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Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to GOMO vs. FOMO

When it comes down to spending money, I think of it like this: I could either have that expensive but super cute new top, or I could be screaming along with my best friends to a hot summer concert. (I could also save money too, but where is the fun in that?) 

I would chose the concert almost every single time because of one single phrase: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). When you're sitting at home by yourself in your super cute top that nobody is going to see while your besties are off having the time of their lives, you are going to have a MAJOR case of FOMO as you scroll longingly through the following day's Instagram and Facebook posts.

So, how do you end the FOMO and start the GOMO (Going Out More Often)?

Thanks to self-service ticketing platforms like Eventbrite, it is far from impossible to spend money on affordable summertime adventures with your guys or gals. Below are some of my tips on how to GOMO vs. FOMO:

1. Save a little from each paycheck. 
Bills, student loans, savings accounts. All of these things want to eat your soul and take away all of your money. It is true, as you get older it is harder to willingly spend money when you have so many things for which you are supposed to save. However, I started setting aside about $25-$50 from each paycheck (depending on how much I have earned) to be put into a "Fun Fund." It is scientifically proven (okay, not really) that everyone should have a Fun Fund in order to prevent insanity and FOMO. Just think about how much extra money you would have set aside to indulge in those summer concerts and random pottery workshops with your friends. 

So. Much. Pottery.

2. Pick 3

Take time at the beginning of your summer to sit down with your friends and plan out three major events/concerts/activities you all want to do during the summer. Believe me, I am all about being spontaneous, but planning out three events in the very beginning ensures that everyone will at least be at those chosen events together. If you leave everything up to spontaneity, some of your friends may flake or not have the funds (even though you should have plenty in your Fun Fund!). 

3. Not Every GOMO Outing Has to Be Expensive

Sure, concerts can be crazy expensive. However, not every outing you and your friends participate in has to break the bank. Go out for ice cream downtown, go to a movie, take a hike. If you save your money for your "Big 3" events, there are plenty of low-cost and free events you can chose to do with your friends. Remember, this summer is all about making memories and getting out more often! 

There you have it, my friends. With your Fun Fund, your Big 3 and low-cost spontaneous friend dates, you are going to have the best summer ever. Stop complaining about how much you are FOMOing and get out there. LIVE a little! Didn't a famous rapper once say that You Only Live Once? YOLO. Back at it again with the acronyms. 

Until next time,

Thursday, March 10, 2016

$20 Outings When You're Poor AF

No matter what stage of life you're in--college, recent graduate, mid-life crisis--we've all been at the point where we look at our bank account and cringe. One moment we thought we struck gold, and then overnight some goblins came in and snatched at you for all you're worth. Meanwhile everyone you know wants to be social (because, you know, life is social and all) and you're cowering indoors like a newfound homebody because you don't want to face the truth: the whole money situation is pretty rough.

So, what do you do?

Believe it or not, you don't have to hand over your life savings every time you go on a date or spend quality time with family and friends. In fact, I am going to introduce you to five ideas for things to do for $20 or less in the Maryland area (You can adjust the Maryland suggestions to your own hometown).

1. Annapolis Strolling + Storm Bros. Ice Cream

As Spring rolls right around the corner, it is the perfect time to act like an Annapolis tourist and stroll by the water and soak in some sunshine. Whether you're on a date or hanging with your friends, this day allows you to actually enjoy being with one another. I recommend finishing your Annapolis stroll with some Storm Bros. Ice Cream, which in my humble opinion is the best ice cream Annapolis has to offer. The catch? Storm Bros. only accepts cash - so make sure to hit the ATM before purchasing some creamy goodness. A single scoop is only $2.55, or you can be daring and get a whopping triple scoop for only $4.95 - still staying way under your allowance of $20. You can get a sneak peek of their popular flavors and other dessert options by visiting their website HERE.

TOTAL: $4.95

2. Buy a Kite + Fly It

Yes ladies and gentlemen, it is time to bring out your inner child. This idea is perfect for a date because it allows you to unleash your playful side and not worry about the stiffness of the infamous dinner date. Head out to your nearest open field and try not to make a complete fool of yourself, though I can't promise that you won't look ridiculous. 

You can purchase the glorious kite above at Walmart for only $18. Not only are you staying below your $20 limit, you're making a bold patriotic statement as well. Kudos to you, you proud American.

TOTAL: $18.00

3. Patapsco State Park + "Classy Picnic"

Maryland is home to a beautiful park named Patapsco. It has some great hiking trails for a variety of difficulty levels, so whether you want to go on a casual stroll or a strenuous adventure, you're set. I am amping up this hiking adventure with what I like to call a "classy picnic." Before you set off on your wilderness adventure, stop at your grocery store for a loaf of French bread, some cheese and wine. At Walmart, a loaf of French bread is only $1.00. You can get a fresh mozzarella ball from BelGioioso for $5.99. Finish your purchase off with a bottle of Fish Eye Pinot Grigio (which pairs very well with mozzarella) for only $11.50. Once you hike to a pretty spot, whip out your "classy picnic" and enjoy.

TOTAL: $18.49

4. Pretend to be Tourists with a Disposable Camera

Maybe you've lived in your town for a long time and never truly experienced it like an outsider or tourist would. This is your chance! Grab your friends or family and sightsee around a local hotspot, even stopping at various landmarks. Before you set out, pick up a disposable camera from a drugstore. The Kodak One-Time Use with Flash costs $7.99. Capture all of your day's memories and then drop the camera off to get them developed. This may seem like a ridiculous idea, but in the end you will have the best time goofing around. For all my scrapbookers: you'll getting a day's worth of scrapbook pictures. Although, I guarantee that somebody in your group will ruin at least 10 of those photos. 

TOTAL: $7.99

5. Discount Bin Movie Binge Day

You probably already know what I'm talking about: those big, five foot deep bins at Walmart overflowing with discounted movies that most people forgot even existed. They may slightly resemble death traps, and you may even be afraid that miniature clowns are hiding at the bottom. Fear not! These forgotten wonders are some of the best finds and will provide the entertainment for your day. I'm talking a MOVIE BINGE DAY! Buy 3 discounted movies from the Walmart movie bin at around $5 a piece. You can check out Walmart's website HERE to get a sneak preview of which movies are currently discounted. Then, buy some Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter Popcorn ($2.28 at Walmart) and a pack of Skittles ($2.55 at Dollar General). Now sit back and relax, because you've got the perfect movie day ahead of you.

TOTAL: $19.83


I hope these suggestions help you venture away from your cave of a home and towards quality time with the people you love. There are so many things you can do without breaking the bank, so get out there and try them! 

Or follow the example of Harry and Hermione and have an awkward dance party in your living room.

Until next time,