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How to spend less on a night out but still have fun

It’s easy to see why 56% of Brits say they spend more than they plan on social occasions. You might get caught up in the moment and lose track. Or maybe you just can’t say no?

In a survey by the Money Advice Service a third of adults admitted they spend more than they planned as they’re worried about looking ‘tight’ or ‘stingy’ when out and about. This works out to an average of £341 extra spending a year each.

So if you want to keep enjoying yourself but stick to your budget, here are our top 5 tips.

1. See how it can pay to cutback

Is your problem getting caught up in the occasion? Get some motivation by using out Cutback calculator to see how much you can save by sacrificing a sauvignon blanc or ditching the dessert.

2. Be upfront and honest 

Of course cutting back will only help you save if you don’t split the bill.  Three out of four people say they share the bill equally when out for dinner. Tell your friends at the start of the night that you’re low on funds so they know you can’t pay the same as them. The same goes for other expensive outings.

Social psychology expert Jenni Trent Hughes told us: “If you are open and honest with your friends about your decision, then no one will think any less of you.”

3. Say no

That fear of missing out or worries about letting people down might mean you don’t want to say no. But if you don’t have the money, getting into debt could be much worse. 

“Real friends wouldn’t pressure you to do something you really can’t afford” says psychologist Jenni.

4. Make cash your only option

Only take with you what you can afford to spend and leave your card behind. Once you’re out of money, it’s time to call it a night – though don’t forget to keep enough to get home.

5. Look for cheap alternatives

Go to restaurants and bars with deals and happy hours, or look on the internet for money-off and 2-4-1 vouchers, discounted tickets and free events. 

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  • Willie / 18 March 2015

    Do proper budgeting, and stick to it !

  • JaxFrost / 23 January 2015

    Get to open air events and bring your own drinks and food. Evening events in Trafalgar Square London are usually very entertaining and you can always sit on the steps with your own fare and join in. Be careful of getting taxis home on important nights out (average of £70 for a taxi on New Year's Eve, when the fare is usually £18!). Meeting at exhibitions is also fun. You get so see something new and arty, and you focus on something other than food and drink.

  • diako / 20 January 2015

    Fab