Updated 21 November 2014

Flat broke, but feel for a party?

It happens to everyone, not just you. There you are, just dying to go out, but it's that time of the month - you've messed up your budget and you're flat broke. So what now?


It happens to everyone, not just you. There you are, just dying to go out, but it's you and all your friends are flat broke after the concert you went to last week. So what now? Do you each sit at home and watch bad TV all by yourselves?

There are ways of having a 'jol' on very little money:

Reach for the beach. Most beaches don't charge entrance fees. Pack a few sandwiches, get your surfboard/swimming costume/wetsuit/boogieboard/frisbee and head for the beach for a day's free entertainment and people watching. Just watch that sunburn!

Half-price movies. There are certain days of the week you can go and see movies at half-price. That's over two hours of entertainment for the price of a mediocre takeaway hamburger.

Head for the mountains. Not everyone lives next to the sea, but most places have mountains or hills in the vicinity. Get your broke friends together, pack some lunch and go on a hiking trip. Go and swim in a mountain pool and get in touch with Mother Nature. Make sure you tell someone where you're going, when you can be expected back and remember to take enough water.

Team up with the TV. Especially if you have satellite TV (and even if you don't) there's usually something nice to watch on TV. Get a few friends to watch with you, cut a few sandwiches and make an evening of it.

Park off in parks. Most big cities have lovely parks where you can people-watch, play games, enjoy the sunshine in the company of your good friends. They normally don't charge entrance fees.

Listen to this. Browsing round the CD shops and listening to new releases is an entertaining way of killing some time. And when you do have money later, you will already know what you want.

Do the runaround. Get a few friends together for an informal game of tennis, cricket, soccer – or whatever sport you all enjoy. Many school sports grounds are open after hours – or go to the park.

Video wonderland. OK, not every day has good weather. Pool your money with your friends and take out a video or two and watch them together. This is good for a few hours of entertainment, especially when it is pouring with rain outside. Coffee and rusks can go a long way to feed the masses.

Play games. Right this is probably not your idea of a jol, but it's better than dying of boredom all by your miserable self. Dig out the playing cards, the Monopoly, the Trivial pursuit, jigsaw puzzles, Thirty seconds – whatever you enjoy. Make an evening of it.

Have a bring-and-braai. Obviously you would have to clear it with your parents first, as they will be less than pleased when a horde of your friends descend on the home the day your grandmother comes out of hospital after her hip replacement op. If each person brings what they want to braai and their own drinks, you can provide some bread rolls and put a few potatoes in the oven. This should cost you less than R10 – and hey, there's your party.

Read more:

Avoiding money problems in relationships
Gambling - more losers than winners


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