Having a 9-to-5 corporate job does come with a few blessings. One of them is the incomparable joy of reaching the end of the work week and having a Friday night out.
As someone who dislikes her corporate job, I totally understand the urge to want to splurge on a Friday night. A small treat for getting through the rough week, right?
Unfortunately, this behaviour isn’t going to get me any closer to quitting my corporate job. It’s not going to do you any favours either.
Luckily, these 7 hacks will.
1. Eat in Advance, or Pregame
If you’re having a Friday night out at a luxurious restaurant with a loved one or friends, eating in advance will make sure that you stop salivating at practically everything on the menu.
While you don’t have to pre-eat a full meal, do at least ensure you’re not absolutely ravenous. If you’re a huge food lover like me, that’ll make you over-order, which will end up with you wasting food and costing you precious money.
What I would recommend pre-eating at home is some greens. Healthy, and light. And you save some money by not ordering an appetizer at the restaurant.
If you’re having a Friday night out at a club or bar, and you’re not a lightweight, then you definitely have to drink in advance.
Pre-gaming doesn’t have to be lonely, either. Invite friends over before hitting the clubs, and it’ll be way more fun.
2. Research Special Offers
I’m a huge fan of special offers, discounts and loyalty programmes. It’s one of the strategies that I use to save tonnes of money on dining out. Basically, I go wherever the offers are.
Restaurants, clubs and bars will always have dining and happy hour offers. It only takes a simple google search to find out where and when you can take advantage of these offers.
3. Plan your Night in Advance
Most people find budgeting a complete turn-off, but you have to set a budget for your Friday night out.
After which, plan your night according to the budget you’ve set for yourself. Know which restaurants or bars you want to go to, and how much they would set you back by.
For restaurants, make reservations where possible. It’s a Friday night, so everyone would be celebrating (who likes their corporate jobs, right?). Failing which, you’d find yourself wandering around, desperately looking for a restaurant that has vacancies. And you’d probably end up in a restaurant that is overpriced and doesn’t deliver good value for money. Been there, done that.
If you’re hitting up bars or clubs, try to avoid cover charges. While most of the latest clubs will have you part with your hard-earned money for simply walking into their premises, there will be other options that allow you to keep your money in your wallet and still have a good time.
Remember, research, research, research.
4. Have Post-Alcohol Food All Prepared
There’s nothing like good food to end a night of boozing and partying. Like a late-night pizza that would set you back $20.
Don’t waste your money on greasy, unhealthy fast food, when you can come back to your comfortable apartment to enjoy your pre-prepared food.
And don’t try to cook up a storm only after you’re doing partying. You’d be too tired and out of shape for that, and would probably settle for buying fast food.
Prepare your meals before going out. That way, you know you have delicious food waiting for you when you get home. And that delicious food doesn’t break the bank.
5. Reduce Transportation Costs
If possible, assign a designated driver and car-pool. Having a friend who is driving would also mean you’re in safer hands.
Otherwise, split the cost of a cab with a roommate or a friend staying in your area.
On a side note, this is why it’s so important to plan your night in advance. You don’t want to find yourself going out of the way and splurging on your transportation costs, just so you can accommodate your friends.
6. Know Your Alcohol Limit
If your alcohol limit is 5 drinks, stick to that. Despite the allure of drinking more, understand that it’s a huge mistake.
People tend to spend more when they’re in the heat of partying. It’s so easy to just whip out some cash or a card and keep drinking.
I’m quite a frugal person, but even I know that I will pay through my nose for drinks if I ever reach that state.
If you go beyond your alcohol limit, you’d only wake up with a flat wallet and your face in your palm.
7. Look for Cheap or Free Entertainment
While it’s fun to try new fancy restaurants and the latest bars, alternative sources of entertainment can save your wallet.
Such entertainment includes free admission to museums, enjoying beautiful views while picnicking, or even scoring cheap passes to events and festivals.
You could even consider a walk by the beach or enjoying a sport, like running or cycling.
8. Friday Nights In?
If all the above doesn’t save you as much money as you want to save, you can just do what I do. Ditch the Friday nights out, and spend them at home.
It may not be the coolest or the most Instagrammable thing to do, but why can’t a home-cooked meal, a good movie, and snuggling under the warm covers make you just as happy?
Just some food for thought.