Ask a Money-Challenged Person: To Bar Or Not To Bar?

Dear Money-Challenged Person,
I have no money, and everyone keeps telling me that I have to stop going to bars with my friends. Do I really have to stop going to bars? Because I kind of like it. HELP.

Before you cross the threshold to any bar, please consider: Will you feel better about yourself tomorrow if you enter this bar with your friends, or will you feel better if you go home right now and administer your daily lashes for being broke and bad with money?

(The bar, is the answer to that.)

Staying home to mope about your lack of funds does not help you, and it does not help your bottom line. Has anyone ever charmed a would-be benefactor while at home watching Doctor Who? No. Has anyone ever met the future-CTO of their sick startup while reading Mary Higgins Clark books in bed? Also, no.

So, it’s settled: It’s okay that you’re at the bar. It’s good for your body and soul. But, let’s do this right. What has worked for me (what has worked for me twice), is to know before I even enter a drinking establishment what my plan is.

For example! Last night, I had a $10 bill in my wallet, and so the plan was pretty easy: I would use this $10 bill to buy a $7 cocktail and leave a $1 tip, and then after I finished my drink, I would go home. (Going home after one drink is an advanced move, but you can do it. Say: “I’ve had so much fun but I also have so much work to do, so I must run.”) (This is easiest if you actually do have work to do.) (So maybe start a novel.) (Or a blog.) (Or reconsider your personal definition of work to include going to watching Law & Order marathons.) (Or maybe even get a second job.)

But! Curveball! What if your friend tells you to stay and wants to buy you a drink! Should you say that you’d love to, but you really have to get home to your lashings? Do you shake your head and run away? No! You do not! You say: “That’s so generous, thank you so much, but I can’t afford to reciprocate right now.” Your friend will say: “I know. I read your blog” (Or something similar), and they will buy it for you anyway. Let them! Say thank you. Drink your gifted drink. And then get out of that bar. Two drinks is the danger zone for being at a bar while being a money-challenged person. Get out before it’s too late.

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