Things Graduated People Waste Money on: Clubbing

Yes, I’m well aware that people start going out when they are 19. Or possibly before that. But the topic of “going out” is a particularly polarizing one for post grads because we all know it sucks, yet we keep doing it. “Going out” is less fun because everything about it has been put in perspective for us.

What do I mean by that? Well, when you’re going out at a younger age, especially if you’re in college, it’s probably still fun. You feel like you just “graduated” from house parties and the idea of spending $9 on a tequila shot is somehow appealing to you, and you’re also probably out celebrating somebody’s “birthday” (you’re probably not even friends’ with them). Another thing is that if you’re college, the odds are when you go out, you don’t have any responsibilities the next day.

Back to the whole “perspective” thing. Somewhere along the way, perhaps in your senior college years, everything changes. All of a sudden, nobody thinks it’s funny or acceptable when you get so bunged up at the pregame that you barely make it out. The lines get longer, the music is louder, and the prospect of drunken pizza and pass-out Netflix made you wonder why on earth you’re here anyway.

What happened? Well, there’s a couple of things. First, more of your friends probably got their shit together and are either in relationships or trying to get into law school. Therefore, the “fight or flight mechanism” finally started activating properly while they’re staring down you…their less-responsible, rabid, drought-bearing friend. Second, they read an Elite Daily article with the headline, “22 Reasons Why 22 Year Olds Shouldn’t Be Clubbing”. Which basically means that they decided the way to grow up was to actively act snobby about clubbing towards their friends that still go out because they think acting too good for it makes it true. Having less friends willing to go out would certainly be the proverbial turd in the punch bowl.

But more importantly, you and your friends did the following basic cost-benefit analysis:

  1. “Pre-game” liquor or beers – $15
  2. Two high balls and three shots (for yourself) – 40$ (after tip)
  3. Cover and coat check – $25
  4. Shots and drinks you buy for other people you don’t even know – Oh god.
  5. Your “share” of the taxi(s) – $20
  6. Drunken McDonald’s – $10 (you always, always get the full meal)
  7. Cigarettes and other things – free?
  8. Making an ass of yourself in front of other people, getting in a fight, walking home, losing your coat – Priceless

Being conservative with all costs, a typical night out should cost somewhere between $90-$130. Yeah, there are the odd nights where your friends pay for the cabs or get you a Bulldog, but that’s not all that often. If you’re a girl, maybe you halve the costs.

Let’s say you’re a recent graduate who’s just landed a half-decent job, and you’re making $45,000 annually. Your post-taxes income are roughly $37,000 annually, or $3083.33 monthly. The cost-benefit analysis still serves you well, and you realize the following expenses are compulsory:

  1. Rent, utilities, internet, etc – $1000 (for those who live in Vancouver or Toronto they know I’m being horrifically generous and conservative with this one)
  2. Groceries – $250 (enough for 3 square Ramens a day)
  3. Transportation (I’ll assume transit) – $130 (Wow, I miss UPasses)
  4. Phone – $60
  5. Student loan payments – $300

Obviously, I made up most of those numbers and it has nothing to with personal circumstance or finances. And in that scenario painted above, you’re saving just under half of your monthly income. But I haven’t even considered the unavoidable expenses of eating out, doing things with your friends that aren’t clubbing, or having a car. And back to the original point…does that $90-130 per NIGHT spent on an experience you should have gotten over when you were 21 seem worth it? At all?

And yet, most people in this situation still got out at least once per weekend. Once again, personal circumstances are personal circumstances; some people graduated debt free or live with their parents. There’s no judgment here. People who know me know I love going out. Which is terribly illogical given that I wrote this article and I don’t have one friend over the age of 22 who didn’t think about the economics of getting blackout at the Roxy, like I did above.

We can talk about the crappy music, the lines, the expensive drinks, the d-bag bouncers and the dismissive bartenders all we want. But we always end up going back because it’s sadly one of the only mass social gatherings people our age go to. Seriously, do you think your frat bro or former varsity teammate who just moved into a great apartment in Yaletown is going to have a massive house party?

Clubs suck, and rarely do we have a good time, but the post-grads, sadly are always back for more. It’s like how some women talk about liking the “idea” of a guy as opposed to the guy himself. We’re all Sallys, and some of us haven’t met Harry yet.


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