Love having a night out, but don’t have the cash? Native Monster can help...
It’s still possible to paint the town red and have fun on a budget. Jody Ball has a few tips to help.
Have a get together before you go out: Before you hit the town, why not all meet up at one person’s house, have a few drinks and something to eat. This stands you in good stead for a cheaper night and may curb you craving a kebab later. Shops have offers on pizzas and drinks to help, and if everyone chips in it's fair. As well as there being safety in numbers, on your way out you can get more into a taxi to your first stop - cutting the fare for each of you big time.
Plan, plan, plan: You can pre-book tickets online at many clubs, or they offer a Q-jump/guest list service through their Facebook accounts. This is a lot cheaper and sometimes you even get a free drink on arrival.
Take advantage of offers: Many bars and clubs have nights that are cheaper or free entry before a certain time – use them. If you’re a student then there are plenty of opportunities to go clubbing during the week. Many bars pretty much survive on student business in the week, as they know working people usually have to get up a little earlier the next day! Also, if you are a student, some places offer discounted entry with a valid student card, just ask. Promo people employed by bars and clubs are dotted around the city/town centres, so grab a flyer or ask them what offers are on – explore your options.
Budget: A good way to know you aren’t going to spend a lot is not to take a lot of money out in the first place. Limit your spending and leave your bank cards at home so you aren’t tempted to raid what’s left in your accounts. But, if you know you’re going to need a taxi home, then make sure you keep a bit of money separate so you don’t spend it.
Exercise?: I don’t mean go to gym before you go out, I mean if you can walk into town then go in a group together (safety in numbers). As well as the shared taxi trick I mentioned earlier, why not think about catching the bus, or ask a friend or family member to drop a few of you off? If you drive then maybe take it in turns to drive on different nights. Parking is normally free in the evenings in town centres. And exercise restraint too... I don't need to tell you this do I? But be safe and don’t drink and drive. If you’re a designated driver then stick to soft drinks. You're risking a far bigger cost than beer money if you don't. On your way home be careful and always stick together.
Be selfish: I mean with drinks. Instead of buying rounds and that certain someone never getting you one back, just take care of your own drinks. It's much fairer. If this doesn’t work, partner up with just one person and take it in turns to get each other’s drinks.
Don’t be tempted by the call of the kebab: You’re probably used to a doner or some chips after a night out, but it doesn’t help that bank balance if you’re watching the pennies. Resist the enticing smell of roasting meat and fried chips – you’ll only regret it in the morning. But if you really can’t live without a snack after a night out then why not grab some toast and a glass of water at home. It’s a lot better for you and the home cooked carbs might help with the hangover the next day.
If you still can’t afford a night out, then why not host your own nights at home. Organise a DVD, game or even study night with your friends. Get a few nights organised, maybe in the ‘Come Dine With Me’ style and host your own dinner parties - criticising each other’s cooking and having a good laugh, it’s sure to help with your money problems.
Whatever you do... make that plan - and have fun!