It’s your worst nightmare: you wake up in the morning, and slowly the memories of the night before come back to you. Great dinner out, then drinks at a bar, dancing until the wee hours… you don’t have any idea how much money you spent, but you have a feeling it’s not going to be good. You grab for your wallet and check the receipts, and yes- you’ve spent far over your budget for the week, let alone the night! Nights out, especially when traveling, can really hurt your budget! But you shouldn’t have to cut this out completely from your life. There is a way to find a balance between enjoying yourself going out, and totally going broke from expensive food and drinks! If you’re traveling, you can compare the costs of a night out in different cities like New York, Chicago and L.A. Read on for some tips on saving money when you go out:
Find happy hours
If you know you’re going to be going out for undoubtedly expensive drinks later, save money on food by eating at happy hour. You can get great deals on food early, from 3-5 or 4-6, and then again later, usually after 9 pm. Often you can get the same meals on the regular menu for half the price. It’s a great way to save cash on both food and drinks.
Get your exercise
You know what ends up damaging many people’s budgets on a night out? Taxi fares. If you can walk or take public transportation, you’ll save lots of money on cabs when you go out. So pick a neighborhood to try and stick to when you go out, and you can simply walk from dinner and then to bars from there. Or you can designate a driver for your group who won’t drink for the night, who can drive you around.
Forget your card
No, we don’t mean leave your card at the bar so you have to go get it the next day. Leave your debit card at home and only go out with the cash that you intend to spend for the evening. If you run out- your conscious self will thank you the next day when you have to go home rather than continue blowing through your budget.
Yes- it’s possible to have an extremely fun night out without drinking! Alcohol is one of the biggest budget blowers and it leaves you with nothing to show except a headache the next day- and maybe some photos you’ll regret later. So find activities that don’t involve drinking and you’ll end up with a far better experience, save money and feel great the next day. Enjoy a trip to the theater, go stargazing, or cook dinner with friends.