Thrifty Twenty-Something Takes Manhattan
By Rachel Becker
As a twenty-something, I am constantly looking for new restaurants, bars and nightlife spots.
However, with a tight budget in mind, going to a 5 star restaurant or swanky bar and shelling out $100.00 in a single evening is just not an option. In my personal experience, there are plenty of ways to have a good time and not spend a fortune. Here are some ways to do it:
(1) Groupon Everything –This is the greatest invention ever. Other sites such as LivingSocial and Gilt City are also great options to find budget-friendly deals on restaurants, nightlife and even gym memberships. I am constantly using the app feature to find deals from my phone,
(2) Embrace BYOB –When you are out to dinner, alcohol adds up. What would have been a $25.00 bill split two ways ends up being twice as much, if not more. In big cities like New York, BYOB restaurants are a convenient alternative for a boozy dinner on a budget.
(3) Split Plates – This is what I always do with my friends when we decide to splurge on a nice restaurant. If you split a meal, you don’t have to pay the full price. Plus, portions are usually large so you don’t leave the restaurant still hungry.
(4) Make the Boys Buy – Sorry guys, but this tip only applies to the ladies. If you are out at a bar, having somebody else foot the bill is a huge money saver. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people.
(5) Set a budget – This may seem intuitive; however, once Friday night rolls around it is easy to forget. An simple way to budget yourself is to pay in cash. I have found I am much less apt to spend money when it is not a transaction made in plastic. If I bring $40.00 out for the night, I know that’s what I can spend and it’s easier to monitor.
(6) Happy Hour is Your New Best Friend – The hours between 5-7 pm are the best for getting a good deal on a cocktail. If you are lucky, some places even extend their deals all night. This way, you can get that martini you’ve been craving and even get a two-for-one deal. Happy Houred is one of my favorite apps for finding deals in NYC.
So there you have it! There is no need to sacrifice the things you love because you are living on an entry level salary. Even in an expensive city like New York, there are ways to find great places on a budget.