Isn’t January a bitch? It’s dark, it’s freezing, and you’ve got thirty pence to last you till payday. No wonder we all want to hibernate till March.
But that would be a mistake, because January can actually be a terrific month for Skint girls, packed full of bargains and promise. Restaurants are competing to lure you in with great deals, the high street sales are on and there’s that fresh start feeling in the air, making this month the perfect time to try new things.
I’ve already signed up to a dressmaking class and can’t wait for it to start next month.
Here are some other cheap ideas to chase away the January blues:
- Start a book group: I’ve been part of a book group for about seven years and when
I joined it was a mix of people I knew well and some I didn’t know at all. What we had in common was a desire to go out and talk about more than just romance and clothes (though those often feature too). Seven years on we’ve all become great friends. We’ve gone away for weekends, held a clothes swapping party, seen numerous films and drank our fill of cocktails. Once a month or so we meet in a coffee shop (so no-one has to tidy their house), with a BYOB policy. All we need to do is chip in for a bottle of wine and sit back to chew the fat. I think I usually spend about three quid on these nights out and I cherish the memories. Over the years I’ve also been introduced to books and authors that I’d never have picked up if left to my own devices – a real eye-opener.
- Sign up for an evening class: There’s something special about evening classes, I think. In my experience, they tend to be the most democratic form of learning. Classes are usually a mix of the retired and the very young, those who are hoping their classes will lead to the publication of a first novel and those who are simply there to get away from the telly. Evening classes are cheap, fun and the choice of subjects on offer is enormous. From life drawing to calligraphy, local history to dressmaking they’re fun, life-improving and usually cost about six pounds a pop.
- Ferret out gallery openings and literary launches: These are great alternative nights out, full of interesting ideas and often with wine and nibbles thrown in. Major bookshops usually host a book launch about once a week, whilst art galleries tend to open new exhibitions every month or so. Of course Charlotte York wouldn’t like you quaffing all the wine without buying, but you can always pretend to be debating about whether a piece would fit in your flat (it’s fun to choose the most expensive item when doing this), then excuse yourself by saying you’ll need to go away and check.
- Party for free: Want to get access to the hottest parties and launches for free? Then check out events service itison. The deal is that on registering for the site you tell them your interests and some other (optional) stuff such as your age and salary bracket. You then sit back and wait for the invites to come rolling in. From restaurant openings to ballet tickets to runway seats at charity fashion shows, itison ought to be in every girl’s favourites list. It’s one of those rare things: a win-win idea. By recruiting itison to help fill their events, organisers can ensure that they get a room filled with the sort of people they want to target. Skint in the city girls meanwhile get to be the first to experience all the novelties the city has to offer – and for nada, nothing, a big fat zilch. These aren’t cobbled-together parties either, they’re classy events with goody bags and cocktails and they’re best enjoyed with friends.