I have a friend who still lives at home with his Mum and doesn't drive. He works in a supermarket, but has managed to move to a management level over the last five years, so he's on a decent income and with no overheads like bills or rent to pay. He certainly should be pretty much minted by now.
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Except he isn't. Nope, this friend who is now 28 has zero savings in his account and often tells us that he can't afford to do things with us. His poor parents are exasperated at the fact that he's showing no signs of ever leaving home, and the rest of us are just bemused at his situation. Where has all his money went? Well the simple answer is that he drank it all - he goes on about three nights, out a week and on each he will typically get himself a large number of drinks, generously afford to take them for other people, lead to various different clubs that require a hefty entrance fee, then pay for a taxi home. It's a terrible waste, but he enjoys it and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Personally that lifestyle isn't for me, and I'm at the point where more than one night out a week leaves me too exhausted to do anything for the next month. I still do enjoy going out and drinking with friends, and so I can understand the appeal. What I don't know is why he feels the need to spend so much on each night out, especially when there are so many ways he can enjoy the same night out for a lot fewer. When I meet up with my other friends, we all realize that drinking your money is a part of a waste, and so we'll use various different money saving strategies to keep the cost down. Here are some of the most effective money saving strategies.
Abuse Happy Hour
Whenever I go on a night out I will explore which bars and clubs have a happy hour on and see those first. Then once I arrive I'll buy a couple of drinks to keep on the table meaning that I don't have to go up next to pay full price. This way you can save a substantial 50% on your first three or four drinks which is a considerable saving.
Drink At Home
Other money saving strategies includes drinking at home before you go out, and this is the strategy we used to rely on as students. Find a drink you like at your local supermarket that doesn't cost too much, then before you head out have a few of those to get you in the mood. Alternatively you can make your own drinks, and this can also be a lot of fun.
Don't Get too Drunk
Of course, the other tip is not to aim to get drunk. Not only is it harmful for your body in the long run, and a surefire way to look like an idiot, but it's hugely expensive and utterly unnecessary for having a fabulous time. Use the two tips above to get 'merry', but don't aim to get too drunk.
Find the Cheapest Bars and Drinks
Another tip is to think carefully about which venues you go to and what you're going to have to drink when you're there. Generally pubs are cheaper than bars and when it comes to finding a club, think about the entry costs as well as the price of drinks.
Alternatively you can always skip the usual clubs and bars altogether and look for other cheaper options. If you have a meal out for instance, you can often have a fab night by staying there and ordering bottles of wine for the table. Or if you're the adventurous sort, you could just visit a campsite (which costs hardly anything to stay in) and take some beers and a football. It's a night out that will cost hardly anything and that will usually be a lot more impressive.
This is often the most expensive part of a night out, but it can be avoided with smart planning ahead. The first option is to move your whole night out forward a few hours (meaning you get more happy hours as well as cheaper entry costs) which will mean you can use cheaper transport home. If you are forced to use a taxi though, make sure you call them rather than finding one at a taxi rank which will always charge more, and try to negotiate a price upfront on the phone rather than leaving it to the metre or their discretion.
Author Byline :
Nick Dunin works with http://www.debtconsolidation.com.au and maintains their blog. He helps customers with their debt repayment problems and with other loan acquisition questions.