Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become focal points in our lives— why not use them to help you to save money? We use them to connect with friends, launch innovative businesses and stay on top of the latest news, but most of us overlook the financial benefits of being social savvy.
How to Budget and Save Money Using Social Media
Looking to save money? Look no further than your own social circles. Using social media to reach your extensive network can provide simple ways to save money. Plus, it’s a great way to make saving money fun!
1. Potluck Dinner
There are times when your taste buds crave something more decadent than avocado toast, but if you’re looking for ways to save money on a tight budget, dining out usually isn’t an option. So reach out to your social media circle to see who’s up for a potluck.
Each person only needs to bring one dish, so you can be adventurous and save money on groceries. Make a list of the necessary dishes, such as an appetizer, two main courses (one meat, one vegetarian), two sides, dessert and beverages. Send out the list through Facebook Messenger and have everyone commit to a dish. Instant party.
2. Service Swap
You work in PR, and one of your Facebook friends is a graphic designer. You need a new logo; your friend needs more exposure. Instead of paying large fees to someone else, swap services with your friend.
Hammer out the details before you get started to help prevent any confusion. Decide on specific deliverables, expectations, number of hours each is to work and firm deadlines. When the work is finished, recommend each other’s services on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for a final touch.
3. Organize a Ride-share
Public transportation can get crowded and, well, miserable. But driving to work every day eats away at your budget with gas and parking charges, right when you’re trying to figure out how to budget and save money. Try organizing a ride-share; check out your social media circle to see who works in your area.
By forming a carpool, you can take turns driving and paying for gas and parking. Plus, being in a car with friends usually makes bumper-to-bumper traffic more fun, especially when compared to being stuck on a jam-packed bus with a bunch of strangers.
4. Clothing Swap
Skinny jeans, sundresses, suits for work, maternity clothes, children’s clothes—clothing swaps are a fun way to hangout with friends and get some new threads without spending a dime. Take a picture of your closet and post it to Instagram to entice friends.
Keep the swap to a manageable group size, about five to eight friends. Define what is swap- worthy before the event, like only bringing items that are clean and current. Set up a system for claiming items, such as clothes pins or different colored stickers. Most of all, enjoy a fun afternoon with your friends.
5. Everything Swap
Borrow the clothing swap principle and apply it to anything that you have in excess; chances are your friends have stuff lying around their homes that they wouldn’t mind trading for something useful. Choose themes, such as cosmetics, accessories, kitchen appliances (like that ice cream maker you never use) or sports equipment.
Create a Pinterest board and pin photos of the stuff you’ll be donating to the cause. Encourage your friends to do the same. Everyone can browse the offerings before the big day to build excitement and think about which items they want to swap.
6. Yard Sale
Whether you view it as junk or treasure, it’s time to get rid of all that stuff you no longer use or need that’s lying around your house. Hello, yard sale!
Send out a Snapchat announcing the date, location and time of the yard sale, and turn your junk into cold hard cash. Post the information to Twitter and Facebook—especially any neighborhood or community groups you’re in—to maximize your reach and draw in as many shoppers as possible.
7. Home Rental or Sublet
If you are looking for a roommate or someone to sublet your apartment, social media is the place to go. It can be more comfortable to have a friend-of-a-friend than a complete stranger in your home.
Give a guided tour of your place via Facebook live or Instagram video so people can get a feel for the rental before seeing it in person. You can even walk viewers through your neighborhood to show them the local bakery, your favorite restaurants, the dog park, or where to grab a great cup of coffee.
8. Home Renovation and Repairs
Your bedroom could use a new coat of paint, one friend has furniture that needs to be refinished, and another friend wants to hang new shelves. Each of your could hire a paid professional, or you can get together to help each other with each of your projects.
Another simple way to save money? Turn to YouTube if you are new to home repairs; it’s full of how-tos for everything from choosing paint color to building furniture from scratch. Post pictures of the finished work on Instagram to entice more friends to join in on future (productive and budget-friendly) fun.
9. Beach House
Summer is here, and what better way to enjoy the warm weather than to spend weekends at the beach? A summer vacation home can be pricey, but here’s a way to make saving money fun: reach out to your social media circle and find several friends to share the space and expenses.
A little foresight can go a long way. Set some ground rules for groceries, cleaning and guests. Determine how you’ll split any added expenses above rent, such as water, electricity, wifi and trash. If space is limited, create a schedule of who goes on which weekends.
10. Group Fitness
Form a workout group among your social media peers and those long-desired fitness goals may just be within reach. Whether you go for a group hike, hit the pavement for a group run or head to the park for yoga by moonlight, you will save money on a gym membership and have plenty of motivation and support.
Create a group Facebook page to plan workouts, post pictures, chat about fitness and nutrition, and offer encouragement to each other. Track your progress on Instagram to stay inspired and attract more friends to the group.
Engaging socially doesn’t just keep you in touch with friends, but it can also provide fun ways to be financially savvy and save money. Plus, activities like these give you an excuse to hang out with your social media crew in real life, which can provide for deeper connections and lasting friendships.