How You Can Party On a Budget So You Don’t Go Broke

“What happened last night?” — said by every single person reading this at least one time.

We all enjoy a night of drinking and hanging out with friends. Let’s not feel guilty about having fun.

I’m going to show you how you can go out with friends and not go broke!

How to party on a budget

Here I am writing about all of this serious financial stuff (credit cards, paying off debt, and freelancing), when in real life I enjoy having a great time.

I’m an odd character. I can go months without drinking. Then I’ll hit Europe and drink every day for a month. I really enjoy making money, challenging myself, and having a blast. This is why I wanted to put together the financial stud’s guide to drinking without going totally broke.

It’s only fair that I put together something on drinking. We already looked at the economics of dating.

What’s the financial stud’s guide to drinking/partying like a rockstar without getting into debt?

The serious stuff first (I have to say it!).

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

Getting drunk can be expensive. Having the time of your life with people that you’ll never forget is exciting.

Getting in trouble will screw you over for a long time. Fighting and driving while drunk are the two stupidest things in the world. You deserve everything that happens to you when you do either of these.

I drink to have fun and laugh. I got to the gym to pump and feel good. I take kickboxing classes for the workout and the thrill. I do NOT ever go looking for fights at bars. The problem is that alcohol changes you. The nicest guys can get rowdy after red bull and vodka shots.

Fighting at a bar is plain stupid. What do you think is going to happen? You’re either going to end up in jail or in the hospital. The facts about drinking problems are all out there. We all know someone who has let drinking get them into trouble.

For example, one time I was chatting with a young lady. This guy came up to me and started taking gibberish  I tried to brush him off. He tries to swing at me. He misses. Then the air almost knocked him over because he was so drunk. He could barely stand. Finally the bouncer who has been watching this exchange comes to kick the guy out. An hour later I go to thank the bouncer. He informs me that the guy left the club and got into a fight on the street. Good job stud!

Here are my rules for drinking in general:

  1. Drink with good people. You’ll laugh and own the night.
  2. Hit the gym when you’re pissed off about something. Don’t get drunk and go out. Trouble!
  3. If you’re flat broke, use some creativity and leave the credit card at home. Never spend money that you don’t have on booze.
  4. Always have a ride home. I better not find out that any of you have even thought about drinking and driving. It’s stupid. Always have a way home (or to the place that you’re crashing at). Keep some extra cash in your pocket for cab fare/the bus. Worst case scenario get on the bus for free and tell the driver you have no money left. They’re usually very understanding.

With the serious stuff out of the way, let’s have some fun.

How do you save money before the night even begins?

“A lady came up to me one day and said ‘Sir! You are drunk’, to which I replied ‘I am drunk today madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober but you will still be ugly.” — Winston Churchill

Plan out where the night will begin, end, and where you’ll be doing the main drinking.

Okay that’s easier said than done. For us, the night usually begins at our place because I live with my cousins and everyone comes over. On vacation, the night begins who knows where.

It’s good to know where you’re crashing for obvious reasons.


Once you’ve decided where the night will begin, this is your predrink spot. I suggest that you guys all pitch in and bring some booze/snacks. This will help you save money later because we all know that prices are way too inflated at bars.

At the pre-location, you’ll also actually get a chance to catch up and joke around because the music won’t be at maximum volume and you won’t be that wasted yet.

Avoid holidays and big events.

Who cares about holidays? Seriously. I don’t need an excuse to get wasted and go out. I suggest that you avoid the big events because these are usually loaded with amateurs who barely go out, long lines, and highly marked-up prices. All things that annoy me.

Take money out in advance.

This is key! Actually these are my rules for spending money at the bar:

  1. Never ever rely on your credit card for the bill. You’ll lose track of your spending.
  2. Don’t use the bank machine at the bar. Have you seen what they charge?
  3. Don’t put the bill on your credit card and then collect the cash from everyone. Bad things happen.

Take out cash for the night. That’s your limit. Nothing else. It’s time to recreate the hangover!

How do you not blow your checking account in one night?

“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.” — Benjamin Franklin

It happens. The drinks are flowing. You get excited. You lose control of your spending. You’re having so much damn fun. You don’t care about anything. You start buying everyone drinks. You get generous. Your checking account is now empty.

Boom, the next day it hits you! You spent your rent and food money on drinks.

How do you avoid this? The only way to financially survive a night out is to bring your spending money with you. Try to leave all of your cards at home. Just keep your ID, your cash, and maybe something else in your pocket.

Never ever rely on willpower when it comes to drinking. You have none. You’re wasted! You’re having too much fun to care about anything. This happens to me all of the time. The other night I broke my own rule. I went out with my debit card because I never went to the bank machine in advance. Guess what happened? I spent a ton of money!

Please, always take out money in advance. That’s your budget for the night.

Oh and there’s one more suggestion…

Go sober. In March I didn’t have one sip of alcohol. I went out sober at least three times a week. I saved tons of money this way. I wouldn’t suggest that you always this, but I would try at least once a week or once every third time you guys go out. It’s a totally different experience. It forces you to man up and not rely on alcohol for you to be able to speak with strangers. The only negative is that you don’t have any excuse for your poor judgment.

What about the next day?

Have you seen The Hangover? I’ve not only seen it but experienced similar mornings dozens of times. You wake up and don’t know where you are. It sucks. Where’s [name withheld] ? What happened to so and so?

The next day can be a huge issue if you’re not ready for it. A hangover is simply a productivity killer. I can barely squeeze out a solid writing session or a workout. It’s not easy though. It’s challenging.

How do you survive the next day? 

I wrote about how getting out of debt is like curing a hangover. This is true. Once you pass the point of no return and drink too much, it’s hard to get back. My best tips to survive the next day are:

  1. Drink water all night. Drink even more water before bed.
  2. Eat a meal before bed.
  3. Take something for headache relief before bed.
  4. Don’t mix.
  5. Stick to one type of booze.
That’s all that I can think of. You have to be proactive or else the next day will be a write-off. We don’t want to let our drinking ruin the whole weekend.

Are you ready to own the night? Go out and get wasted. Have the time of your life. You only have one chance to be young. Dress like the whole world is watching and dance like nobody is.

Are there any other tips for surviving a night out?

“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.” — Frank Sinatra

6 thoughts on “How You Can Party On a Budget So You Don’t Go Broke”

  1. I remember when we all turned 21, we would have house parties at one friend’s apartment. Somehow it was decided to be a good idea to make daiquiris and serve them to everyone that walked in the door. Less than half ever drank them. The other half would hand them off to someone who was interested. Usually that was me. It wasn’t uncommon for me to drink half a bottom of rum at a party in those days, plus whatever alcohol I brought for my self.

  2. Jordan Rodriguez

    Hah, I’ve done some of this and I’ve learned the budget trick. Now whenever I go out to a club or bar, I only have my ID and my predetermined budget. Never again shall I wake up to a $300 withdrawal from my bank account.

    Although you mentioned water, my tip would be to drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you consume. That keeps your kidneys and liver working correctly in between the alcohol so you don’t suffer too much the next morning.

      1. Jordan Rodriguez

        Yeah it did, but seeing as how my internet presence may soon grow, it may be best to keep those stories bookmarked for now. 😛

  3. I usually drink for some special occasions and we often celebrated it in our house. I think it is better unlike bars because their drinks are more expensive. They add amount from the exact price. And for my own experience, I am having fun more with my family and friends if we drink at home rather than bars.

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