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9 Ways to Have a Fun Night Out (Even When You’re Broke)

An active nightlife is super-fun, but it can also be super-costly. The good news is: Your social life can stay intact with these simple yet brilliant ways to party when you're broke.


Hit free dance night

If you live in a big city, most hotels have a music/dance night that offers free admission before a certain hour, usually around 10 p.m. If you carpool to the event, you can save even more money. Total cost to you = $0. And free is a beautiful thing. If you live in a smaller town without big hotels, try going to a local coffee shop or bar that has no cover on a night when there’s a coffeehouse act or live band playing. You’ll enjoy entertainment for the price of a single drink.

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Host a potluck house party

Potlucks are some of the best ways to have a diverse menu while at the same time keeping party costs down. If you combine a potluck with a house party, you get the party you want (and often leftover alcohol and food for at least a week). Here are some super-easy Mexican appetizers to make for your fiesta. If you live in a smaller apartment or even studio, be sure to make the most of the space you have.

9-Ways-To-Party-Even-When-You're-BrokeYulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

Get paid to party

According to, there’s an app that will pay you to party. That’s right, you will get money to attend parties. The way it works: You show up to a club, get free drinks, refer friends to the app, and earn some cash! Note: Women get paid more—$25 to men’s $5. If you’re going this route, make sure the club you’re attending is safe and that you have a ride to get you home after all those free drinks. Safety first! If you’re planning to use Lyft or Uber, these are the ride service hacks every passenger should know.


Forego pricey drinks

Ordering alcohol, whether it’s a fancy rum drink with fruit and umbrella or a simple glass of red wine, can easily cost you roughly $7,000 a year, according to To save cash, value the social interaction instead of the buzz, and stick to water—the bartender will happily drop a lemon or lime in there to make it feel fancier. Trust us, your body—and your bank account—will thank you for not drinking. If you stick with water on nights out, you’ll be hydrating your body while burning calories and welcoming numerous health benefits.


Board, not bored

Board games can be a ton of fun, especially when you have your friends bring their favorite one over for an epic game night. Some of the most fun games are Twister, Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, Monopoly, Life, and Clue. Have your guests bring their favorite song suggestion, their favorite wine (don’t forget to pair it with good cheese), and create a party playlist.

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Backyard/living room camping

All you need is a tent, a sleeping bag, a backyard, a patio, or a living room. This home-based camping is all the fun and none of the hassle or cost. (It also creates a safe space in case anyone wants to drink.) Bonus: You’re close to AC, a working toilet, and a stove to cook food in case a campfire is not possible. Food necessities include: marshmallows, hot chocolate, your favorite beverage, tortillas for quesadillas, cheese, and any other camping food staples you like. If you want to watch a movie, just curl up in a sleeping bag and watch it from inside your tent on an iPad or phone. If you don’t have a tent, drape a sheet over some dining chairs and voila, tent. You can also have a dance party before snuggling down for a night under the stars or in your living room!


Park party

Lots of parks have free entry and BBQ opportunities. If you invite a group, dole out food and drink items to bring, task someone with bringing a portable stereo, decorations, a football, Frisbee, and soccer ball. Then all you need is your dancing shoes and there’s your party! It’ll be significantly cheaper than most nights out, and you’ll burn calories dancing and playing around. Speaking of burning calories, here are the workouts that burn the most.

9-Ways-To-Party-Even-When-You're-BrokeAleksandar Karanov/Shutterstock

Happy hour power

In many venues, happy hour means that food and drinks can be up to half off their regular price. Some places even offer food for as low as $2! If you’re in a pinch, make a list of happy hour places that are walking distance from one another and enjoy hopping to each one with your going-out crowd. You’ll save money and still have a fabulous night out with friends.


Budget for fun

According to, the true key to partying when you’re broke is to create a budget for partying. Yes, thinking about money can be painful when you seem to have very little, however, it’s wise to determine how much you can spend on going out each week. Not only will it prevent a possible financial ruin, but you may realize you have more fun money than you even thought! Especially since you can party completely free or certainly for under $50 a week.