Mandy Campbell gives us the tricks to a cheap and cheerful college night out.
Nights out are a pivotal part of the college experience. With clubs creating events directly aimed at students to bars right on campus, it's pretty hard to avoid within university culture. But with books, fees, and lunches to also take care of, how do you fit in time to have fun on your budget? These tips will help you to have a good night without breaking the bank.

1. Pre-drink.

This is something a lot of people do anyway, but it's worth mentioning. If you and your friends are planning for a night out, maybe arrange to meet up in somebody's house an hour or two beforehand and buy the drink in a shop. Not only does this control your spending, but it can help build up the mood for a night out, as well as making the wait in the queue for a club more bearable. Pre-drinking can also help if you and your friends are going in late, so it's worth your time to sip a can while picking your outfit for the night.

2. Find a club with no entry fee.

No-one likes paying a tenner into a club. You're risking a lot, you think to yourself – what if the atmosphere is terrible? What if the DJ set is even worse? Is it worth it to pay the price of two burritos to spend a half an hour wading through crowds of drunken students every time you need the toilet? It is very hard to find a club most days that doesn't charge for entry, but there are a few hidden gems amongst them – O'Reilly's, for example. If you can't find one, try downloading Vipsy. This app shows you clubs that offer cheaplist/free entry at the click of a button. The crowds will bother you less if you get in for next to nothing.

3. Share a taxi.

Or stay at a friend's. Yes, it's the last thing on your mind, until the lights come on and you realize your money spending isn't over. I know a lot of people who don't go out a lot and their main reason is the dreaded taxi fare. Add night rates and you're cursing yourself for living so far away from town. My solution? Find someone in your friend group who could travel the same way as you, and split the fare. Or, even better, ask a close friend who lives nearer to town if you could stay at their house and get a bus home in the morning. There are so many things that could go wrong on a night out – don't let being stuck for a way home be one of them.

4. Find cheap drinks.

The unrequited love of all club-goers – drink deals. Ask anyone about any club night and the first thing they'll tell you is the price of drinks, which then influences their opinion the club. Dicey's Mondays offer 2 euro pints and bottles, while Hangar offers 2 euro vodkas and bottles on a Monday also. Pitchers to share with friends are also a good idea.
When you're in college, you can find yourself stuck for money at the worst of times. Sometimes, it means cutting back and only budgeting for the necessities. However, when you feel comfortable enough to plan a night out, remember these tips so you can live in the moment and not live in fear of checking your balance. Happy clubbing!