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Going out tonight? Here’s some budgeting tips.

What’s the great predicament that many students face on a day to day basis at uni?
Is it, the subject for their dissertation? Or perhaps when they should get started on their next essay? Nope, and frankly most people who have either been to uni or are attending now will tell you what the greatest dilemma is that students face, especially during their first year when they’re living on campus. And that is…
Should I have lunch or save this £3 to go out drinking with my mates tonight?
It’s a serious problem, and one that we students have all had to overcome at one time or another. And while the drink will often win out, there’s only so many days you can live on Tesco value noodles or Asda smart price cornflakes (which, if you’ve never sampled the latter I can assure you taste nothing like Kellogg’s or even cornflakes for that matter).

So, what to do?

Well, in an ideal world the government will see how important a social life is and start budgeting for it when working out the student loan. Sadly, I think we all know that in an age of austerity, that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
But, all is not lost, and there is a way you can enjoy regular nights out without breaking the bank and spending the second half of term sat in every evening watching Game of Thrones and repeats of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You just have to know what to do.

Budgeting

This is the first and most important tip, as if you budget a certain amount and stick to it, you won’t have to worry about any financial hangovers when you wake up after a night on the lash.
As well as budgeting, it’s not a bad idea to take out the exact amount of cash that you need and leave the debit card at home. After all, it’s very easy to become a lot more generous come 11pm when the drinks are flowing and your money problems seem nothing more than a distant memory.

Student night

The chances are if you live in an area that’s home to a university, there will be student nights at your local clubs or pubs. And that means cheaper entry fees, good deals on drinks, and very often buses that are free or really cheap to save you money on taxis.
It goes without saying that if these options are available, there’s no sense in going out on a Saturday when the drinks are expensive, the queues are long and you need to rely on taxis.
Check out this site which offers great ways for students to buy tickets, making your night out a little easier.

Get on the guest list

When I went to uni in Plymouth this was a tactic we regularly employed to get into clubs for free. And now, with the invention of social media, the chances are it’s easier than ever.
So, check out your student club’s Facebook page or just give them a call. You may need to promise to arrive in a group of 6 or more or even before a certain time. Either way, guests lists can get you in for free, avoid queues and save money.
And, as a last resort, if your club’s not playing ball, tell them it’s for your friend’s birthday and you’ll probably be a shoe in.

Fashionably early

Right, so we all know there’s nothing worse than being the first person to arrive at a club. But, most establishments offer cheaper entry if you arrive before a certain time. What’s more, there’s nothing worse than queueing for an hour when it’s minus 5 outside and you’ve left your jacket at home.
The positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

Drinks at home

We’ve all done it, had a few beers at home before a night out in a bid to save a few extra quid. Well, there’s no better time to do this than when you’re living in student accommodation. Your friends won’t have to travel far and you can have a few at home for next to nothing before heading straight to the club.

Which taxi?

Choosing the right cab company can be very cost effective as they don’t all cost the same. Some taxi companies will offer special rates to students that aren’t necessarily advertised, so just because you haven’t heard of a cheap firm, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
So pick up the phone, ring around, and don’t be afraid to point out if you’ve had a cheaper quote. They may undercut their competitors and give you a fixed rate for future nights out.

Food planning

A kebab often seems like a great idea when you walk out of a club. Sadly, that often means another fiver down the swanny along with queueing for ages and missing the shared cab home with your mates.
As such, why not do one of the following. Either eat plenty before going out or have something nice prepared for your return.
I’d probably go with a combination of the two as the former will also keep you a little more sober and the later will sort you out before bed.

Drink responsibly

It may be that you’ve read the above sub header and stopped reading. But, on the off chance that you’re still here, here’s a little advice. Just because you’re saving some money, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to drink twice as much. We all love having fun at uni and for many of us that means drinking to excess on occasions. If you are planning a night out soon, be responsible as many hospitals now charge to pump your stomach, and that won’t save you any money or be good for your health.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 15th, 2015 at 10:12 am by and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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