This is a guest post from Eric at Narrow Bridge Finance as part of the Yakezie blog swap. This week, we are all discussing the topic: How to Save Money without Giving up Your Social Life. You can read my post on the same topic at Eric’s blog.
I am in my twenties. I like to go to bars. I like to go to night clubs. I like happy hour. I like going on dates. I like sharing a good beer with a friend. I like visiting friends out of town. To make a long story short, I like to do things that are expensive.
However, you don’t have to give up your social life or your bank account. You can find a good balance and use some smart budgeting and money saving tips to have an awesome social life without going broke.
Re-Frame Social Events
For many of us, social events require being at a bar. This does not have to be the case. You can do all sorts of things with friends beyond the night club. You can go on a bike ride, have a picnic, take a walking neighborhood tour, to go a museum, or find many other cheap or free things to do with friends.
Being social with a group does not have to revolve around going places that cost money. While traditionally we go to meals, bowling alleys, mini-golf courses, and other places that charge you money, it does not have to be that way.
Skip Expensive Drinks at Expensive Bars
If you are in your 20s-30s, chances are a lot of your social life revolves around bars. There are generally two times that we find ourselves in a bar, for happy hour or night life.
Saving money on happy hour is easy. Split an appetizer and skip the drink. Don’t go for the second round of drinks. Don’t feel pressure to keep up with others. Do what makes you feel comfortable and don’t feel bad leaving earlier than others. Enjoy the company of your friends, but you don’t have to drink just because you are in a bar.
Even better, if you find a happy hour joint with two-for-one drinks, split it with a friend rather than buying two. Explore the options in your neighborhood (work or home) and see what deals you can find.
This is a bit more tricky, but you can still save money. First off, you don’t have to drink yourself stupid every time you go out on a Friday or Saturday night. Drinking less will help you avoid getting fat, avoid hangovers, and avoid going broke.
Assuming you want to enjoy those drinks, you can save money one of two ways. First, pre-party. Before you leave, have a few drinks. The ones you buy at the liquor store are going to be much, much cheaper than the bar. Second, don’t order name-brand alcohol in mixed drinks. Find specials and go for the well (ask for ‘whiskey’ rather than ‘Jack Daniels’) drinks.
What Do You Do?
How do you save money when going out for drinks? Please share your ideas in the comments.