For those who like to venture out to pubs and restaurants, the temptation to consume and spend in excess can be strong, particularly after months of restraint. If left unchecked, this could see your saving goals go out the window. But how much does a pint cost? And can you ever have ‘just one’?
There was a viral Tweet along the lines of: All it takes to waste £5,000 a year is to spend an unnecessary £13.70 a day.
This got me thinking, what is the true cost of our socialising habits? I know many people, myself included, regularly spend more than £13.70 on a night out. Of course, we don’t do that everyday or even every week necessarily, but I’m sure over the course of a year it mounts up to fair more than any of us would care to admit.
The cost of ‘just a quick pint’
So, how much does a pint cost? The average cost of a pint in the UK is £3.10, but in London the average cost of a beer is as much as £4. The average cost of a glass of wine is about £6.
But, a night out is rarely limited to just one pint. In fact, the average Briton spends £70 on a night out according to the Deltic Night Index. If you’re doing this twice a month, that’s £1,680 a year. Going out every week could mean you’re spending £3,640 a year.
That’s a lot of money that could be spent on other things, saved or invested.
So, should I stop going to the pub?
Absolutely not, providing it is safe to do so and you’re following all relevant government guidance. I don’t buy into the argument that you have to go to the pub to save the economy – there’s plenty of other things you can do to support it, like shopping locally! – but paying a visit to your local will be appreciated by the landlords after they’ve been closed for so long.
I also don’t believe you should sacrifice your social life or your enjoyment if possible to reach you saving goals quicker. Of course, there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself without going to the pub or a restaurant, but if you want to go on nights out it is perfectly possible to do this and still commit to hitting your financial targets.
What you need to consider is if you’re regularly spending £70+ on a night out, you’ve got to accept it’s going to take you a lot longer to reach your goals.Tweet
What are your goals?
Just like all spending decisions, you need to consider your long-term goals and how your decision will impact them. Having a budget can really help you out with this as you can compartmentalise your money and know exactly how much you have to spend on socialising.
Even a simple Excel spreadsheet can help you see how much you have to spend after you’ve paid rent, bills and put money into your savings. If you want something a bit more sophisticated, there are plenty of apps available like Money Dashboard.
Tips for saving money on your night out
If you want to enjoy a good night out but also want to save some money, why not try some of these money saving tips – don’t worry I’m not going to suggest switching the G&T for a tonic water. Your drinks, your choice!
Have some drinks at home first
We all know it’s cheaper to buy drinks in a supermarket and drink them at home than go out for drinks.
If you’re planning a big night out, why not have a couple of drinks while you’re getting ready or in the garden (socially distant of course) before you head to the bar or restaurant. This way, you’re still with going out with your friends, but you’ll have significantly reduced the bar tab when you do head out.
Take advantage of happy hour
Quite a few places offer a ‘happy hour’ deal or discount, where drinks are reduced or on a 2for1 deal. As long as you can avoid the drunken logic of ‘2for1 means I should order 4’, you can save a lot of money taking advantage of these deals.
Some restaurants also offer ‘early bird’ specials to make sure their tables are filled early in the evening. If you’re not fussy about what time you eat or if you’ve got plans for later in the evening, it could be worth making use of these offers.
If you want to limit your spending, leave your debit or credit card at home. Instead take a fixed amount of money out. You can’t spend money you don’t have. Be cautious if you choose this approach though and make sure you always have enough cash to get home safely. You do not want to find yourself stranded miles from home in the early hours of the morning.
Before you head out, see if there’s any offers available. I’ve always said you should never pay full price at Pizza Express. There’s always some kind of deal on and the same is true for many other restaurants and bars.
If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at Groupon or Voucher Codes. A lot of places also advertise offers on their website, so have a look before you go out.
Have some snacks at home
After a few drinks we all want some food. I’m fairly sure it’s human nature to crave something greasy after a night out. Ordering a pizza can easily cost £20 or a kebab could be £5.
An easy way to save money is to have some readily available snacks at home, a pizza you’ve already cooked usually does the trick. This will cost you just £2 or £3 and you won’t notice the difference after a few drinks.
For more saving ideas and tips, you may want to check out my top summer saving tips here!
If you found this post interesting, please like it and share across social media or send it to your friends. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please do leave a comment! Do you track what you spend on nights out ? Or do you let your hair down and worry about it later?