Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Going out with your friends is a fun and fantastic way to let your hair down after the demands of the working week, dance the night away and perhaps even meet that special someone (if you’re lucky).
The only problem is that going out can be a costly affair, especially in big cities. However that’s not to say that you can’t go out, have a great time and save money all at the same time!
Read our top tips to save money on a night and maybe in future it will be just your head, and not your bank balance that will be aching the day after.
Often the first thing to hit your wallet is the entrance fee into the bar/club of your choice.
Yet, this doesn’t always have to be the case.
This is where the importance of research comes into play.
In this instance, conduct research on a potential venue or two to determine whether you and your friends will end up with bang for your buck, or end up broke and out of pocket.
Your first ports of call should the the bar/club website and social media channels, in order to find out the cost of entry for the club.
If, however this isn’t on show then check out useful sites such as TripAdvisor, which can help give some indication of not only how much entry will be, but how expensive your night will turn out.
Seriously, think about it….do you really think it’s not possible to have fun of an evening without getting plastered first?
For a start, consider the cost of:
Then there’s just the general belief that you can’t have fun without alcohol. It’s no more than that – a belief…widely held, of course, but not something you have to believe in yourself.
Try it once a month or so, if you don’t think you can manage full-time, and suggest it to your friends. They might be grateful to have an excuse not to get hammered once in a while.
It might take a while to get used to it – and you may never persuade your friends – but in the long run it will save your wallet, your health and your happiness.
In fact, do it well and you can get away with just drinking lime and sodas while you’re in the club.
Not everyone does and an even better plan is to get into socialising on little or no alcohol (see point 2 above).
However, if you want to drink in the night, then having a glass before you go out will cut down on the overall cost. Just make sure that you don’t drink too much beforehand or you might not get in the club.
The thing with drinking is that it gives us a sense of bravado and confidence not visible in our sober selves.
This can be reflected by our behaviour with our credit/debit cards. That is, reckless spending with our credit/debit card which is sure to top any list of regrets after the night has ended.
Instead of taking your credit/debit card with you, set yourself a budget and draw out enough money that you feel will last you for the duration of your night out. This way you ensure that:
– Temptation doesn’t strike
– You have one less regret the next morning
– You give your credit/debit card the rest that it deserves
Just make sure you have an emergency fall-back position (a friend or family member you can call?) if you lose the cash.
So you’ve decided on a venue, sorted your cash and now you’re ready to hit the town.
Now to decide on transport.
Admittedly not the most glamorous option, getting the bus is definitely the cheapest in comparison to other modes of transport.
Keeping with the theme of public transport, getting a train is another option, although be sure to watch out for closures affecting your journey, and perhaps the cost. Take a look at our article on cutting the cost of train travel to find cheaper options.
Definitely the most expensive – yet the most glamorous option – is getting a taxi. Getting the most for your money is as easy as 1,2,3.
From shopping around different taxi ranks to using sites such as YourTaxiMeter to find out how much your journey should cost, you can take great steps to ensure that you and your friends aren’t ripped off before the night has truly begun.
Also consider Halo for grabbing a black cab at any time of the day or night (MUCH better than going with one of the unlicensed drivers that hang around clubs) or try Uber which can be cheaper than all other taxis but, again, is unlicensed so be careful if you’re a woman…make sure you are not the only one in the cab and that you are not drunk.
Arguably one of the highlights of any night out is the food afterwards.
It can also be an unnecessary and ultimately avoidable expense.
By simply preparing food before you go out you can ensure that:
– Your choice of food is relatively healthier than the fast food options available after a night out.
– You satisfy your stomach’s cravings
– More importantly, you save money
Once you’re at the bar, this is where prior research will definitely come in handy.
Drinks deals are a great way to get the drinks you love and save money at the same time.
With many bars and clubs advertising drinks deals on their websites or social media, it is up to you to do the research. Not doing so could be the difference between a cheap and cheerful night, and a costly, cheerless night.
If you have any ideas on how to save money on a night out that may not have been mentioned earlier then make sure you leave a comment in the comment box, we’d love to hear your thoughts.