monopoly money In early 2014, I left my salaried copywriting job to become a freelance writer and a student. This means I must be much more fiscally responsible than I have been since I completed my undergrad schooling.

I still like to have a good time, though.

Every month, I’ll be writing about ways I’ve found to help save your money without sacrificing the fun lifestyle of a young dude.

This month, we’ll tackle balling out while staying in.

***

When you’re watching your spending, your home base can and should be your friend, even on the weekends.
Since I left my salaried gig, I’ve been making it a point to stay home on either a Friday or Saturday night every week. The money I’ve been able to conserve because of this has been very helpful in paying my rent, which in turn ensures that I will continue to have a home that I can spend a lot of time within. (Not-so-vicious cycle).

I’ve also found that by staying home and not getting quite as silly on a Friday, I am more excited and ready to rip come Saturday night.

Here are some ideas for your big weekend night at home, whether you choose to spend it alone or with others:

  • Binge watch a little something. You’re probably already shelling out for Netflix and/or cable, so you may as well take serious advantage of it by ripping through the new season of House of Cards or the first season of Hannibal or, if you’ve never seen it, both seasons of Twin Peaks.
  • Babysit for a friend. I don’t want one of my own yet, but being around young children can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re that wild and crazy uncle figure. There are additional benefits, like your friends will owe you big time for taking care of their tyke while they head out, and you can Instagram all kinds of pictures with you and the little one, which will make women swoon. Note: You can’t (or rather, shouldn’t) get wasted when babysitting, so you’ll be super fresh for the next evening’s adventures.
  • Have a few friends over for a board game night. You’d be surprised how into this adults get. It costs you nothing if you already own the games, and is a surprising amount of fun. Furthermore, once you warm your guests up with games like Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples, you might be able to convince them to get in on some real role-playing games, like Dungeons & Dragons. (Once people get past the fact that D&D is supposedly for “nerds,” they tend to get very into it.) You can even take it one step further by writing up a murder mystery and convincing friends to play characters and solve it. Like a real-life game of Clue minus the actual murder.
  • Host a tasting night where you get all of your friends to come over for a party (which costs nothing but next-day cleanup effort), and ask them to bring over supplies for a cocktail or drink they would like people to try out. You all will get hammered, and most of the people won’t take home the booze they brought with them, so you’ll have all kinds of stuff on hand for the next time you decide to get drunk alone at home.
  • Gather a good crew together and start a monthly or yearly tradition where everyone brings their own booze, you all watch a terrible film together and play a drinking game that corresponds to said film. Once the movie is over, the real party will begin. Make sure you have a bowl for keys. Also, never rule out a key party.
  • Host a party where you play the New Girl drinking game, True American, in your apartment.
  • Do some yoga, read a book, and just chill out alone. Get yourself in the mental mindset for a wild and crazy Saturday night, or recover from a wild and crazy Friday.