Friends rule and drinks are fun. So let’s do this.

Words by

Rebecca Russo

Believe me when I say, being broke doesn’t have to suck. You can still enjoy things like working out, having brunch, six-week Eurotrip holidays (I know, right!). You can even enjoy fun Friday nights out without worrying whether you’ll have to survive another week on 2-minute noodles. You just need to get a little creative.  

Friday night drinks is the conundrum to end all conundrums. You want to let off some steam, but your money situation has turned you into the ultimate party pooper. 

“Why don’t you just have pre-drinks?” says my dim-witted inner monologue. Uh, derrr. I know this already, buddy. But herein lies the clincher: I’m done with pre-drinks. I want to be able to head outside and gracefully order a drink at a bar and not be shamed by the contents of my bank account. Pre-drinks are for suckers. 

I’m not going to let my empty wallet stop me from having fun on a Friday night, and neither should you. Friends rule and drinks are fun. So let’s do this. 

Carb-load early 

Rule number one: never drink on an empty stomach. It’s bad news and you’re going to regret it later. Rule number two: always eat *before* you leave the house so that you’re less inclined to get into ‘drunk munchies’ mode. Buying that burger and fries at 3 in the morning sure sounds like a good idea at the time, but skipping the late night munchies is a good way to keep your bank account happy. 

Before you hit the town, be sure to eat a big meal (preferably one loaded with carbs) so that you won’t feel the need to pig out later. If you’re really organised, you can even pre-prepare a meal for yourself before you leave the house so that it’s ready and waiting for you when you return. It’s as easy as slathering peanut butter on bread and leaving it by your bedside table before you go. Your future (drunk) self will thank you. 

Know your Happy Hours

It’s the ultimate get rich quick scheme: download this Happy Hour app that tells you all the different Happy Hour specials in your vicinity. Lock into that 5 to 7pm drinking lifestyle and see how much you’ll save. (P.S. It’s not just drink specials; they’ve also got your food deals covered too. Score!) 

Stop being overly friendly

And by this I mean, stop shouting everyone a round. While it might seem like the friendly thing to do, it barely ever works out to your advantage. More often than not, your friends won’t return the favour and it often forces you into buying drinks you don’t even want. Don’t be ashamed to be a little stingey and suggest everyone just pay their own way. 

Double down

Honestly, if you know you’re going to be having two (or three, or four) vodka sodas, save some dough and order a double shot. You’ll be getting the same amount of booze as you would have if you’d ordered two drinks, but this way it’s cheaper ¯\_()_/¯.


Try alternating your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water. Doing so will not only give your liver a bit of rest from the alcohol overload, but it’ll also help with the ungodly hangover the next morning. Yep, keeping your body property hydrated with water has been known to reduce the effects of a hangover. Actual science! You can’t argue with that. 

Also, water is free! So that’ll definitely make you feel a little better in the cash department. 

[Editor’s note: I can vouch for this. At the height of my tightass-ery I would pour water into my empty wine glass and sip it slow. Works a treat.]

Ditch the card

This one might be a little controversial but what if you left your debit card at home and relied only on cash? That way you can efficiently set a budget for yourself and you won’t have to face the dreaded morning after bill shock. You know, when you look at your bank balance the following morning and realise you spent $68 on impromptu shots? Yeah we’ve all been there. 

Remember: Paywave is a fickle friend. It’s so easy for a serious amount coin to be tapped away from you, so isn’t it best to get rid of temptation? 

Illustration by Twylamae who also made this amazing George Costanza 'Views from the Seven' tee.

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30% work, 50% running a business, 20% wine.
Get in loser, we’re going shopping.
You know it, I know it. So let’s do it.
Get ready to sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat.
Because avocado smash is expensive AF.
Just how cheaply can you do a Eurotrip?
OMG I love your green juice, where did you get it?
For those with champagne taste on a passion pop budget.
For all you students who love to get turnt but #unistudentbudget.
NB: some of these lessons were learned the hard way.