Is your wallet feeling a lot lighter after paying bills? Do you hate not having enough money saved?
So you’re feeling frugal, but you still want to drink tonight. Fortunately, we have some tips to help you make it happen. Here’s how to enjoy barhopping on a budget.
Make a Barhopping Budget Before You Go
Before you head out tonight be aware of how much money you plan to spend. It seems so simple, but for most people, a barhopping budget seems to go right out the window as soon as they open up a tab at that first bar.
If you know that, as soon as you buy your first few rounds, a hypothetical budget isn’t going to work, try making actual limits for yourself by only bringing a certain amount of cash. Leaving your cards at home so that you can’t spend more then you’ve budgeted will make it also impossible for you to drink yourself into debt.
Don’t Forget About the Tips
When you make your barhopping budget, don’t forget about the tips for your bartenders. Those tips add up fast, and even more so if you plan to go to more than a couple of bars over the course of the night. On average, your tip should be around 20% of the drink price.
To help you figure out how much you might spend on tips, think about how many drinks you usually order in an evening and the average cost of each drink. Then you’ll know about how much of your budget will go to the drinks themselves and how much you’re likely to spend on tips.
Look Out for Drink Specials
Almost every bar offers happy hour and other drink specials. If you just pay attention to the specials, you’ll know what’s available for you to order at cheaper prices. You can also try only including bars in your barhopping plan that are likely to offer drink specials, like dive bars.
As another tip, you can find drink specials simply by looking at the bar’s website, Facebook or Yelp page. Don’t be afraid to go full cheapskate and use apps to find check-in discounts at local bars in your area.
One Word: Pre-Game
If you want to save money while at the bar, the secret is to pre-game at home before you go. However, make sure that you stick to only having a couple of drinks so that you don’t end up wasted after only going to the first bar with your friends.
On the other hand, by pre-gaming, you’ll also have a bit of a buzz going already so you won’t feel compelled to order extra drinks later on if you end up at a bar that serves watered down drinks for $15 each.
The bottom line? Plan ahead. Sometimes ‘adulting’ is hard but you don’t have to let your finances ruin a great night out if you don’t let them. So drink up and enjoy saving money in the process!