With pubs, bars and restaurants reopening on Saturday 4th July in England after months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Brits will be heading out to enjoy a meal or a pint in their local. The excitement of this may lead some people to overspend, as temptation to throw caution to the wind and splurge on evenings out may be heightened after months of isolation.
However, with increasing concerns over the state of the economy, many people will be conscious of carefully managing their finances in the coming months. Here, we explore how to avoid overspending as pubs, bars and restaurants reopen.
Set yourself a spending budget
Before you head out, set yourself a realistic budget in line with what you can afford to spend. To do this, you’ll need to get to grips with your exact income − which may have changed over the last few months if you’ve been unable to work or you’ve been on furlough.
Once you have this figure, take off all your outgoings to establish what you have left at the end of the month. If you have money to spare, remember it’s wise not to spend all your extra cash. Try using the 50/30/20 budgeting rule, which allocates 50% of income for essentials, 30% for ‘wants’ like dining out, and 20% for savings.
Only buy your own drinks
When enjoying a couple of drinks in a bar or pub, your friends or family may suggest buying each other’s drinks in ‘rounds’. While it can be a nice sentiment, buying in rounds can often mean you spend way more than you would have if you’d only paid for your own drinks.
This is particularly relevant if your drink is much cheaper than your friend’s snazzy cocktail. Plus, if other people have bought rounds before you, you can often feel obliged to buy a round afterwards even if you’re not bothered about having another drink – which again increases spending. Instead, stick to buying your own drinks as it gives you more control of the amount you’re spending.
Make use of deals and offers
Another great way to reduce the amount you spend in restaurants and bars is to make use of any deals or offers available. For instance, is there a 2-for-1 deal on meals at a local restaurant?
Or have you received a marketing email with a voucher code you can take advantage of? Before you head out, do some research on offers available to you locally and make your plans around that. It may mean the cost of your meal literally halves if you can make use of a 2-for-1 deal – leaving you with more money to save or spend elsewhere.
Hopefully, this has given you some useful tips to avoid overspending in the upcoming weeks and months.