Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Change In My Social Life

I think the time has come for me to reduce my social calendar, to cut back on my nights out. It's just getting to be too much, from a financial perspective and from a physical perspective. I find myself spending money I don't have on beer I don't need, only to get too tired to enjoy myself.

It's not always like this; some nights are better than others. Some nights are lots of fun, but even those nights are expensive. When I go out at night, I usually try to limit myself to two or three beers over the three hours at the pub. The two events I go to regularly, both Trivia and Name That Tune, run about three hours or so. Sometimes I like to stay later, just to watch the evening settle down and to enjoy the quiet ambiance of the nearly empty pub.

So if I go out at night and have three beers, the bill usually comes to just over $20. Add a tip and the bill is now $23 or $24. On the other hand, if I stay longer the bill gets higher. Even with the generosity of the bar, I still can end up with a bill in the $35 range on a late night. Do this a couple of times a week, and suddenly I am spending more than $200 a month on going out at night. Given my current financial situation, this is more than I can spend.

I can reduce this expenditure by drinking less beer. For example, last night I had only 2 beers while at Trivia. Then, about halfway through the evening, I got hungry. I ordered fries and gravy. When the bill came, it was $20.25. Add a tip and it's $23. I probably have to go down a single beer and then choose between food or a second beer to really get that number further down. Or I have to just stay home and drink wine, my own homemade wine, which costs me about $7.00 a bottle to make.

The advantage to staying home is that it reduces my exhaustion level as well. It is taking more and more out of me to go out at night. Getting dressed, getting into the truck, getting out of the truck at the other end, doing the same thing over on the way home; all of this takes energy. If I'm tired to start with, as I always am, it takes very little to push me over the edge. Staying home is just easier.

The one real problem with all of this is that I like to go out. I am a social person. I come alive in company, most times. There are days when I should stay home. Unfortunately I usually discover that once I have gone out. Mostly though, going out is an important part of what keeps me alive. I need to find that balance; just enough going out to enjoy life, with just enough staying home to save some money and preserve some energy. I'll figure it out. I always do.

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