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Saving money and increasing income

How to save money on your social life

Spending time with friends and loved ones is important for your wellbeing. But it can be difficult to resist the peer pressure that comes with having a busy social life, but there are options that won’t leave you out of pocket.

When you’re trying to stick to a budget as you deal with debt or stick to a budget, socialising is usually one of the first spending areas that you try to cut down on. The good news is you can still have a social life whilst managing debts or limited income.

We know that this can be a lot harder for some than for others. If you are:


  1. Open up to your friends
  2. Focus on doing things for free
  3. Ring-fence money for nights out
  4. Dress up for less
  5. Be more strategic on nights out to save money
  6. Make the most of special offers
  7. Join events late and leave them early

Be honest with your friends about your finances

It can be hard to open up, but good friends will understand and support you. You may feel a real sense of relief after sharing your worries.

When you tell them you are unable to spend money on time you spend together, do be clear that:

  • You are not making excuses to not see them
  • You do want to do things with them

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More ways to save money and make and keep your friends

  • Have a money saving buddy: There is a good chance that someone in your friendship group is trying to save money as well. You can help each other stay on track.
  • Plan money saving meet-ups: You don't have to spend a lot to have quality time. A night in or a walk in the country are both free
  • Find people with the same hobbies: Look for news about events from local community groups or online groups. It's a great way to meet new people

Saving money on night out

Keep money for a night out separate

To reduce the risk of overspending during a night out, you could:

  • Only use cash: Leave your cards at home
  • Take online banking and payment apps off your phone: Makes it harder to make payments quickly
  • Open a basic bank account for going out: Will not let you go overdrawn

Look out for deals or discounts

You might be able to make some big savings by:

  • Signing up to mailing lists and apps for local pubs, bars and restaurants
  • Looking out for meal deals and offers

Eat before you go out

If people are meeting for a meal then drinks you could choose to meet them later on. This way you can:

  • Save money spent on food: Home cooking is often cheaper
  • Lining your stomach help you to avoid being tempted to pay for a takeaway later: Fast food doesn't always equal cheap food

Remember: you do not have to buy a round

Buying rounds of drinks can get expensive, fast.

If someone offers to get you a drink, politely decline. That way, you don't feel like you have to buy them a drink in return. And this can you opt out of future rounds.

Mix and match outfits

You might feel as though you need to have a different outfit for each night out. But you can have fresh looks without changing everything:

  • Rotate a set of tops and bottoms that compliment one another
  • Have some basics in neutral colours
  • Use eye-catching accessories: like jewellery, belts and bags

Charity shops can help you save money on clothes all year round. They are also great for unique party outfits.

Travel as cheaply as you can

If possible, consider using public transport for your night out or other social events. Or plan ahead to split a cab fare.

Don’t take extra risks to save money by walking home alone.

Did you know?

  • Some train operators offer ticket deals for groups
  • You can get good deals by booking trains ahead
  • Many city bus operators have a night bus service. It should be cheaper than getting a cab
  • Some cab firms offer discount codes to new customers

Leaving early can be better for many reasons

If you leave early you can:

  • Catch trains or buses before they stop for the night
  • Get a cab a bit more cheaply. Prices can go up after closing time

Need more help than these tips? Get free debt advice

Don't wait to get help. Use our online debt advice tool to get advice based on what you are dealing with right now.