How to go out and socialise for less
It can sometimes be difficult to squeeze a social life in amongst all the other expenses in life – between bills, rent and university costs, finding ways to still have fun without spending big is a battle. Here are just a few ideas to help you on your way to being more social, without hitting your overdraft.
Think first, party second
You might feel like it kills the spontaneity a bit, but the best way I’ve found to cut back on costs is to plan ahead. Whether you’re planning a big blow out at the club or thinking about a quiet one at the cinema, you can do yourself a huge favour and plan to reduce a few big costs upfront – particularly to ensure that you don’t overspend on food or alcohol. These tend to be the two most expensive things about going out for a night. And if your evening is more about the people than the food, why not use your money where it counts?
Plan ahead by arranging a meal before you leave the house, or having pre-drinks at yours. This can be a great additional tradition of evenings out with your friends, as this way you can cook together and catch up before you leave the house. It’s a social “first course” before the big evening out.
Take advantage of deals
The internet is littered with deals which can help you cut back on the costs of socialising. Whether it’s two-for-one cinema tickets or discounted drinks at your favourite club, take advantage of the deals that exist. There are always new deals appearing everyday, one of the biggest sources being Groupon, of course. There are other great sites too for this purpose, including Student Money Saver’s discounts page.
Sites such as these are always offering new and unique deals in order to help you cut down on the cost of socialising. Take advantage of two-for-one or percentage discount offers and make a social event a lot easier for your bank account to manage.
I live in London, so I know that as soon as I leave the house I can automatically deduct a decent amount of cash from my account – it costs a bundle to do virtually anything. This is why it might be nice to start a bit of a hosting tradition amongst your group of friends.
“How is this going out?” you might ask. Simple: once you set up the tradition, it’s easy enough to take it in turns. Give everyone the chance to host an evening. The theme might just be cooking a group dinner, watching movies, playing card/board games, or video games. Whatever tickles your fancy can be incorporated – once your group catches on, it’s easy enough to make it a regular thing, for when everyone’s struggling for cash at the end of the month.
Find unique experiences
Instead of pouring money into things like food or drink in town, or other items which disappear after the evening is over, invest the money in an experience instead. Shared experiences make for better memories, and if you know how much it will cost upfront it’s easier to make sure you don’t overspend.
Socialising can therefore take place without paying through the nose. Meetup is perhaps the best site out there for this – it enables you to do something fun, whilst also meeting people. That way you’re building on a hobby or learning a new skill, which often comes without a price tag on this communal site.
Cash is King
I don’t know about you, but I find there’s something dangerous about that little piece of plastic in my wallet – it doesn’t really feel like I’m spending money at all, which means that I tend to whip it out without giving it a second thought.
If you take out cash at the beginning of the night instead, you can more easily manage your budget for the evening. It’s a physical reminder of just how much you’re spending. When your wallet is empty, then you know you’ve maxed out – it’s a clear-cut way to ensure you don’t overspend.
For more general ideas on how to cut back where it counts, take a look at our cost saving guide. After all, if you are cutting back on your costs generally, there will be more for those precious weekends.
Combine cost saving techniques for the biggest pay offs – memories can always be made on the cheap, so don’t miss out for the sake of a few bank account digits.