But the good news is you can still have a social life and save money at the same time… if you really try. Sure, you might not be able to attend the swankiest clubs and order tequila shots and double vodka cokes, but you can still enjoy a boogie and the odd drink or two if you incorporate some of these saving tips into your life.
Here are 10 ways you can do this.
1. Drink before you go out
Remember those legendary college dorm parties? The parties that cost you $7 because you’d buy a six pack of Bud and spend the rest of the night off your face, giddy in the knowledge that you were having a good time despite being broke.
Of course, being broke as a young graduate doesn’t have the same gloss, but the world isn’t doing young people any favors at this moment in time, so don’t let expensive drinks in bars and clubs wipe away your bank balance. Drink before you go out, and you’ll remain a social butterfly without succumbing to $12 tequila shots.
2. Avoid places with entry frees
It’s easy to start out the night with the intention of only drinking in places that don’t require an entry fee, but once midnight comes along, you’ll always have a friend who wants to pay a $20 entry fee for a nearby club.
But don’t be swayed! While you may have to end your night at 12 instead of 4, you’ll soon realize that completing a night at 12 as opposed to 4 isn’t the worst thing in the world because by going to a club and paying an entry fee, you’re more likely to want to get your money’s worth and drink more, which will lead to a crippling bank balance the following morning.
3. Walk more
Unless you happen to have the good fortune of living in proximity to your workplace, you probably have to pay a lot of money just to travel to work each month, so with that in mind, why would you want to continue paying loads of money for transport on the weekends?
Unless it’s rainy and cold, you should get in the habit of walking more, and if you’re going out, make sure the venues are local so you don’t have to fork out loads on transport.
4. Make sure you’re in charge of reservations
It may be a bit sneaky and selfish, but by being the one in charge of dinner dates with friends and family, you can choose the cheapest places that you know are affordable and don’t require hefty service fees.
Or, if you have a friend who really wants to go to an expensive restaurant try and steer them to a cheaper place that you know won’t cost you a week’s wages for a bowl of spaghetti.
5. Avoid festivals
We know, we know. We’re massive killjoys and may as well call ourselves Buzz Killington, but if you want to be serious about saving money, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by attending Glasto for the 10th consecutive year. Not only do tickets for major festivals cost upwards of $150, but you also have to factor in the over-inflated price of food and drink.
However, if you really want to attend at least one, then it’s best to be frugal, and limit yourself to home snacks and drinks.
6. Don’t be afraid to become a bargain hunter
We all like a good deal now and then, but if you want to save and still enjoy some remnants of a social life, then you need to be on the lookout for good deals continually.
In fact, there are many websites, such as bargaincrazy.com and makeuseof.com that have countless deals and discount codes that you can apply online as well as leading coupon websites like groupon.com, so make the most of them.
7. Stop buying overpriced coffee
Millenials are obsessed with coffee. They won’t pay $2 for a newspaper, or even $5 for a book, but they’ll happily spend the same or even more on a large-sized latte from Starbucks. And yes, you’re probably guilty of this too.
But don’t let your caffeine habit waste away your wages. If you really can’t live without it, brew it at home instead, and bring it into work in a flask. You’ll save around $20 a week if you do this, money which could go towards your next night out.
8. Scout the web and local community boards for free events
If you live in a big city, there’s always going to be something to do, and that includes free events and openings. There could be a free music event taking place in a nearby park, or an underground art gallery hosting a free exhibition.
Community boards in your local area are also likely to advertise these kinds of events, so why not make one of them your next social outing?
9. Throw house /dinner parties instead of going out
While you can save money by drinking at your house and then going out after, it can sometimes be more comfortable to stay in and throw a house party instead!
Yes, it means you have to undertake a massive cleanup the following morning, but if you have a trusted group of friends, then it can make for a nicer evening. You can drink in the comfort and safety or your own home, have more meaningful conversations as opposed to shouting in someone’s ear in a loud club and also invest in some nibbles and snacks rather than queuing at 4 am for an overpriced kebab.
You could even keep it classy and host a dinner party.
10. Become a freegan
A portmanteau of the word “free” and “vegan”, freegans have built up a reputation over the years for eating the food big multi-national companies throw away after the sell-by date has expired.
It’s important to note that a sell-by date and an expiry date are different. An expiry date warns us when we can and can’t eat the food, while a sell-by date is intended for vendors and shop owners, namely multinationals, who can afford to throw away perfectly edible food to abide by food trading standards.
But instead of denoting it to the homeless, most dispose of it, so if you want to go to the extremes of a freegan, then you might find yourself with an entirely edible, free meal most nights, which in the grander scheme of things, will mean more money for that boozy night out. But yeah, you’ve got to really like your drink to go to these lengths.