Author Topic: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s  (Read 9758 times)

TheBrassNugget

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How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« on: September 28, 2013, 09:10:09 AM »
Fellow Mustachians,

I'd like to give a shout out from Minneapolis, and a special shout out to MMM. While I was well on my way to Mustachianism before this blog, knowing there is a community of people who would rather invest than buy a BMW is quite comforting. (I work with Investment Bankers, they don't seem to get it...)

I've found myself in the fortunate position of being in my early 20s and having scored a very high-paying job right out of college, paying no rent, and having very low overall expenses. My money 'stache is a-blooming. However, I'm struggling with saving money on the social aspect. As a new citizen of a rather large metro, I'm finding it difficult to meet people/have fun/meet dazzling young ladies without going to fancy-pants bars and spending cash. So, how does one stay sociable in their early 20's, meet new people, and not burn cash? Open to any ideas.

grantmeaname

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 09:19:56 AM »
Don't try and meet people who blow tons of money at bars, try and meet people who garden and ride bikes. Do the kinds of activities you like to do, and the other people there will automatically have the same interests as you. Meetup can be a good place to start, as can events put on by museums/libraries/your city's parks/bike groups/what have you.

onehappypanda

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 09:39:08 AM »
As a lady in my 20's (albeit not too dazzling), and I will admit that this has been difficult for me too. I can cut back on lots of things, but bars and craft brews are tough, especially when your friends are into that sorta thing.

A few things I've found:
1. I'd rather date someone who is financially sound and a bit frugal anyway. My partner is a frugal soul, and we help keep each other in line. I wouldn't rule someone out automatically for suggesting a fancy bar as a first date, but I would give (or did give, when I was single) people extra brownie points for showing some originality and frugal-ness.

2. Most cities have free/cheap events, you just gotta find them. Ask anyone local if they can suggest things, and see if folks want to go with you. Yelp can help you there, as can local papers (sometimes).

3. Even fancy bars can have awesome happy hours - again, it's just a matter of figuring out when and where. Local people and Yelp are once again your friend.

And I agree that if you choose activities you like, you'll often meet kindred spirits. If there's a local bike scene, my experience has been that those often attract the frugal souls :) Check for organizations that might offer free group rides - my city has a bunch of them on Facebook.

TheBrassNugget

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 09:48:22 AM »
Thanks to both of you for the advice!

onehappypanda, I bet you're quite dazzling, and that your boyfriend is lucky.

Any others?

mchap

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 09:50:56 AM »
I'm now in my early thirties, but I remember it being hard when I was younger. All my friends and coworkers wanted to go out to a fancy bar or restaurant every night. When I was around 25, I joined a local running club. I made a lot of new friends there. Runners are usually pretty serious about keeping their weight down, so that takes care of the excessive bar hopping. Also, a lot of them seem to be underemployed, because they wanted to have time for training. They just don't have any disposable income. I also started rock climbing a lot. It was the same thing. A lot of underemployed people with beater cars. I agree with the other poster. Try to meet people who like to do the same things as you.

Russ

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 10:12:33 AM »
+1 to "do stuff you like to do, and find out how to meet people while doing it"

The MMM Meetups board is this way, I'm pretty sure there's one for Minneapolis in there. I think Grant meant Meetup.com, which is another awesome thing (just to clarify)

Free concerts are my favorite, but that's just personal preference. Gallery openings are pretty cool too and are generally more talkable.

Re: bars, when people say we should go to a bar I've found it's usually because they can't think of anything better to do. I just say, "I'm not really a bar kind of guy" and half the time they actually agree with me (kinda apologetically, which is funny)! We then go on to figure out something that would actually be fun, everybody ends up totally stoked, and now you're the cool friend who actually does interesting things. There are people who really do want to go to the bar and that's cool too, just decide for yourself how that fits into your life.

If you really need to go to a place to meet ladies, try the hip locally owned coffeeshop rather than the bar. Plenty of free events, it's ok to nurse one drink all night (and they're cheaper anyway), and there are plenty of babes there too.

grantmeaname

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 10:17:29 AM »
I think Grant meant Meetup.com, which is another awesome thing (just to clarify)
Yeah - your city's is here. Columbus is a good deal smaller and still has groups for winemaking, chicken-raising, conversations in other languages, frisbee, and the like. Minneapolis should have all those and more.

ender

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 10:50:29 AM »
One way would be to strategically purchase things which make it easier to invite people to YOUR place than going out.

I would almost always rather have people over and cook for them than go out to eat, first its a better way to get to know them and second it's way cheaper.

Stuff like a pizza stone, home brewing, having comfortable seating (all mine is craigslist, lol), buying some board/party games, etc can all make it really easy to host in a much cheaper way.

Also learn to cook and this becomes even easier.

TheBrassNugget

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2013, 11:02:39 AM »
Thanks all for the responses, your input is much appreciated!

Any others?

mm1970

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 11:17:35 AM »
Well, I am two decades from my early 20's.  I spent way too much money eating out and bar hopping to be sociable.  I never went into debt doing it, but I did, for sure die a little when I found an old credit card receipt 8 years later.

The few things that I did that were cheap in my early 29's - I was in the Navy, living in DC, lots of young people:

Sports - I was in to volleyball. This wasn't always Mustachian.  I played in tournaments and several leagues.  Back then the leagues tended to be $30-50 for 10 week seasons.  Some of the leagues were cheaper because they were part of my (cheap, subsidized) gym membership.  At one point, we bought a very nice net.  Then it became "free".  On weeknights and weekends we'd find a park, put up our net, and play for a couple of  hours or all day.  That only worked in the summer.  In the winter, there were high schools and gyms that would have "drop in" volleyball nights for a few bucks.

School - I spent 2.5 years getting my master's (on the Navy, thank you).  That kept me too busy to bar hop, and also introduced me to like-minded people. 

Cheap parties - some of my friends had less money than me.  A few of them would host wine-tasting or beer-tasting parties.

In the later 20's and 30's, my husband and I met people with our  hobbies, which were quilting (me) and carpentry (him).  The local community college had cheap classes ($8 for 10 weeks access to a woodshop, for example).

Jamesqf

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 11:57:44 AM »
I too am a few decades past my 20s, but my memory isn't failing yet.  The one thing I learned from a lot of time spent trying to meet women in bars is that almost all of the women I met were those who liked hanging out in bars.  Now this was sort of self-defeating (at least for longer-term relationships), since I didn't like bars, and only went there in hopes of meeting women.

So the answer is first to determine what you like doing, then work on ways to meet "dazzling young ladies" while doing so.  In my case, the most dazzling were met while taking classes, sailboarding, cross-country skiing, and so on.  (This may not be available in cities, but consider learning to ride a horse.  About 99% women.)  This also works for general acquaintances.

The other cautionary point about bars &c as a way to meet dazzling young women (if you're a long-term thinker) is that they generally don't stay dazzling after spending a few years bar-hopping.  Whereas your runners, bikers, and so on tend to last.

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 12:41:56 PM »
In my early 20s as well and finding the same thing to be difficult.  It's especially hard if you live in the U.S. and don't care about our national addiction known as football.  I get looks like I'm from Mars when I tell some of my old college buddies I don't watch it. 

+1 to finding activities you enjoy doing (preferably outside for me) that allow you to be social and meet others with similar interests.  Not only is this is the most frugal option, I would argue it's also the more personally fulfilling one.  So that helps too!

That being said, going out with your friends for a nice dinner or a night of pub crawling debauchery can be a blast, as long your entire social life isn't built around just going to bars.  I put aside $100/month for restaurants and bars, and I only let myself use that money if it involves close friends or new acquaintances.  Makes you appreciate and enjoy those nights out that much more.  And you can be frugal while going to bars.  MMM had a comment on of his blog posts awhile back describing his days of bar hopping.  I wish I could find the comment but basically he was big on carrying around a flask or two when he would go out.  You could easily keep your bar tabs less than $10 doing this. 

lcg377

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 01:29:49 PM »
I'm from the nicer side of the river*, and I'm not sure when you arrived, but there are many free events and activities in the metro area during summer.

Minneapolis Institute of Art is free, with paid admission to special exhibits
Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul is free/by donation
Grand Avenue Business Assoc in St. Paul does a number of free events throughout the year
Minneapolis has tons of free art shows, street fairs, and outdoor concerts during the summer which you can probably find via The City Pages website
Beer places like The Four Firkins, The Ale Jail/Wine Thief, etc. often have free tastings or visits from brewers, so you can load up on free samples weekly!
Comcast hosts "Movies in the Park" during the summer at various places
The Mill City Museum hosts free concerts at their outdoor amphitheater
First Avenue's Seventh Street Entry venue often has bands for less than $10
Do you know about The Riverview Theater yet? $3 movies in a vintage theater!
Most parks along the river have charcoal grills and tables, so you can get a bunch of people together for cheap BBQ'ing

That's about all I can think of, but I will add more if I think of them. :)
*St. Paul

pumpkinlantern

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 06:45:21 PM »
I'm in my late twenties.

Some lower-cost social things I do:
- Invite people over for dinner, drinks, etc.  It's a better environment to get to know people anyways.
- Sports.  Running, tennis, whatever...it's healthy and generally lower cost.
- Local festivals/cultural events.  This is great for dates too - more chill and relaxed than a restaurant/bar, more interactive, and cheaper.

Minimize costs at pricier social things that people like to do:
- Restaurants.  I love good food and enjoy eating out occasionally, but am mindful that it costs me big time.  So if it's a great restaurant that I've been meaning to try, then I'll just go for it.  But if it's not, I'll "pre-eat" and just tell the group "I had dinner already, but I'll grab a drink/dessert/appetizer".
- Bars.  Lucky to be a petite girl - never really need to get more than one drink since everyone assumes that's enough to get me wasted.  But you can always pre-drink and then just get one drink and keep it for a while.  Most people don't realize how much you're drinking by the time they're piss drunk anyways.
- Movies.  I almost never go to the movies.  I can watch movies at home.  They are expensive.  Plus it's not even a good social experience since you don't get to interact with your friends/date/etc.

Just a note about dating:
I'm a girl, but even I get a sinking feeling when a guy suggests a really fancy place for a first place.  If I don't like him, I feel obliged to split the bill and then I have to fork over a bunch of money for a guy I don't even like.  You're not impressing the right kind of girl if she needs you to pay for a fancy place.

lhamo

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 09:50:34 PM »
Consider trying to meet dazzling young ladies who are in grad school -- you might want to target those in more employable fields, but the advantages of someone in this situation include:

1)  She will likely be very used to living on a low budget -- you can screen for those who are funded/self-funding versus those who are mindlessly taking out loans pretty easily (one of your first questions: "So, how are you paying for grad school?" ).

2)  She will have many other friends in grad school, who also will be more likely to be living on a budget -- you then inherit an instant frugal social circle to hang out with.

3)  She will likely be smart, independent and goal driven, as well as dazzling!

Places to meet them include social venues near college campuses (especially coffee shops), branches of groups you are interested that are near college, volunteer organizations that seek volunteers on college campuses, etc.  You can also go to free talks/readings/seminars in fields you are interested in and strike up conversations with the people around you.

onehappypanda

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 10:39:31 AM »
I'm in my late twenties.

Some lower-cost social things I do:
- Invite people over for dinner, drinks, etc.  It's a better environment to get to know people anyways.
- Sports.  Running, tennis, whatever...it's healthy and generally lower cost.
- Local festivals/cultural events.  This is great for dates too - more chill and relaxed than a restaurant/bar, more interactive, and cheaper.

Minimize costs at pricier social things that people like to do:
- Restaurants.  I love good food and enjoy eating out occasionally, but am mindful that it costs me big time.  So if it's a great restaurant that I've been meaning to try, then I'll just go for it.  But if it's not, I'll "pre-eat" and just tell the group "I had dinner already, but I'll grab a drink/dessert/appetizer".
- Bars.  Lucky to be a petite girl - never really need to get more than one drink since everyone assumes that's enough to get me wasted.  But you can always pre-drink and then just get one drink and keep it for a while.  Most people don't realize how much you're drinking by the time they're piss drunk anyways.
- Movies.  I almost never go to the movies.  I can watch movies at home.  They are expensive.  Plus it's not even a good social experience since you don't get to interact with your friends/date/etc.

Just a note about dating:
I'm a girl, but even I get a sinking feeling when a guy suggests a really fancy place for a first place.  If I don't like him, I feel obliged to split the bill and then I have to fork over a bunch of money for a guy I don't even like.  You're not impressing the right kind of girl if she needs you to pay for a fancy place.


Thanks for that pumpkinlantern. Lots of great advice there and, as a single 30-something guy, I really appreciate the last, bolded part.

I will 2nd pumpkinlantern's point then. Granted, when I was still in the dating game I was still in undergrad and poorness was more socially acceptable. But really, I always felt a LOT better if a first date was cheap and low-key. My favorite first date was always coffee at a local coffee shop - it's cheap, you can actually talk to each other, and if it isn't going well you can leave pretty quickly without it being uncomfortable. Save the pricier and more time-intensive stuff for second dates and beyond.

Also, since no one else has said it: the Internet. It's great for meeting people. Whether it's meetup.com, meetups on websites like this, or actual internet dating, I wouldn't hesitate to look to the internet when trying to meet people in a new city. I met my partner on OKCupid and we've survived 2+ years of dating and a year of living together, so apparently online dating is not all bad ;)

Elaine

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 10:32:14 AM »
Hey, I'm in my 20s too- and I'm a girl. Qualifications! I live in nyc, land of insane prices, and I've found that often my best dates are cheapo dates. Groupon can help, also, plan a little dine/walk tour. Check out any free/cheap screenings, once a guy took me to see "back to the future" in theatres, another took me to see some movies about space at a science museum (awesome). I like museums a lot for dates. Free lectures at universities are fun if you're into the nerdy type. Playing pool is usually cheap, and it's a great date. Going out for lunch is a million times cheaper than dinner, so you could go to lunch and then go do something else like go for a walk or grab a beer. You can restaurant hop doing appetizers only (appetizer and beer here, walk, appetizer and beer there, walk, etc.) From a lady perspective the most important thing is that you put any amount of thought into it. I've always thought a picnic would be like 1,000,000,000 romantic points, but no guy has ever done that one (you should do it, then you could take the lady out for dessert or something). Oh! Once a kind of outdoorsy type guy took me kayaking, that was pretty cool and I think about $7 each. Anyway, hope that helps! 

captainawesome

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 10:32:46 AM »
Cooking classes.  Worked fantastically.  Non-threatening environment, great to start conversations, plus you learn a new skill if you weren't a master chef before.  In my early 20s I was constantly complimented by women for the fact that I held a decent job, I kept my place clean and wasn't a slob, and could cook them a full course meal.  They didn't ever care what car I drove or how much money I had in the bank.

I would also suggest sporting events (hockey or baseball games).  for whatever reason, I would always meet extremely attractive and fun women at baseball games.  And for the few times that I wanted to go to the bar, no shame in a pocket flask or pre-gaming.  Who needs $9 drinks all night?

rubybeth

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2013, 11:33:26 AM »
My sister is in her 20s and also living in the Twin Cities area. She recently started taking dance lessons, and has met tons of people--never would have thought of this, but she's loving it and I think it was $40 for 4 lessons and has taken the place of her $150/month Crossfit membership. She usually meets people for dates during happy hour at her favorite restaurants so it's cheaper, or suggests meeting for coffee instead of a meal. She also likes going for walks around the many lakes in the area (could combine these; like meet up for coffee in Uptown, then walk around Lake Calhoun).

athomeintheworld

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2013, 11:57:58 AM »
Hike.  Bike.  Enjoy doing things outside.  There are great outdoor activities that are good for couples or groups that are "mostly" free.  (I get that you need some shoes, etc and a minimal amount of gear). 

If you don't already - learn to cook!  You can make staying in just as fun as going out.  A wonderful skill to have.  Endless entertaining options once you have this. 

MrsPete

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2013, 12:59:18 PM »
I don't remember this being a huge problem in my college years and 20s, and I know why:  I hung around with people who were -- like me -- broke and frugal.  I remember lots of trips to the dollar movies, going to the same dancing club on Thursday because it was no-cover /cheap drink night, and similar.  We went out to eat only for special occasions. 

My suggestion:  Try to cultivate friendships with people who think like you.   The benefits will be long lasting.  As you grow older, you don't want to deal with a social group that measures success by the size of a person's house or the vacations they take.  And you certainly don't want to marry someone who doesn't think about money in the same way you do.

Cromacster

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2013, 02:20:55 PM »
I'm from the nicer side of the river*, and I'm not sure when you arrived, but there are many free events and activities in the metro area during summer.

Minneapolis Institute of Art is free, with paid admission to special exhibits
Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul is free/by donation
Grand Avenue Business Assoc in St. Paul does a number of free events throughout the year
Minneapolis has tons of free art shows, street fairs, and outdoor concerts during the summer which you can probably find via The City Pages website
Beer places like The Four Firkins, The Ale Jail/Wine Thief, etc. often have free tastings or visits from brewers, so you can load up on free samples weekly!
Comcast hosts "Movies in the Park" during the summer at various places
The Mill City Museum hosts free concerts at their outdoor amphitheater
First Avenue's Seventh Street Entry venue often has bands for less than $10
Do you know about The Riverview Theater yet? $3 movies in a vintage theater!
Most parks along the river have charcoal grills and tables, so you can get a bunch of people together for cheap BBQ'ing

That's about all I can think of, but I will add more if I think of them. :)
*St. Paul

One good one to add for Thursday during the summer is Music in Mears at Mears park downtown st. Paul.  They feature alot of great local acts and its free!  Of course there are various food trucks and plenty of summit to be had as well.

zinnie

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2013, 05:50:08 PM »
The best thing I have learned is to be the one inviting people to do things instead of waiting for others to invite you. Then you get to pick the price yourself! When people do suggest pricey things, I just say that the place is a little pricey for me and suggest another. I have been surprised how many people will then admit that they prefer a cheaper option too. It's like people want to impress others with [insert fancy bar or restaurant name here] without actually wanting to go there. They're usually open to more creative ideas.

Suggest drinks over dinner when you do go out. I've never found bars/ clubs to be that expensive even when I did go to them. Have a drink beforehand, and buy one or two there. Spending $20 for weekend drinks and dancing has never really bothered me, though. It's the dinners that get expensive!


ender

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2013, 08:27:39 PM »
The best thing I have learned is to be the one inviting people to do things instead of waiting for others to invite you. Then you get to pick the price yourself!

This is so true.

Plus so many people are indecisive and want others to make decisions that most people will go along with whatever you suggest :)

Melody

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2013, 05:37:22 AM »
I am a 24 year old mustachian lady. I agree with the other posters round finding ways to interact with people who share your interests. Always the best way to make friends. And the goal should always be making friends not meeting a "special lady" - all but one of the men I have dated were friends of friends. Dating friends of friends really helps keep dating costs down because you can say something like "Bob, Janet, Liam and I are going for a hike, would you like to join us." It also takes to social pressure off and if the person is a friend of a friend they already come "pre-screened"... likely to be a decent person. So the aim is to make plenty of friends and the ladies will follow.

However to give you some more specific suggestions:
- referee roller derby games. You get to learn to skate which is awesome fun while meeting lots of girls! North Star is one of the local clubs in your area: http://www.northstarrollergirls.com/joinUs.html but there are others. Some clubs will waive all training fees for refs some won't so check this out when comparing clubs. If you have a local club that covers your costs this could be a very economical hobby.
-learn an instrument and be in a band. (I learned enough bass to play my first gig in under a year. I am not talented. Stick to easy genres like rock and roll - jazz might take time! If you learned piano as a kid, keyboards will come easily.) Girls love guys in bands ;-P You can also get paid to visit bars (or at least get free drinks) by doing this. (Music can be a really cheap hobby if you buy your gear second hand and practice at someones house rather than a studio.If you play covers this can be quite lucrative, but even playing originals can make this a hobby which better than pays for itself.)
-You said you work with investment bankers. Are you a member of a professional association? Professional Associations often have free networking events... even if you don't meet a girl you might be able to improve your stash by networking your way into a better job.
- You went to college... gatecrash college social events for a topic that you are interested in. Tag along to college parties with college friends (those people studying med and engineering who are still at university at 25!)
- In Australia we have free dance lessons (like Salsa and Swing dancing) in various bars early in the evening. Girls always outnumber guys at these things. You do not have to pay entry or buy a drink if you don't want to.

In terms of reducing the first date money burn:
Ask the girl out for coffee at a time that is not lunchtime eg 10am or 2pm. You should offer to pay for her coffee though, because otherwise she might think you are cheap. (IMHO guy always pays on first date, otherwise it can feel like "just friends" and it can be hard to reverse that once she's started to see you in that way). If the date is going well it can be followed by a romantic stroll :) This will cost a lot less than a typical dinner date. Then while you have the coffee find out what she likes to do and plan your next date accordingly.

Good luck!


MgoSam

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2013, 10:24:43 AM »
Hey,

I am in my 20s and live in Saint Paul. I sent you a personal message.

theSchmett

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Re: How to Be a Sociable Mustachian in Your 20s
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2013, 03:44:38 PM »
If it wasn't already said: drink less. Sounds easy, but is tough in practice. Pregame if necessary. If you are the type who drinks for effect, don't waste money mixing red bull with your vodka.

You'll also be more on your game, more likely to feel better in the morning, and more likely to avoid bad/embarassing situations.

I DONT mean to say you can't handle your drinking, and I know covers probably have a lot to do with the cost, but a few nights out with one less drink per night adds up.

Unless you are in a group of friends that drink cheap beer or trades rounds...

Also I really liked mchap's post.