I'll be returning to the workforce soon and hopefully living on my own, but with the cost of everything going up, how can I improve my social life? One of my aunt's friends was a poor single mom who never went out to eat so she could put her son through college, but because of that she had no friends other than my aunt. I really don't want to do this because being isolated from society has taken me to some really dark, miserable places, and so far I've missed out on an important part of the human experience (as childish as that sounds.) But self imporvement seems really expensive lately. Expensive hobbies ($170 a month for MMA), expensive clothes (to show people you care about how you look and that you're not a social cripple,) the cost of protein, etc etc etc. Doesn't help that most of the women my age are probably looking to settle down (meaning they're at a completely different point in their lives that I am.) and the ones that arent...well...they're still looking for some things I don't have yet. Tried meetup.com but it looks like for the most part everything people want to do is either expensive or conflicts with my schedule. Meanwhile, a budget my aunt helped me draw up last summer left me with less than $100 per month after taxes and expenses, all of which I would probably need to save in case I got laid off. That's with lowball estimates for certain expenses. I'm really not looking forward to the rest of my life.