scoutmob, you are missing out. Every day they share a new 50 percent — and sometimes 100 percent — off deal for local restaurants, cafes and the like. More times than not, they highlight great finds that you may not have heard of with unique dishes you didn’t even know you wanted to try. Their app showcases enticing photos that make you wish you could teleport, and the compass feature allows you to search by location so you can pick the closest spot (since you probably can’t actually teleport). Whenever I’m looking to try out a new eatery, this is my starting place.

READ: 15 cheaper ways to watch movies and TV shows

Redecorate: Craigslist opens up worlds of opportunities to find that sofa you’ve been looking to buy or the table that would fit perfectly in your entryway. It may be a little less reliable than the daily deliveries of deals that Scoutmob offers, and yes, you should probably be a bit warier of the transaction. But coming from someone who furnished an entire apartment on Craigslist finds for less than $400, I’d say it’s worth it. Granted, it did take a good month and a half to find the right pieces, but I’d do it all over again if I had to.

Get a dog: Or a cat, but really a dog. Nothing brings more joy to life than an innocent and adoring pet (even when they’re not so innocent, and less than adoring), and there are plenty out there that need your love. There are many adoption agencies that can use the help of foster families in order to open up more space in their facilities. Oftentimes they will pay for and provide everything you need — food, medications, necessities — all you have to do is love your new furry friend, which let’s be honest, comes easily.

READ: Budget Whisperer: Making my first budget

See a movie: Did you know there are ways to see movies before they are released in theaters … for free? Through Cinemit, you can be alerted of upcoming screenings in your area and enter to receive free passes for you and a friend. Some are obscure indie flicks, others blockbuster hits, but regardless it’s a great way to get out and do something on a weeknight. I’ve even scored more free passes to other upcoming screenings on my way out of the theater.

See?  You CAN have a life (both at home and out on the town) while staying within your budget. Don’t let your budget hold you back.


Have tips of your own? Don’t be shy — share them with us!


Susan Russell, aka the Budget Whisperer, is a member of the Dimespring 30, a community of bloggers sharing their thoughts, experiences and perspectives on personal finance.