Bar tab shock is a precursor to other drinking regrets. It's easy to spend more money when the drinks are flowing and everyone loves the person who buys a round. The average person spends $50 or more on night o drinking. If you're going out at least once a week for a month, you've dropped $200 on alcohol not including the meals you might have purchased. If you're on a tight budget that is not a feasible habit to keep up. Follow a few tips to manage your fun night and your wallet will thank you.
However big the budget, always allocate money for a tip for the bartender. Keep your bartender happy and you'll have a good evening.
1. Skip the top shelf and imported.
Top shelf stuff is obviously the good stuff, but if you're on the budget get your cocktails mixed with well liquor. It's not the best liquor but you can have you alcohol without spending a more than you want to on liquor. Beers that are on tap, domestic or local tend to be less inexpensive than imported beers.
2. Happy hour is happy for a reason.
Happy hour is the best time to get drinks. Cocktails, beer, wine or even liquor can be half price depending what bar you're going. Technically you could drink double the about within your normal bar budget. Outside the typical happy hour, look for drink specials.
3. Drink water between each drink.
You should probably already be doing this anyway, but drinking a glass of water between each alcohol drink will slow down your alcoholic consumption. That saves you money and keeps you from drinking too much alcohol.
4. Skip the shots and get a sipping drink.
Shots can be a bit of a waste when it comes to drinking. One gulp and you are done. If you order a beer, a glass of wine or a whiskey, you can sip. Sipping takes longer to drink there for e you're not buying as many drinks.
5. Set a budget and stick with it.
Give your self a limit before you even get to the bar. And then carry that limit in cash. Whenever you are done with the cash then you are done drinking. Look up the menu before you go out so are prepared to order drinks within your budget.
Pregaming isn't just for college students with tight budgets who want wild nights. If you intend to have a wild night out, start at home. Economically it's much cheaper to drink at home than at a bar. So if you really want to take shots, take them at home.
7. Stay home and drink your own booze
If you really want save money on alcohol, skip the bar, stay home and drink. Purchasing alcohol by the bottle is much cheaper since you're not paying for the service or the ambiance. Invite a friend or a few friends over for social aspect of drinking. Plus no need to call an Uber.
When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.
A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.
One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.
The Federal Reserve
The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.
This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.
The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.
Whether you're leaving a job involuntarily, departing for something new, or just want to prepare for the unknown, it is smart to understand all your options regarding your 401k.
Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.
With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.