Let’s face it, college students don’t make that much money. Shocker! And the little they do make goes towards college expenses, student loans, and food.
All of this makes going out and having fun so difficult. But since your college years are supposed to be the best years of your life, you have to figure it out. You’re not obligated to a home mortgage, kids or a spouse, so how best to get the most out of it with so little?
Okay, this can be tricky depending on your campus rules. However, the surefire way to have some fun and save money is to just get a six pack and hang out in your friend’s dorm room or hit up a house party. It might not be as fun as hitting the bar, but saving money requires a few sacrifices.
Forget the shots! They go fast and the money adds up. Instead buy cheap beer. Most beers are pretty inexpensive and will not damage your pockets. If you have to have a shot or a cocktail, don’t buy top shelf. The cheap, generic brands work just as well.
There is a huge difference between a college bar and tourist bar. College bars expect to have tons of students with little money. So this will fit better with your budget. Tourist bars jack up the prices because they understand that people who are on vacation like to spend money. Take the time to know which bars are college bars. You will enjoy cheaper drinks and make new college friends in the process!
Instead of letting a few dollars burn a hole in your pocket, invest in a piggy bank. This way when your college buddies decide to go out, you already have some spare cash lying around ready to be spent. And instead of getting Starbucks every morning, ask your parents to buy you a small coffee pot to keep in your dorm room. Put the money you save into your piggy bank for your next bar outing!
While you are out at your favorite bar, study the happy hour menu like your cramming for an exam. These drink specials will help you stay within your budget. And do some math to figure out if it’s cheaper to buy an individual beer or a pitcher. Using the skills you acquire in college will help you drink all night for a reasonable price.
Before you head out, decide how much you are willing to spend and only take that amount of cash. Leave the rest of the cash and your credit card at home so that you are not tempted to spend more once you put on your whiskey face. It’s easy to go broke being undisciplined. Don’t be the idiot who wakes up the next morning to say, “How did I spend $300 last night?”
Being a college student doesn’t mean you have to be broke and stay in night after night. Just get creative with your spending and saving habits. Take time out to have fun! And if worse comes to worse, have one of your buddies buy for the night. You can treat them the next time around. You are only in college once after all!
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You are looking to have an enjoyable time at your local bar. The best times typically involve good customer service. A good bartender tip is to know it's all about the cash.
Bartenders know nothing about you when you first meet. The only thing they are likely to remember are how much you tipped them (if you did) and what you ordered.
If you don't tip, chances are they won’t have fond memories of you. Bartenders determine who gets priority by those helping them earn a living. While your having fun at the bar, bartenders are working to pay the bills. The best way for you to get their attention is by taking care of them.
Check out a few things to remember when your at the bar.
If you just leave your tip on the table after they gave you your order, you never gave the bartender/customer relationship time to develop. And if they are busy, chances are they will have no idea who left the tip.
Give them a tip as soon as you order. This way, they know where it was coming from and are more likely to pay attention to you once the bar gets busy.
Even if you plan to tip well when closing out your credit card tab, remember that bartenders don’t know that. You just spent your entire time at the bar not giving the bartender any assurances that you are not cheap and plan to tip well.
A good strategy is to pay for your first few drinks in cash. Even if you plan to use a credit card to pay the entirety of the bill. This shows the bartender you appreciate them and their service.
Be mindful, it’s not always the same bartenders taking care of the same individual. Oftentimes credit card tips end up being split amongst all the bartenders during that shift. So even if you tip well, it won’t matter to that particular bartender since they only get a part of that tip. Cash may be split too, but at least they will be able to take home those tips the same day.
Don’t confuse the bartender. If you’re with a group, try to assign one person in particular to buy the drinks. The bartender probably has no clue who you’re with. They aren’t going to acknowledge you as being with your friend who just tipped them 10 minutes ago.
If you plan to rotate who takes care of the drinks in any given outing, be sure to introduce the “new person.” The bartender need to know your friends of friends who tipped well last time. As time goes on, the bartender will eventually remember your group and know they can count on you all as reliable customers for bartender tips. This ensures that all of you get well taken care of by that bartender whenever you are out.
Remember when you tip via credit card, that income is taxable and the bartenders don’t make as much. Understand they may not be able to take the tips home for the night. And when you mess with a bartender’s money, that takes the excitement and fun out of the job. If you are headed to the bar, take some cash and look forward to having a better time out.
Want to connect with people at the bar in a whole new way? Download the BOTY App on iTunes or Google Play for free!