Clubbing can quickly reach the price tag of your student loans. We all know that empty promise that you’ve reached responsible adulthood and tonight you’ll only have one drink. Deep down you know it’s a lie. When you hang with the gang, “just one drink” is mission impossible. Luckily, we’ve got your back and will share some fun tips and tricks to spare your bank account the insulting injury.
1. Pre-gaming is key
A pre-game with your friends before a big night out should be your standard ritual. It brings everyone together, lifts spirits and spares your bank accounts. Literally. Pre-drinking is key to easily saving a significant amount of cash. In fact, bars and clubs often have a 400-600% markup on the original retail price for beverages. It’s a smart move to save your cash by grabbing a few bottles beforehand from your nearest liquor store. Bonus tip: learn how to impress your friends (or that special someone) by learning some cocktail recipes.
2. Subway with style
Obviously, it is more convenient to jump into the next available cab or order an Uber with two clicks. But, cabs and Ubers quickly add up a significant chunk to your night out tab. Therefore, if you feel safe, try to take the subway or the bus. It is almost 90% cheaper and sometimes it’s actually faster. If the subway and bus just don’t sound fun to you, try to share your cab home with a friend that lives on the way and split the bill. Most ride hailing apps have a split function that will make it easy for you. Additionally check for Uberpool options and discount codes.
3. Leave your credit card at home
Swiping your credit card for the next round of shots is (too) easy and fast. Easy and fast in this scenario can become your biggest enemy. Especially, when you wake up the next day and check your bank account. Paying with cash helps you track your spendings and set a limit. So, next time ditch your cards at home. At least, when you wake up with a headache, it won’t be because you overspent (again).
4. Block those 4am cravings
Who doesn’t have drunken cravings after heading home from a night out in the early morning? It’s a real challenge not to stop at one of those pizza spots or delis. Again, your bank account won’t give you a round of applause for spending money on a sunrise meal. Even more importantly, mixing alcohol with heavy fatty food won’t help digesting all those carbs you devoured after your night out. Accordingly, make sure you sate your appetite before going out. Or stock up on emergency post-clubbing snacks at home for when you return.
5. Early bird discounts
Being the first one at a club does not sound fun. The music is often only building up and the crowd is not ready to show off their dance moves yet. However, if you do want to ditch expensive entry tickets and overpriced drinks, try to get to the party early. There are some reasonable benefits to it. Some clubs do not charge entry fees before 11pm or they offer discounted tickets. You may also catch some happy-hour drinks. Some bonus non-finance related reasons: skip the long queues and over-crowded dance floors.
6. Tap water is your friend
Our best friend during, and especially after, a night out: tap water. Try to alternate your drinks with tap water in between. It stills your thirst, which holds you back from ordering unnecessarily pricey drinks. Additionally, staying hydrated during your wild party night guarantees a smoother party experience (you will also thank yourself the morning after). Lastly and most importantly, it is completely FREE.
7. Get your name on that list
If you don’t love getting to the club early, try to avoid paying the entry tickets by getting your name on the guest list. There are several ways to accomplish this. Check the club’s website or Facebook page for early guestlist submissions. Some clubs want to make sure they have a full house by admitting free early access submissions. Alternatively, contact the club on their Instagram and throw in some compliments. Mention you will bring your friends along and how excited you are about your night out. This will most likely get you on that sacred list. Otherwise, ask your friends if they might know one of the bar keepers or door men who could get your gang in.
8. Skip the party night
We know this sounds super lame. However, do not force your bank account to complete desperation if a night out simply isn’t possible at the moment. There are several alternatives to an expensive night out. You can simply invite your friends over, have a game night, a movie night or even a house party. Ask your friends to bring some snacks and booze and the house party can get started.
9. Look out for special deals
Don’t forget to check clubs and bars for special offers. Most places have a happy hour during the week where you can catch some great cocktails for a more sophisticated pre-game (if advice #1 is not an option at all). Check their social media or website for any additional discounts and offers. Student oriented bars often give great discounts too. So don’t forget to bring your student ID and ask the bartender for today’s special deal. Additionally, some fun places have jumbo cocktails or pitchers you can easily share with your friends and save some extra dollars.
10. Avoid the ATM fees
Trying to get cash during your night out can also add up unnecessary and easily avoidable costs. Of course, it is convenient to go to the club ATM. But be aware that they always charge preposterous fees. Try to plan ahead and grab enough cash or walk that extra half mile to the right cash machine. Also look up your bank online and see which other banks may allow you to withdraw for free. Your bank app may even track down those ATMs for you or you can use apps like ATM near me or ATM locator to find an ATM compatible with your card.
Be aware of your spendings but don't forget to stay safe and have FUN, Frichies!