We’ve all been there. A long busy week comes to an end and all we want to do is go out and have a good time. But how can we do it without blowing our whole paycheck?
One of the most important things you can do when going out is to leave at home all that you will not need. When it comes to going out I advise only taking the following items: phone, keys, cash, and ID. Whenever you go out you should take your ID, not only to get you into the bar, but if there were an emergency it is important that you have it so you can be identified. Your phone is vital so that you can reach people in an emergency, or call a cab to get you home.
This leaves one item to discuss, cash. I advise only taking cash with you because once it’s gone, it’s gone. You know exactly how much you have and can spend. Taking a credit or debit card with you can potentially cause problems when it comes to your spending. The ease with which you can use your card can get you into trouble and cause you to spend more money then you really wanted to, especially when you may not be thinking the most clearly if you’ve already had a few drinks. Using cash enables you to think about and plan your evening. You are more likely to pace yourself, both on how much you drink and how much you spend in order to make sure your money lasts the evening. I recommend keeping at least $20 separate from your spending cash so that you have money available in case of an emergency.
Not taking a credit card is also a smart idea because if you happen to lose your things, the loss of cash is not as big of a deal as a loss of access to your bank account or credit card. Someone using up your cash is a temporary loss, whereas losing your credit or debit card can have severe consequences. If you do lose your phone or credit card is it very important that you contact your provider’s fraud hotline. Most cards if you contact them within 24 hours can do more to try and get your money back and deactivate your account before you lose more money.
It is smart to go out in a group. This is obviously an important safety idea, but it also can help you out financially as well. One important benefit of going out in a group involves getting home. If you do not have a designated driver lined up, the option for a cab is a smart bet. To avoid having to pay a high fare individually, you can split the fare amongst your group which will save everyone money.
Following these tips and knowing your limits, both drink and money wise, can help you keep you from getting sick both physically and financially.
Article by Erik Witt, SMMC Volunteer