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Having a great social life can have a big impact on your purse or wallet. Particularly if you are the type of person who loves nothing more than cutting loose at the weekends with friends – hitting the pubs and clubs and generally partying hard. Trying to cut back on spending or living to a budget usually means that non-essential things – such as all that party fun – have to be cut out of your life, which can also cut out the things you most look forward to and leave you feeling a little deflated to say the least.
So how can you prevent your party being pooped? Is it really possible to carry on partying hard but keep to a budget? The good news is you can if you’re smart – no matter how thin your wallet is with a bit of forethought and planning you can master the art of budget socilaising. To help you on your way, we have put together some of our top tips on how you can make sure that you are always ready for a party.
Partying hard doesn’t always have to be outside the house. In fact, your own home can sometimes be the ultimate venue. If you are a little short on funds, why not offer to be the host for an evening. Get your friends to bring food and drink and you can have an amazing party all in the comfort of your own home. What’s more, no taxis home required. If you’re a regular clubber just think how much you could save by having just one weekend a month at home rather than away!
When you are heading out on the town then chances are that you are going to want a nice new outfit to wear. Not sure that you have the funds to afford a new outfit? Why not see if you can raid your friend’s wardrobes? A clothes swap means that you can check out each other’s wardrobes and hopefully find yourselves some new things to wear out, all without spending a penny. A small group of you could even get together and form a clothes ‘pool’ with each donating a couple of items to the ‘pool’. Save even more money by making the clothes pool the early evening, pre-going out focus over a few drinks at one of your mates’ houses.
We all love being able to head out for a delicious meal with friends, mostly because it means that you don’t have to wash up afterwards. The trouble with dining in groups is that it is commonplace to split the bill at the end of the night. Not a problem if you are all equal. But there is a good chance that you will have friends who eat/drink more than the rest. Not sure that you want to foot the bill for their dinner? Why not make an agreement at the beginning not to split the bill? Then you can budget your meal accordingly. Feeling flush – go for the sirloin steak and a starter. Skint? Stick to one pasta course and tap water. Either way you’re still enjoying the company of your mates.
If you are going out for the evening, then it is inevitable that you are going to spend some money. Thankfully there are ways that you can keep this to a minimum. Find cheap places to drink, perhaps those that offer happy hour or multibuy deals, that way you can get more for your money. Also, try to stay away from short drinks which take only a few minutes to drink, as buying these will definitely rack up your bill. If you do go for shorts don’t go for bottle mixers but things on tap such as soda where you can fill the glass more to make a longer drink.
A bit tipsy is fun but dead drunk is dead stupid and can be really dangerous as all your normal early warning systems will be drowned out by booze – elevating your chances exponentially of being involved in trouble or being taken advantage of, or just being booted out of somewhere (a big money waster!). It has been proven that when you’re drinking the best and happiest you feel is after about three drinks and it’s all downhill from there. So why not measure your drink intake and stop at about three – by then most of your mates will be merry anyway so won’t notice you’ve swapped out our alcohol for tap water. You’ll feel fresher and smarter and much more able to socialise sensibly after all who wants to be the party drunk and butt of everyone’s jokes?
A bit of journey planning will help you avoid the all too familiar jump into a cab home – the final killer cost to a big night out. Before you go out work out where you will end up and what time you’ll be leaving then you work out your most cost-effective get home plan by night bus, train or even shared cab. Also avoid the kebab or fast food on the way back and save it for a welcome glass of water and slice of toast when you get back.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to be honest with your friends. They may be in the same situation as you. Which means that you can try and budget, and find ways to still have fun. Together. Maybe instead of a big night out every weekend you make it a big night out every other weekend and a small night out or big night in your other options. Remember the fun comes from the company you’re in not in how much you spend.
So, you don’t have to resign yourself to a dull life just because you are trying to live on a budget. Hopefully these top tips have shown that you can still party hard, all whilst managing on a small budget!
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