Going out with friends for a night on the town is always a good time. Unfortunately, there are times when going out for the night will cost you a good deal of money. How do you go about balancing spending nights out with your friends while also minding your budget so that you continue to live within your means? This is a great question and below are a handful of ways to make it happen.
Stick to Cash
It is so easy to lose track of how much we spend when using a credit card. For this reason, I suggest you stick to cash. Before heading out for the night, review your budget to see how much you can spend and then head to the ATM to get the cash. When heading out, take the cash and leave the plastic.
Personally, I fell into the credit card trap in a different way. When my friends and I would go out to eat, they all threw in cash. I collected the cash and put the bill on my credit card. The goal was to then deposit the cash in my bank account and pay off the credit card bill for dinner. (I would have to add in some extra money to the credit card since I put my portion of dinner on the credit card too.)
When we headed out for drinks, I would end up spending the cash on drinks. Now I have a credit card balance of $200 for dinner with no money to pay for it. There were even times when I spent the cash and ended up charging a few drinks as well. Learn from me and leave the credit card at home.
Find Placed Off The Beaten Track
Sure it’s nice to go to the nice clubs and bars, but those places also charge the most money. Find a balance between the trendy spots and the hidden gems. For me, my friends and I found out about the bar at the local fire hall. Membership for the year ran $6 and beers were $0.85. Naturally there weren’t very many girls to meet, but we weren’t going there hoping to meet girls. We went there to have a great time for cheap. We certainly accomplished that! After all, it matters more who you hang out with than where you hang out when looking for a fun time.
Stick to Drink Specials
Ordering Jack & Gingers or Long Island Ice Tea’s all night long is going to cost you a lot of money. Why not stick to the beer special or drink special? It will be much less money and still allow you to have a good time. For me, most times, I just drink the beer that is on draft. It isn’t anything glamorous, but I like the taste and it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg. Sure I still splurge on a mixed drink now and then, but I don’t have to have it in order to have a good time.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: I have more fun based on the people I am hanging out with regardless of where we hang out. For this reason, we shy away from the trendy bars that are going to cost us money to get into and cost us a lot money per drink. With a little bit of work, we were able to find a handful of fun places to hang out that don’t cost much money for drinks. This allows us to go out for the night and not have to worry about finances.
Readers, what are your tips for being frugal when enjoying the nightlife?