Consumer Watch: Living big for cheap

Spending money on fun while you are trying to lower debt, and increase savings seems like quite the juggling act, but one financial blogger tells Fox 25 Consumer Watch that you don't have to just sit in a dark room while you're getting your finances in order.

Social functions with friends or even dates are often the first things to go when you are on a tight budget. There are sacrifices that come with trying to get out of debt and build up savings, but taking the time to relax can often help you reach long term goals by avoiding getting burned out. You just have to spend within your limits.

"Having those pre-set limits is really helpful for people especially if they are trying to budget in a new way," says Lauren Bowling, blogger with Financial Best Life.

Bowling recommends people have a 50-30-20 breakdown. That's trying to limit 50-percent of your income for necessities like rent and utilities, 30-percent for savings and debt payments, and 20-percent for fun. If you are over spending on the fun stuff, think of using sites like Groupon and Living Social to get discounts on restaurants or activities. If you love being social, then you can also give hosting a chance.

"I know that is not the trend, but there is a lot of savings to be had if you invite people over and split a bottle of wine," says Bowling.

It is important to keep up with payments for necessities, save money, and pay down debt. If too much of your income is being used for those costs, you may have to lower the percentage of money you use for fun.

For the social butterflies that love to eat at restaurants with friends, consider meeting up for lunch instead of dinner. Most places have a slightly less expensive menu during the day.

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