How to Save Money When Going Out
When you’re trying to change your financial habits, there’s a lot you have control over. From everything from changing auto insurance providers and re-designing your budget to downsizing your house, you have a lot of say in these matters. But when you’re going out with your friends, all that control could go out the window and leave you feeling a bit powerless. Here are some useful tips for enjoying yourself while you’re out with friends without spending more than you’re comfortable with.
Have Starter Drinks at Home
By now, it’s no secret that there’s a ridiculous markup on drink prices at bars and clubs. To keep from wincing every time you hear your drink total, have a few drinks at home before you head out for the night. Buying your own bottle of alcohol and mixers lasts a lot longer than one night, just make sure you either choose a designated driver to get you to where you’re going or arrange for alternate transportation.
Have Breakfast or Lunch Instead of Dinner
Rather than have dinner before heading out for the night, start things early and have breakfast or lunch with your friends instead. While brunch is another option, it can sometimes be just as expensive as dinner, depending on where you go and what you eat. Breakfast and lunch are most certainly the way to go if you’re looking to save some money. And on a related note…
Eat a Meal Before Going Out
If you like getting food after a night out, you may not be the most responsible spender when you’ve had a few drinks. To curb your appetite and your spending, have a healthy and hearty meal before you head out. Not only will you not be so famished at the end of the night, you also won’t be drinking on an empty stomach, which can seriously ruin your night.
You may have friends who like to dine at some of the most expensive restaurants in town. If so, put yourself in charge of picking the dining spot (one that’s in your budget), and be sure you make reservations so that you’re guaranteed a spot and don’t have to go with the second choice, which could be one of those expensive restaurants. This is an especially great tip if you have friends who don’t like to make decisions, as you’ll be taking the hard work off their hands. All they have to do is show up and enjoy themselves!
Use Coupons and Specials
Besides making reservations yourself, something else you can do to save money while going out with friends is look for coupons and special deals for local restaurants. Even if you aren’t able to find a coupon or special deal on a restaurant, you may be successful in finding something on a product or service you use in your everyday life. The money you save can be spent on an extra drink or meal with your friends. While you aren’t exactly saving more money, you aren’t spending extra money either, so it all balances out.
Have a Social Outing Budget
You budget for your bills and savings, so why not budget for those nights out on the town? If you go out with your friends often, keep track of how much you usually spend and are comfortable with spending. Include that amount in your budget and load it onto a prepaid debit card that you only use when you go out. Newer cards are linked to apps, so you know how much you have left, which helps you decide when it’s time to call it a night.
Keep your worries to a minimum when you’re with those closest to you. Put these tips to good use to remain friends with your bank account and your budget.