Everyone likes to let their hair down – some more than others. But is the cost of a night out, making you stay in? These five tips will let you enjoy the best of both worlds: a social life and a positive bank balance.
Don't take your credit card out
Eliminate the one thing that can get you into debt – the credit card. No matter how you use it, a credit card can be a liability on a night out. One too many drinks and you may find yourself flashing your plastic in all the wrong places. According to the Federal Government, Australians have collectively racked up almost $32 billion in credit card debt. That’s an average of around $4,300 per card holder. If you have trouble managing your credit card, switch to one that offers a lower interest rate, or better yet, make the switch to a debit card.
Use public transport
Do you know how you're getting home? The Australian Taxi Industry Association's data shows that in 2014 there were 174.6 million taxi rides in NSW at an average price of $24.75. If your home is on a bus or train route, you might be able to save money by hopping on board.
Hit happy hour
Meeting a friend for a few drinks before dinner? Do some quick research beforehand on whether there are any happy hour deals around. Group buying sites such as Groupon and Cudo are also a great way to enjoy a meal out on the cheap – just make sure they’re signatories to the industry’s code of conduct so you can be sure you get what you pay for.
Don't go for the top shelf
Findings from Roy Morgan research show that craft beer is becoming more popular, while demand for its mainstream counterpart falls away. The 23-34 year old bracket is leading the charge to the higher-shelf beers, but at price. Craft beers typically cost a couple of dollars extra, which may seem trivial if you’re having one, but after a few, it does start to add up.
Take it easy
There’s more merit in taking it easy on the drinks that meets the eye. A water in-between drinks could spare you from an empty wallet and a hangover. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, alcohol consumption, especially in younger people, is on the way down, so drinking less is actually in fashion.
Do a post-mortem
This one might be difficult to face, but breaking down your bank statement the next day could shock you into better late-night spending habits next time. Work out how much you spent, where you spent it, and where you can improve. Life is about learning from mistakes.