Vice Blog

How to Party When You're Young and Broke

No money? No problem!

by Caroline Thompson
16 July 2016, 4:00am

'Broad City' via Comedy Central

Nothing soothes the pain of a low (or nonexistent) bank balance like a night of blacked-out debauchery. Sadly the things you'll need to get loaded enough to forget your financial woes cost money—which, obviously, you don't have. But if you've got the will to party, you'll sure as hell find a way to scrape by. Here's how thrifty young adults have mastered partying while broke.


I like drinking, and I like money—so I was pleased to learn about Surkus crowdcasting, an app that pays you to attend shitty nightclubs, with free drinks and an entry charge to boot. I've only done it once, but it works! Women get paid substantially more than men (typically, $25 vs. $5), but you get a $15 bonus the first time you use the app, as well as an extra $15 every time you successfully refer someone. The club I went to was trashy and loud, and if I'd guess 89 percent of the women attending were only there because of the app—which I'd still recommend to anyone who wants to get drunk for free. - Lindsay, 28


I managed to stay drunk and social during my starving-artist phase by keeping a flask of whiskey on me at all times. At bars, I'd order a coke or ginger ale, take a few sips, and discreetly pour the contents of my flask into the glass. If you're stealthy, this can save you thousands of dollars a year. Just don't get caught. - Jayce, 26


Every time I throw a party at my house, I wake up with a month's worth of leftover beer and liquor—none of which I paid for myself. That's the beauty of house parties: You can write "BYOB!" on the invitation, and everyone will bring enough alcohol for the entire party. You can also throw a keg party, charge $5 a cup, and make a profit while you party. - Conrad, 23


A Freakonomics podcast on expensive wine from a few years ago changed my life. In taste tests, even so-called wine experts couldn't tell the difference between Two Buck Chuck and $70 bottles. I was buying the cheap shit before I heard that podcast; now, I feel extra smug. - Laticia, 25


We love birthdays in America, from free cake at restaurants to free shots at the bar—and if you want it to be, every night can be your birthday. Now you can't claim it's your birthday at the same place more than once a year, and the jig is up if they ask to see your ID for verification—but otherwise, pretending it's your birthday is a low-risk, high-reward tactic. - Casey, 22


Don't drink. Don't buy drugs. Go out with your friends, dance, laugh, and have a great time. Wake up the next morning without a hangover, without a random person in your bed, without an overdraft on your checking account. Being sober can be scary, boring, and frustrating—but when it's fun, it's proof that you don't need to be fucked up to have a good time with your friends. You don't need to be sober all the time, but everyone should try it out at least once a month. - Simone, 26