If any personal finance blogger tells you to never go out, then you better stop reading that blog. What kind of useless advice is that? What kind of loser takes the time to write an article that tells you not to go out?
When I’m at the bar and someone finds out that I’m a personal finance blogger, they make some sort of a joke about how I shouldn’t be out spending money. So funny. I actually got into personal finance so that I could party more without ever feeling guilty about it. Who wants to feel guilty about every time they go out for a Friday night?
I want to show you how you can party without feeling guilty. I had to write the official Studenomics playbook to being able to afford to party.
What’s The Studenomics Rule for going out?
You can go out any time that you want as long as you meet three conditions. You must meet these three conditions prior to going out
- You can afford it.
- You accomplished one thing that day.
- You’re going to have a good time.
Let’s break these three down right now…
1. You can afford it.
Are you in debt? Are you saving money? Are you increasing your income?
Going out is supposed to be fun. I don’t want you to wake up and realize that you spent all of your money and are now broke.
2. You accomplished something that day.
Too often do we drink out of boredom. We sit around all evening or complain about our jobs. Then we go and party because we’re bored. I try to get something done that day so that I don’t feel guilty about going out. There’s nothing worse than going out to avoid doing your work only to fall further behind. We’ve all been there. Let’s try to avoid it as much as possible.
3. You’re going to have a good time.
Life’s too short to be waiting in line at clubs with people you don’t really care about. You don’t have to say yes to every offer. You don’t have to go somewhere that you don’t want to be. Don’t let people guilt you into partying when you should be working or doing something more productive.
When do you say no to a good time?
“Since when are you so cheap?”
A friend gave me grief for missing out on some festival. I wasn’t being cheap. I just didn’t want to stand around with a bunch of hippies who were messed up on drugs for 2 days straight. That’s a waste of time and money in my opinion (not saying that you shouldn’t do it if it’s your scene).
You have to pick your battles. You have to know when to party. I’ll never miss a party that I’m excited about attending. I also won’t go to something just because I’m bored and have nothing else going on.
I believe that you should enjoy time with your family and friends without feeling guilty about it. There’s nothing more annoying than when you run into an old friend who brags about how they’re too busy to hang out anymore. Newsflash: your job won’t take care of you!
[Must read: Why it’s okay to go out even when you want to save money.]
Here’s how you can afford to party without feeling guilty.
We all have that one friend who comes out to party.
- The Cancun Technique For Saving Money. Find a bold goal that’s going to force you to save up (buy a condo, quit a job, or retire early).
- The Houdini System for saving money in the long run. Hide your money so that you don’t have access to it.
- The YOLO System. This is how I blow money without feeling guilty about it. You can take $50 or $100 every week that you’re going to spend on foolishness (we don’t judge around here).
- See how Jacquelyn paid off $48k worth of debt. This is for those who are struggling right now.
Step zero: Improve your life so that you’re not dying to get ruined on a Saturday night.
I really don’t want to get all philosophical on you guys here. I just want to quickly touch upon hobbies and keeping busy. Too many of us party and try to escape on the weekends because we hate life. We hate our jobs. We’re sick of our partners. So what do we do? We escape on the weekend. We rack up our credit cards and spend money that we don’t have to numb the pain.
I used to go out purely out of boredom. It was just a routine. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. In 2010, these were our party nights. We wanted to meet women. We thought that this was the only way.
Here are a few harsh realities:
- There are way better ways to meet women than by going to the same night club.
- You can meet more women when you lead an exciting life.
- Going out too often will set you back in life.
Okay enough of that. Let’s look at how you can get hammered this Friday night without feeling guilty.
Step 1: Always be saving.
Put your savings on auto-pilot. You don’t want to realize that you don’t have money for something fun after the fact. You want to always be saving so that you have options. I started saving money so that I could afford to travel and enjoy life.
Get into the habit of putting money away and cutting back on useless expenses (all of those memberships that you never use or the clothes that you don’t wear). This way you’ll have extra cash when you’re ready to treat yourself.
Step 2: Decide what you want to do for fun.
Do you want to get hammered at the local bar and hit on every girl? Do you want to attend concerts? Do you want to travel?
Find your fun and do whatever you can to make it happen.
I can’t tell you what to do for fun. Only you know the answer to this. You can do anything that you want, but not everything. So make a decision right now as to what you’re going to do for your fun.
Step 3: Know your limits.
How much money are you making? How much can you realistically spend on going out?
For this party lifestyle to not bankrupt you, it’s important to know what you can afford and what your limits are.
I know that I’m good for one social night out per week (local club) or a few small events (movies or something along those lines). When I want to travel, I’ll take a few weeks or even months off from going out.
It’s important that you know your limits and what your budget is. If you can’t afford your dream lifestyle right now, then get back to the personal finance basics.
Step 4: Book fun stuff!
Try to think of fun stuff that you want to do and start booking away. Plan out what you want to do so that you’re not blowing money that you don’t have at the last-minute.
Here are some examples of what I mean:
- Buy tickets in advance. Get those early-bird discounts.
- Find ways to save money (pre-drink if going clubbing).
- Have a rough idea of what your big nights are going to be.
Step 5: Find fun ways to make more money.
Try to find fun ways to make money. This will help with the boredom aspect so that you’re not always looking to get hammered when you have nothing going on.
I try to use my spare time to look up ways to make more money. Check out these five freelancers with random services. Making more money is usually the solution. Make it a point to always try to make more money.
Step 6: Do stuff right as often as you can.
You don’t have to be perfect.
Try to always be working on something. What you do on a Friday night isn’t as important as what you do the rest of the week. You have an entire week to get stuff done.
Here are examples of what you can do during the week so that you don’t feel guilty about partying:
- If you know that you have an expensive weekend coming up, try to find a way to make more money during the week.
- Try to get a better cell phone deal.
- Find a new workout.
The goal is to be productive when you’re not partying so that you don’t feel guilty every time that you have fun.
Step 7: Get the most out of your parties.
“Let me know when you want to fix that light again.”
My buddy reminded me about the time he had to come and install my light for me because I’m not good with electrical work. All of my friends like to joke around. We always have a great time. I get the most out of my parties.
I find that the following skills are really important for life:
- Being a good host. People love someone who can host fun parties.
- Making small talk. You have to learn how to talk to people.
- Being likeable. Life’s about working with people. You want people to like you and to enjoy being around you.
Go out and have fun. I don’t want to find out that you sat around during the best years of your life because you felt that this was the only way to save money.