Sometimes it can feel like your can't walk out the front door without breaking a fifty. Barely five minutes after stepping off my stoop I'm spilling coins on Ubers, specialty coffee, and collectible Tazos like there's no tomorrow. This pecuniary rupture is further complicated a complete lack of self control, and with the currently property bubble toast-shaming us it's high time we got savvy about the stuff in the bank.
If you thought maintaining this freewheelin' lifestyle would never come cheap, think again: We've found no fewer than 50 ways to keep up that lowkey lavish agenda for just 50 clam and sometimes under:
1. Swing by Ben's Burgers in West End on a Wednesday and get five kilos of wings.
2. Head to dinner at Caravanserai and have a 3-course banquet for $39.50.
3. Here's a cheap date option for all you fiscally encumbered Romeos: Exhibitions at the IMA are free, and always worth it. Follow this art-filled evening up with $50 worth of ice cream from Shlix, because all girls like ice cream.
4. You can almost afford 10 gluten-free sweet treaties from Botanica Real Food. But we wouldn't say no to nine.
5. Seek some thrills, and go abseiling off the Kangaroo Point cliffs for only $45 (or $30 if you're a lucky little student).
6. Thursdays at Red Hook let you Double-Down with a mate: two burgers, two fries, and two Budweisers for $35, with plenty leftover for some battered pickles and mac 'n cheese squares.
7. Grab a takeway pizza, pull up a bar stool at The Scratch and knock back a couple of craft beers. Then wander up to Suncorp Stadium to watch The Reds (you won't have tickets, of course, but you'll be able to feel the ambience).
8. Hit up Remy’s for Sunday hip-hop afternoons. Here's the deal: two-for-one burgers between 3.30pm and 5.30pm, leaving you with plenty of dosh for beers.
9. Comfort food and a glass of wine is a winning combo. Get around to the Hope & Anchor on a Tuesday night for $15 schnitzel and house wines for $5. Bring a mate.
10. Adult tickets at the Southbank Cinemas go for the ludicrously low $8.50, which means you have $41.50 to lash out on the popcorn and pick 'n mix.
13. Go the whole hog and get the Carolina Pack (large ribs, 12 buffalo wings and New York Fries) at Carolina Kitchen for $44.
14. $5 taco Tuesdays at Coyotito means you can have your fill of tacos AND a drink AND a few cups of elote en vaso.
15. Go fly a kite. Seriously.
16. Try out the banquet at Happy Boy. Just $35 sends you on a spicy gambol around their finest dishes; add a drink and you're still within budget.
17. Check out Naim's bar menu with a tasting platter and a couple of wines for less than a fiddy.
18. Grab a friend and head to Studio Pilates for a casual pilates reformer session/catch-up, with bonus core toning.
20. Indulge in the 'Brookie brows' special at Brooklyn Beauty Bar. That's a wax and a brow tint for only $40.
21. Buy a bottle of crisp white from the Cru Bar cellar (let the friendly staff direct you to the most budget-friendly varieties) and pop in to Fresh Sushi Co. for their chirashi sushi, because they are BYO and just cool like that.
22. They say the Brown Snake always looks better at 196.85 feet; take in its full riparian majesty from the peak of the Wheel of Brisbane. It's mighty easy to get choked up though, so remember to bring tissues.
23. Take-away time! At Auchenflower's My Thai, you can stock up on fish cakes, Massaman beef curry, Laab mu spicy pork, and coconut rice for under $50 (with spare change for Weiss Bars).
24. Sign up for an introductory hot yoga pass at Harlow and enjoy 14 days of unlimited yoga for $29. Spend the difference on coconut water, you'll need it.
26. Hanging on James Street, At Sixes and Sevens is the ideal place to start your weekend at Friday's after-work drinks. This astro-turfed haven offers cocktail jugs and bar bites that won't break the bank.
27. Because we bet there is not enough Italian on your menu, check out Popolo's six-course chef chef selection is a shareable feast for just $49 bucks a head.
28. Catch a band at Black Bear Lodge (if you pick your night right this audial outing will cost you no money at all). And if you want to go crazy you could stop off for a kebbi kebab from Nonos on the way home.
29. Head to Morningside's Flour & Chocolate on brownie Friday and grab a $4 brownie (or buy 12 if you want to use the whole 50 and become everyone's favourite person in the office). Brownie flavours may include, but are not limited to, buttery biscuit brownie, blondies, flourless salted caramel, double fudge, and coconut rough.
30. Remember when trampolines didn't have netted enclosures? Relive those fast and loose days with a jump sesh at Bounce for just $16.
31. Go to The Planetarium. Entry is free, and so is the sense of overwhelming awe you're bound to feel afterwards when you realise you and your fifty dollars are pretty insignificant compared to the gaping chasm that is space. Maybe give your fifty dollars to the homeless. Or buy some glow-in-the-dark stickers to pimp your ceiling fan.
32. Buy a sticky date cake with butterscotch sauce from Cake Kiosk at the Jan Power's Farmer's Markets at the Powerhouse (then purchase a few week's worth of vegetables because you feel guilty about the cake.)
33. Sample the nachos locos at Super Whatnot and follow up with four beers. That's quite a night out.
34. Go for a euphoric tour of the XXXX Brewery for $32 and use the difference on an Uber home.
36. Go to Gerard's Bistro on James Street for some of the Blackmore Wagyu flap with white turnip puree, raw turnip and coffee. If you're with a friend make sure they order their own because you won't want to share yours.
37. Guys can head to Bou's For Men on Adelaide Street for a haircut, and receive a complimentary cut-throat razor neck shave, hot towel and splash of cologne.
38. Three adults can play 18 holes of putt putt at Victoria Park for $51 (ok, so we owe you a buck) and it's open morning, noon, and night to accommodate your all-encompassing putt putt habit.
39. Check out Brooklyn Standard's new All-American bites menu with some jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, and popcorn shrimp then wash it down with a few Brooklyn Lagers and some dulcet bluesy tunes.
40. A 10-pass at Centenary Pool goes for $52 and the extra 200 cents is WORTH IT. Especially when summer rolls back around and you're sashaying around with the cutest bod on the block.
41. Go weak-kneed in a pot of Fromage the Cow's fondue with sourdough cob and a glass of something woozy.
42. You can take in a fine film and share a bowl of shoestring fries with a friend at Blueroom Cinebar.
43. Take a day trip to Stradbroke Island. Two can catch the ferry for only $40. That's ten dollars spare for fish and chips.
44. Make like the Riverdalians and turn into the drive-in! Tickets to the Yatala Drive-In cinema are just $15 so you can spend the rest on takeaway dinner.
45. Get your bowlo on and get your butt down to Merthyr Bowls Club for lawn bowls and lunch. Even throw in some beers and nachos and you'll still have change from your $50.
46. Buy a whole quiche from Chouquette and take it to the office (see #29). Or, chuck a sickie and eat the whole thing yourself.
47. Get that mop into shape at Blow Dry Bar, and walk out with a perfect head of hair and change from a $50.
48. Get vertical at Rocksports and climb a wall (for as long as you like) for only $17.
49. Try your hand floating yoga (that's yoga on a paddle board). For only $25 you can get your downward dog on, on the ocean once a month at the beautiful Redcliffe Jetty Beach.
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie