When the work week drags you and tests your patience to all possible limits, Friday makes everything better. And all you want to do is go out with your friends or loved ones, to eat, drink, and dance the night away! However, if your goal is to eliminate debt and secure a better financial future, you have to have some ways to control your Friday night splurges to stay on track and reach your goal.
Tips for a Budget-Friendly Way to Eliminate Debt
According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends $2,482 a year on entertainment. This entails a number of things, but your TGIF splurges are accounted for in this statistic. Limiting what you spend on entertainment related expenses will let you direct extra cash to a savings account or towards paying off debt. So here are some tips for how you can enjoy a budget-friendly Friday night.
Begin the Fun at Home
A big chunk of the money that you spend on a night out is for the drinks. So, before you head out bar hopping tonight, have your first round of drinks at home. Friday nights at bars and restaurants are usually overrated and overpriced. So “prepartying” is a good way to stay budget conscious without making big compromises on your Friday night fun.
Carpool or Public Transportation
Public parking in the city can be expensive. So if you are heading out with a bunch of friends consider carpooling, and share the cost of parking. The other option is to take public transportation. This way you will only spend a few dollars for the commute versus the cost you will incur otherwise on gas and the dreaded parking ticket. Public transportation is usually a great option when trying to eliminate debt. And it’s safer too!
Keep Track of Deals
Online deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social have plenty of offers on good restaurants. Plan your entertainment ahead, and opt in for good deals on food, drinks, or shows. Make use of happy hours and promotions at restaurants or bars. If you take the time to look for deals, there are many special offers that you can find to keep your Friday’s exciting while staying within your controlled budget.
Avoid Cover Charges and ATM Fees
Many pubs & bars have a cover charge on popular nights. If possible, get in and settle down early before the cover charge starts. This way you can avoid paying extra fees. If you do run into a situation where you have to pay a cover charge, make sure you carry cash with you. This way you can avoid any ATM fees, and stick to your budget.
Split Your Bills
Usually, Friday nights happen with a bunch of friends. Splitting the bill in person is the simplest way. However, it may not be practical every time to ask your server to split the bill among 10 credit cards. First and foremost, save the receipts. You can avoid the hassle by having cash on hand, or use mobile apps such as Splitwise or Billr to easily split your bills. Make sure you follow up with your friends on the bill.
Being budget conscious does not mean that you have to limit the amount of fun you would have on a Friday night. It simply means you will be more responsible in the way you splurge. Your first priority must always be to keep up with your financial goals to eliminate debt or pay off debts.