We have a new blog, and with it a helpful new blog series! $100 Bucks to Chuck – tune in Mondays for our 3 part series to learn how to cut back on excess spending!
We’re all here for the same reason: We like to save money! In an attempt to cut back on excess spending, came the idea of $100 Bucks to Chuck. I wondered how different my quality of life would be on a budget of $100 for the things I buy the most. This series will explore ways to live on less. Each Monday for the next 3 weeks, I will take a $100 and budget things like Entertainment, Groceries, and Self Improvement.
Living in the Durham/Raleigh area, there are so many events and activities you can participate in, for free, that makes spending a lot on entertainment each week really a waste. If you learn to save when you can, splurging on the best seats in the house when your favorite band (or musical) comes into town, won’t leave you feeling guilty or strain your budget because you’ve been saving throughout the month. This week, let’s explore how much fun $100 can get us.
From a unique date, night out with friends, family time, and enriching your culture we’ve got your next 4 weekends covered!
Weekend 1: Music Art & Culture
If you’re a lover of the arts like myself, this weekend’s for you! Never underestimate the museums and historical sites your city has to offer. Often times, they are free and will help you stay on budget without sitting at home bored. With $25 dollars, weekend one is all about inspiration, relaxation, and intrigue.
$0 Art Museum – Almost every major city has an art museum. Whether you love art or not, you can have an extreme amount of fun at an art museum with a little creativity. My nephew and I sit in front of paintings and make up stories around the artwork.
$0 Wine Tasting – Local breweries or wineries often offer free wine tastings at certain times. Check their event calendar to find out when! Either with a group of friends, or riding solo, a wine tasting is a cool way to meet new people and “try before you buy.” Here The Raleigh Wine Shop, offers free tasting on Saturdays.
$6.50 Tribute Band Concert – See a Led Zeppelin tribute band for $6.50, why not? Groupon should be your first stop before you buy tickets anywhere. They have amazing discounts and unique experiences to offer. Call up your crew and go dutch. This awesome Saturday totals $6.50 on entertainment!
$10 Brunch – Brunch with friends is the new dinner with friends, and if you do your research you can find some outstanding brunch options at really affordable prices. I prefer Parker & Otis in Durham, #3 with water to drink $6.99 +tip. When in doubt try a local diner. Prices are reasonable and they usually serve breakfast items all day (order some breakfast, add some lunch, now you brunch).
$6.25 Ice Skating – Another helpful coupon site is Livingsocial – key to any budget weekend. I found a great ice skating deal, (4 people for $25) that includes: admission, skate rentals, a pizza, and drinks. Can’t get much better than this! Split the cost with 3 of your friends and you only spend $6.25 and you’ve eaten too!
Total Weekend: $22.75
Under budget this weekend, sweet! So we have $2.25 to roll into next weekend.
Weekend 2: Family Fun
Family fun for me is usually spending time with my nephew, pretending to do kid activities for him when I really want to participate as much as he does. Here’s how we play when auntie is on a budget.
$0 Science Museum – We LOVE the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. It’s interactive which makes it a hoot! Your local museums can offer education and fun all in one. There’s a submarine simulation where you dive into the Atlantic and explore coral reefs, my personal favorite.
$4 City Park – Pullen Park in Raleigh has exciting playgrounds and a few rides. We like to ride the train and the carousel for $1 a piece.
$11 Drive in – Raleigh Road is one of my favorite theaters in the area. $7 for adults $4 for kids under 11 and you can see a triple feature, now that’s value! Later we have an all night slumber/dance party courtesy of Spotify,WiFi, and my Moto.
Kid’s headed home. I’m tired. Nap: $0.
Total $15. This weekend adds up to $15 on entertainment, word up! We have $12.75 to roll into next weekend!
Weekend 3: Date Time
Contrary to popular belief, dates don’t have to be expensive. Thinking outside of the box for date ideas can give you an opportunity to learn more about your date and save some major cash. Experiencing something new together is one of the best ways to bond, we’ve got $37.25 let’s see how we do.
$20 City Tour – Crazy Dash Digital Adventures! This date rocks. You and your date are sent on a city tour on foot, when you reach a destination your phone tells you where to go next. 2 people for $20 with Groupon, adventure and teamwork should remove that awkward silence.
$12 Wine and Cheese Tasting and Tour – Wine tours lead to easy conversations, for $6 each you really can’t go wrong. There’s wine and cheese and chocolate. Don’t screw this up.
$3 Street Flowers – Because how cute is it to just “randomly” pick up street vendor flowers as you’re enjoying the best date you’ve had ever? According to romantic comedies, it’s super cute.
$6 Movie – The $2 movie is gold. Blue Ridge Cinema offers older movies at a discount. Here’s my “Movie Snack Hack”, Target and similar large retailers have “movie theater” box candy for just a buck. So 2 tickets and 2 boxes of candy adds up to $6 for two!
Total: $41. We’re over budget, we’ll have to figure out how to make $21.25 get us through our last weekend.
Weekend 4: Rolling with the Homies
There’s never a bad time for a girls/guys weekend. Hanging out with people who just get you and were there when you fell off of the bus in college, and the down the stairs in high school, and during gym class in middle school is priceless. This is your squad, and you’d all have a ball hanging out at home laughing at your “good ole days” stories but maybe there are kids at home or husbands/wives. You’ve earned this break, so let’s take our last $21.25 and make some new memories.
$10 Urban Scavenger Hunt – Split your group up into teams of two you’ll race each other around the city for a scavenger hunt using your smartphone. Groupon deal 2 for $20, $10 a piece. Or if you’re really creative plan your own game for your friends to enjoy. (RW Pick: Try the GooseChase app if you’re creating your own hunt. Sherry from Operations says it’s awesome!)
$5 Bon Jovi Cover Band – Even if the band is lousy, you’re with the homies, you guys can make anything fun. Loud singing and dancing? Sign me up!
$6 Bar Crawl – Mardi Gras Bar Crawl When your city decides to have a “Mardi Gras”, you attend. Memories are made in these moments.
We made it! A full month of weekend leisure for $99.75! A few last tips: Livingsocial and Groupon have awesome options, make your plans around what you can find with a discount or free. Splitting the cost of deals for multiple people frees up cash to give you more to spend the rest of your weekend. Finding ways to save a few dollars each weekend gives you more wiggle room for the rest of your month. Now, roll that quarter into next month with another $100 bucks to chuck!