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Money I Spent In My Clubbing Days

Have you ever thought about exactly how much money you spent back in your clubbing days?  You know, before the days of life insurance, and a mutual fund portfolio. Back in the days when you abused gel, you had a bit more hair (ok, alot more hair), a few less wrinkles and your only goal in life was to get a good hourly job so that you can party on weekends and chase girls.  It was a time when a thing called mousse was not just a desert but also something you could style your hair with.

Well a good buddy of mine and I often joke about our 20’s, our extended “night at the roxbury” here in Vancouver, BC .  We joke about how when it came to girls, we were like a young dog chasing every car that drove by – we spent far more time chasing than actually catching (but I suppose catching was really never the point).

Sometimes we joke about what we could have bought with the money we spent in the Vancouver bars, restaurants during our clubbing days when we spent time going out to bars and clubs in our 20’s.  So today, with a little less hair (ok, a lot less hair) I will bust out the calculator and do the proof (no sense in having all that fancy university education go to waste. I want to make sure that all that time spent studying for the mid-terms in calculus, statistics, accounting, finance and so on was time well spent).  Be warned that many sentences below will begin with “back in the day”…

Back in the day, we used to go clubbing or going to night clubs at least 3 times a week.  Downtown Vancouver on Friday and Saturday night for sure, and there was always one bar with a popular week night with cheap drinks just in case you didn’t spend enough time drinking.  The cover charge used to cost us around $5 to $7 dollars (for the high end places).  And because we had a thing called youth, I did not truly know what this other thing called a hangover was.  As such, on average I would have at least 7 to 10 drinks.  The drinks used to cost around $5 with tip each (mind you there were lots of cheap drink nights with $2 high balls that as a university student, I was compelled to frequent.).  Now, I am not even going to factor in the post club or bar food excursion.  You know the local late night restaurant, hot dog vendor, dollar pizza where you would replenish after a night of high caloric burn from girl chasing and posing.

So let’s do the mathematical proof for our clubbing days.  Very, very conservatively I would estimate the cost of my clubbing days as follows:

  • Cover = $5 to $7 each night out
  • Drinks = 7 to 10 drinks each night at about $5 each including tip or $35 to $50
  • One night at the bar = $40 to $57
  • At 3 times per week, the total = $120 to $171
  • Per month = $480 to $684
  • Per year = $5760 to $8208
  • Duration from 19  (legal drinking age in Canada, even though my brother’s fake ID got me in at 18) to 30 = 11 years = $57, 600 to $82,080

Of course my university education taught me something about the concept of compound interest.  So suppose we invested that money into something with a compounding interest rate of 5%.  So if I had saved %5760 to $8208 compounded annually for 10 years at 6.5%, I would have made:

$82,780.19 to $117,961.76

These calculations are based on half remembered mental gymnastics from first year finance.  I welcome and appreciate any true bean counters out there to provide comments or corrections to my calculations.

Interestingly enough I remember condos in downtown Vancouver for a bit over $100K.

So what could you have bought with the money you spent clubbing in your 20’s?
As you ponder this question, I will leave you with a clip from one of my favourite 80’s bands ever, Flock of Seagulls.

Oh I almost forgot my therefore statement at the end of my conclusion. Therefore I can proudly say that I spent over $100K during my clubbing days, instead of spending it frivolously on property or more education…..but it was well worth it.


Photo by David Boyle in DC