My friends and I play this really fun game on Monday mornings after weekends out. It goes something like this:
We take out our phones.
*check bank balances*
*communal groans and gasps*
We make eye contact.
We talk about how great being a college kid living off £1 sandwiches is.
(Okay… maybe I made up that last part).
When I got back to NYC I was, as always, was flooooooored by how expensive everything is. I now understand why it’s so hard to succeed in NYC when everything seems to be 40% more expensive than everywhere else! I know a few people who had to get a credit card to be able to afford the start of their time living here. It might be a good idea to do the same if you’re in the same boat. If you’ve only just come into the country then you can get a credit card without social security number as long as you go to the right places so the option is still there for you. I had some good savings so I was ok but still had to budget like crazy! Maybe it was just the switch from pounds to dollars. Or maybe I don’t know where the cool kids go anymore. Or maybe I just take working at a wine store for granted.
(It’s probably a combination of all three).
Sure, New York has some of the best cocktail and rooftop bars in the world. But seriously, $18 for one Corona?!
I think I’ll be fine with tap water, thanks.
Needless to say, I’ve had to come up with some clever ways to get around draining my poor bank account every time I go out for a few rounds.
Best of all, these tips work for pretty much any city where cocktails that cost as much as an entrée are a norm (or just for anyone that has ever entered a bar really).
+ Observe happy hour religiously
Happy hour exists for a reason, people. In the UK, happy hour legally can’t happen. So stop taking this magical time so for granted. Happy hour deals usually range from discounts to two-for-one offers and are advertised right outside of bars so you can do some shopping around before committing.
+ Go explore lower prices
Why not try out happy hour in a new neighbourhood? The most popular or cool watering holes do tend to be the most expensive. So why not skip the lines, the crowds and the swollen drink prices in exchange for an undiscovered gem.
My suggestion: I was just shown The Craic in Williamsburg (okay, not exactly off the beaten path, but definitely an underrated (and fairly cheap) whiskey bar!).
+ (Dare I suggest it?) Skip the booze
Hear me out. Whenever I go out for a meal, our bill ends up being equal parts alcohol and food, which isn’t great. Also restaurant mark ups wine on wine feel like theft. I suggest skipping the wine with dinner and picking up a bottle on the way home for dessert instead.
+ Be on the hunt for panels, discussions and receptions
Since I’ve been back, I’ve been to four events with open bars. New Yorkers love their rosé and some companies have enough money to support that. From museum openings to networking events, there are even websites to help you find some free bevvies.
+ Grab a bottle and a roof
Why not literally ascend to a higher form of drinking? Splitting a bottle between friends on someone’s roof can be the most relaxing (and cheapest!) way to unwind. No loud bankers, no tipsy lawyers, just your pals and the sky. What else is summer made for?!
Start skipping that bank account hangover.
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There’s something nice about waking up after a night out and not all of sudden having a flashback of handing over your card one too many times or squinting to use a shady ATM after respectable business hours.
What are you money hacks for going out?
PS. I’m not a big rosé fan but I just discover the best one. Hilary Clinton is apparently also a fan. It’s a littttttle pricey at $18… but grab a pal to split it with and I promise you won’t regret the amazing summer wine experience you’re about to have. *not sponsored, 100% realness*
Check it out: Finca, Wölffer Estate, Rosé