Recently, I have gone through a certain rite of passage in the world of growing up. Like so many college-aged women before me, my parents made the decision to stop financing my party girl lifestyle, choosing instead to pay only for the necessities — tuition, part of my rent and food.
I am now a kind of financially independent young woman, with the burden of paying for my party girl lifestyle resting solely on my shoulders. Gone are the days of frivolously blowing my money on new clothes for date party, taking an Uber when it was too cold to walk to class and chowing down on a burrito bowl every single time I got a little bit hungry. While I was sad to let some of my favorite luxuries go, they were necessary in order to keep up my lifestyle, especially since I was already locked into going on a rather expensive spring break trip.
I was acutely aware that anything I bought in my college town would equate to one less drink I could enjoy on a sunny beach in early March. While the majority of the trip was already paid for, I knew I would need money for a new bikini, a base tan and obviously, drinks while on the beach. I figured that I could get by with making small changes. Instead of hitting Starbucks for my all important pick me up, I’d make coffee at my apartment. I managed to kick my online shopping habit through handwork and perseverance. I learned to cook and stopped eating out.
After about two weeks, I realized that wasn’t going to be enough. I still was spending more than I wanted to. Just because I stopped eating out didn’t mean I cut down on the amount I was drinking every weekend. I was still spending twenty to thirty dollars just to hang out and drink on a bar patio.
But mama didn’t raise no quitter, and I’ve never met I problem I couldn’t solve. I wasn’t about to let my friends go out alone or abandon my favorite bar booth. I just needed to think of a creative solution.
My big had just recently turned twenty-one, and I had some champagne left over from the festivities. I also had some wine and a couple of mini-vodka bottles. Within the confines of my apartment, I essentially had the makings of a perfect night. But I wasn’t about to lose my opportunity to dance on an elevated surface or kiss a stranger, and I certainly wasn’t going to be the only one not included. Nothing is worse than seeing Snapchat stories of your best friend making out with a stranger and not being able to determine if he’s actually cute or not from the blurry, low-quality ten-second shot. I wasn’t going to be left out.
So I tapped into all my movie-going, ballin’ on budget high school knowledge and found the largest purse I owned. I stashed the mini-bottles of vodka in the pockets, filled my water bottle to the brim with a nice mix of champagne and orange juice, grabbed a very light wallet and went on my way.
The cool thing about bringing your own alcohol to the bar is how much money you save that way. Where a vodka-soda would normally run me four dollars, I was able to just get a soda for half the price and discreetly mix in the alcohol at my table. I was literally the queen of savings.
That was until I ran out of vodka and had to switch over to my mimosa mixture. I was pretty drunk at that point, and extremely proud of myself for saving so much cash that night, I was willing to tell anyone who would listen just how I had done it. I wasn’t just another drunk girl at the bar. I was an innovator.
“You can’t tell the bartender,” I slurred to my friends. “I brought my own alcohol. I’m like the fucking Steve Jobs of saving money.”
I grabbed my water bottle and hopped up onto a table, ready to show off my very clever money-saving tactics. As I shook the bottle around while dancing, the pressure from the bubbly built, and built, and built.
I was holding the water bottle at the top and gently pressed against the bite valve as I leaned down to steady myself. That small release was enough for the very shook up mixture and my carefully thought out savings plan immediately went to hell. Mimosa shot out of my water bottle, showering myself, the crowd and, unfortunately, the bouncer with my contraband alcohol.
The bouncer pulled me down from the table, grabbed my things and deposited my ass outside. Apparently bringing your own alcohol to the bar is the same thing as stealing and was a good enough reason to remove someone from the premises, but it didn’t matter to me because a quick scan of my wallet told me my night had been successful.
The twenty I had brought just in case remained, ready to be spent on drinks down south..