Being a millennial means making time for socializing. Heck, social media was created for our generation. It's an important part of building relationships that will continue on for the rest of our lives as everyone figures out their niche, and a great way of kicking back. So, when you're busy trying to plan out your weekend, what can you do to make sure you don't blow next month's lunch money on a couple of good nights?
First, don't be afraid to consume food and beverage at home before heading out. That way, instead of having an appetizer, main course, dessert and 6 glasses of wine for well over $100, you could just grab a dessert and a couple of glasses. This of course won't be practical in all cases, but cooking up a meal with a bottle of wine and meeting up with everyone after would probably save you more than half the money you'd spend otherwise. You could even turn it into an extended socializing event by asking a couple of your closest friends to join you for a pre-outing appetizer potluck and drinks!
What if you are invited to attend someone else's potluck? You can save a few minutes and pick up a gigantic fruit or vegetable tray for close to $20, but those aren't very memorable. Or economical. Take the bit of extra time to throw a selection of your favorite sliced fruits together for closer to $10 and drizzle some chocolate sauce on top. I guarantee that you will get a lot more potluck cred. And you'll save money, too. This goes for any type of potluck dish, too. For the cost of a pre-made salad, you could get your own leaves (be it spinach, lettuce or arugula), make a unique dressing and toss in a couple of dried fruits or nuts and have a few extra coins in your pocket.
It's been a great evening and everyone is trying to figure out what bar to head to now. Make sure no matter how everyone is getting there, no one is driving under the influence, as that's a risk no one should be taking. Apart from that, try to match seatbelts to people so that taxi costs can be divided more. And, if you have Uber in your city, that could be a good option, too.
BREAKDOWN OF COCKTAIL COSTS
Now everyone is at the bar having a great time, and the go-to spot is the bar. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a couple of drinks to enjoy, but don't overdo it. If you look at the pie chart above, it breaks down typically where your dollars are going each time you hit up the bar for your favorite poison. And that pie chart is assuming that the bar you're at is actually giving you premium liquor and not substituting it for some bottom-shelf stuff. Note just how much you value the pouring skill of the bartender. This is why having that bottle before heading out makes so much sense - you could buy an entire bottle instead of paying for pouring skill on just two cocktails at the bar. One might argue that pouring skill may also encompass bartender charm, but I'd argue that it's already covered in the tips (modify on a case-by-case basis).
Go out and enjoy the company of your closest, and take pleasure in knowing you can do it more often with some sensible socializing skills.