Party hard but party savvy - that is what we can all get behind


Gordon Martin

Everyone knows that it is an inherent part of the student experience: Partying hard like you do not have an early morning lecture - even if you totally have an early morning lecture. Unfortunately, along with packing on a few extra party pounds, there is a downside to the partying that is such a critical part of any University experience: The Cost.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that you can still live it up while you are young, and not jeopardise your wallet's health. Of course, it would be easy to say keep the partying down, and that will help you save money, but that is not always a realistic goal to set, and we all know that living it up is not about to get any cheaper. So, follow these key steps to help you budget for a great time, but still have enough money to make sure you can buy your books and pay off your mobile bill. Here are some awesome savvy tips for how students can keep partying, while also keeping a lot more of their funds in their bank account at the same time, avoiding payday loans.

What is pre-loading?

The idea here is simple: Drinks you buy to stock your fridge with at home are a lot cheaper than those at the club or pub. If you are going to have a few cold ones, it makes more sense to drink your own first. The idea continues along the line that being in control of exactly what you are spending and having a defined amount of booze available at home may make more sense than in it does handing over your cash to that upmarket bar or club. Plus, you may have access to cheaper snacks that are already paid for.

dancing to club classics

Soon enough you will be out on the town where drinks will be nearly five times the price, and some swish places may expect tips. Starting your night out from the comfort of your own home will save you lots of money, it's a no-brainer if keeping a healthy wallet is part of your Uni party goals. However, make sure to drink sensibly as there is no sure way to ruin a night than peaking too soon. If you are old enough to get served you're old enough to be responsible for your actions. Being responsible is an important theme here at, we not only lend responsibly but advertise responsibly too.

Set a budget and stick to it

Sure, nothing takes the fun out of partying like associating the word budget with it. However, if you are looking for ways to keep your wallet flush while still having a great time, this is how you will do it. Set a limit of how much you are willing to spend before you head out for the evening. While this sounds easier to say than do, there are some ways you can stick to your budget. Here are some tips for sticking to your party budget

  • Prepared cards: Top these off with however much you are willing to spend.
  • Cash: Take out as much cash as you want to spend, and leave the plastic at home.
  • There's an app for that: There are plenty of financial apps that will help you track how much you have spent and will send alerts to you when you are nearing your set limit.
  • A banker: Make one of your friends your banker. They will hand out your own money to you, making sure you are cut off when your budget is met.
  • Transportation: Save money in your budget by walking, or taking public transit rather than a taxi, or ride share.

Get to the bar early

While it may seemingly fly in the face of the idea of pre-drinking, making sure you get to the bar early can actually have a lot of benefits you may not have thought about before. One of the best benefits of showing up early is avoiding the entry fees that start skyrocketing the later the night goes. Skipping queues, and avoiding the cold are also a helpful benefit of this strategy. A lot of clubs start jacking prices up after 11pm, but are cheap or free beforehand, so why not cut the pre-drink a little short to save some cash when it comes to entry fees?

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Reach out, make a connection

It is often surprising what is actually available to us if we only just step up and ask for it. And, when it comes to partying, this scenario can actually end up saving you money. If cutting the pre-drink short is just not an option, you can always try touching base with the club or pub you are heading to on social media. Using your messenger network of choice, you can let the establishment know how much you enjoy them, and promise a large crowd when your crew shows up. Often times deals can we worked out to have the queue skipped, or entry fees waved. Not only does this save you some cash, but it also makes you look like a celeb when you roll up to the door and get to walk right in.

pizza boxes stacked waiting for the late night rush

Eat right before you party (and after)

Let's face it, no one is above getting the drunk munchies. No matter how well you try to eat while you are away at Uni, a few pints and a couple of shots can make the filthiest of foods seem like a really, really good idea. While this late-night, drunken snacking is not great for your waistline, it is even worse for your finances. One of the ways to make sure you save some money while partying to so prepare yourself a good, proper meal before you hit the dance floors. Load up on carbs, these will help make you feel fuller for longer, and will cut down on your yearning for late-night food. Here are some of the best pre-party meal ideas:

This hits all of the targets you want for a pre-drinking meal: Whole grains, protein, and healthy fats. Black beans, brown rice, and avocado are going to be your best friend when the night is coming to an end and you still are not craving a midnight kebab.

A combo of seafood, rice and veggies is perfect for making sure that your blood sugar levels are stable and ready to roll. The best way to give your night of drinking the most cost-efficient and healthy start you can.

A meal with grilled chicken, or turkey is a great way to start an evening. Whether it is a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, or a chicken ceaser salad with grilled chicken, the high-protein meat will help keep you full throughout the evening, and give you a good base to build on.

There is a good chance that when you were sick as a child you were fed chicken noodle soup. There is a reason for that: It is a magic food. Rich in protein, carbs and fibre, this childhood classic is ideal to chow down on before a night of drinking, too. You will be kept full for a long time, and it just tastes great.

Some say that to prepare for a big night needs a full stomach. Well nothing fills you up like some sweet potatoes or some brown rice. Whether you want to pair these with turkey, grilled chicken breast, or salmon, make sure that you make these a staple of your pre-party meals in order to feel full and have lots of energy all night.

It may go without saying - but it is still worth saying - whatever you make for your pre-game meal, make sure to include lots of water, and continue to make sure that water is part of your game plan all night long. Hydrating yourself will not only help with any future hangovers, but it helps keep you topped up and full, too.

More tips

Leave the plastic at home

Nothing ruins a great night out like waking up in the morning and getting the scare of your life when you look at your bank account balance. This can easily be avoided by just leaving your credit or debit cards at home when you head out onto the town for a night of beverages. When relying on credit cards it is far too easy to lose track of exactly how much you have spent - especially once a few too many pints have been ingested.

Keep an eye out for offers and deals

While it may not look the coolest, a pitcher full of a special cocktail can often end up costing a heck of a lot less than purchasing individual drinks would. For example, if the average cocktail at your average bar costs about £5, whereas there are deals to get a pitcher of the same beverage for £9. With the same logic, skip buying bottles of beer and get whatever is on tap. The difference in taste is minimal, while the difference in cost will add up to your favour as the night rolls on. Plenty of bars, pubs and clubs have promotions - whether it is a drink of the night, or an hourly menu - so keep your eyes peeled and order wisely in order to push your drinking funds the furthest you can.

Co-ordinate leaving

Another large cost of an evening out is getting home, so make sure that if you are in a group, ride together and split the cost. With all the ride hailing apps out there, make sure which ever of your group actually books the ride, actually gets the funds. There is nothing like squabbling over a taxi bill at the end of the night, perhaps a few drinks to the good, to test a friendship!

Avoid the fast food shop

It may be a ritual; however, the end of night fast food stop can put a sizeable dent in your pocket. Skip the burger or kebab and know that you have prepared snacks and supplies waiting for you back home. What's better than throwing off your shoes and attacking some cold pizza whilst regaling each other with the night's tales?

Morning light

Ok there is a good chance that you will wake a little worse for wear and once the first cup of tea of coffee has kicked in, the hangover food cravings start. Avoid the temptation to run to the nearest shop and stock up on rubbish high in salt and sugar. Your body and your wallet would much prefer some simple hydrating foods that are easy on your stomach. Plan ahead and ensure these are in your cupboard ready for fast use.


With some careful planning you can make the most of your going out time and not empty your bank balance. Budgeting and being sensible with your cash is key and will benefit you in the long run. Got any tips for us on how to party for less? If so let us know on our social media pages, like here.