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University is a dangerous time for your bank account. The drunken mind, hell-bent on having the best possible time, will happily squander your entire loan on shots and take-away kebabs until you are stuck at home on a Friday night pleading with the bank of mum and dad and googling jobs because you maxed-out your overdraft. Going out is expensive. But, with a bit of careful planning and a few cutbacks it is possible to hit the perfect balance between saving money and having good time. Here are some top tips to give you the best possible night on a shoestring budget:
Before The Night
Don't waste your money buying endless snazzy outfits for you to debut as you strut into Revolution. Nobody cares if you wear the same outfit twice. And, nobody will know if you scanned the Goodramgate charity shops and TK Maxx for a budget outfit.
Make a special trip to Aldi or Asda for your booze and night out essentials. Don't get stuck with Nisa last-minute prices (unless they have a special offer on, of course).
Get your name on the guest list for wherever you are going. It may only save you a quid, but every penny helps right?
Buy yourself some delicious snacks and ready meals to munch on when you come in drunk at 3am. This will save you splashing out a fiver on a questionable take away from Oki's.
The pre-drinks are just as important as the club in your overall night experience and shouldn't be rushed. Get some music on. Pull out the seedy drinking games. Enjoy the free bit of the night while it lasts.
And trust me, you really won't know the difference between Absolut and Sainsbury Own Brand Vodka provided you mix it with something worth drinking. Cheap out on the spirits and use the money you've saved to buy some drinkable mixer.
Check the bus timetable. The 66 bus route runs every 5-6 minutes until midnight and then every hour after midnight. Singles are £1.50 and returns are £2. Have change ready.
If you want to splash out on a taxi then think about who you book with. Both 659 Taxis and Streamline Taxis do a student discount which is worth taking advantage of. Make sure you know exactly how many you are booking for and don't leave any empty seats to spread the cost.
You've put your name down on the guest list and you got in early enough to get cheap entry but the whole place is absolutely dead, so what do you do? Leave and get a drink. Don't waste money on a pricey first drink at the club bar. Head out to a nearby student-friendly bar for a few drinks and go back once everyone has arrived.
For Kuda nights, the nearby Stone Roses famously does triples for £2.50 and plays some pretty good music. For Revolution nights, go to Dusk just over the road for 2-4-1 cocktails. For Salvation and Fibbers nights, you have Society just over the road and Parish a short walk away which is known for doing £1 Jaeger-Bombs.
Put your card far away where you can't touch it. Many a bank account has been abused by a person drunk enough to buy the entire bar a drink but not drunk enough to forget their PIN number. Pay in cash to limit your spending.
Think before you drink. It's cheaper in the long run to buy a double. Energy drinks are always expensive. It's worth asking the bartender what the cheapest shot is. Shop around a little before you waste your money.
Did you hear me mention that 24/7 bus earlier? It is every hour. Get that. Simples.
If you fancy burning off a few calories and have a few buddies then you can always walk. It takes around 30 minutes to get from the centre of town to campus. It's a great bonding experience.
Nearly everyone out on a student night will be heading towards campus, so ask people waiting outside if they have space in a taxi and you may be able to share a lift home.