Can’t afford to go out?

No one likes a sponger. But if you can't afford to go out, it's not your fault. Here's how to stop the shameful round-dodging and get the bloody drinks in.

Blagging the odd free drink from admirers, richer acquaintances and family is all well and good, but when you’re constantly scrounging off a mate or lover, especially one who earns the same or less than you, you’re pushing the limits of generosity and friendship. At worst, you could find yourself with a reputation as a free-loader. And that’s not nice, we promise.

How to go out and still drink

If your mates earn a lot more than you and prefer to have expensive nights out, it isn’t too unfair to expect them to buy the odd drink or pay the cab fare when you go out with them. You can return the sentiment by getting a couple of (cheaper) beers for them down the local or cooking them dinner. However if you’re constantly strapped for cash you may want to look to a more permanent solution:

Be honest

If you’re really strapped and it’s your turn to buy the drinks you could be honest and just say you can’t afford it, but if someone gets the round this time you’ll pay them back on pay day. Only offer to pay them back if you mean it and can, and only use this as a blag once in a blue moon or people will wise up to you.

Buy your own

Opt out of rounds all together and just buy your own drinks. This way you know exactly how much you can spend, you don’t feel the need to keep up with everyone else, and you’re not lumbered with a 30-drink round at the end of the night.

Don’t drink alcohol every time you go out

Drink soft drinks/tap water to keep the costs lower, or drink your beer slowly. Also find out if the bar is running any decent promos and drink them instead.

Stay in

If you cut down on your nights out you’ll have more money to spend when you do go out, and thus less need to rely on mates to pay for everything.

And if shame isn’t an issue:

Hide in the loos

Put yourself last in the queue to buy a round, then hide in the loos. Hopefully everyone will be too sloshed by that point to remember who’s round it is and you can convince someone else that it’s his or hers.

Photo of guy with cocktails by Shutterstock

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015