Staying in vs going out. Which one is better? While one may be seen as the savvy choice for money savers or those operating on a budget, there is a train of thought that suggests that the days of staying in, in order to save money, are long gone.
Going out, on the other hand, is now seen as something that's no longer a lifestyle choice of the fortunate few, and has in recent times been seen as something that can be done on even the tightest of budgets.
In order to reach a fair conclusion to the question posed above, both staying in and going out must be assessed on their own individual merits. That's why we've decided to pitch each argument head to head, in order to reach the final, definitive verdict.
Round one: Netflix vs cinema
Netflix has become a popular feature for singles, couples and families staying in during the working week – and with prices starting at just £5.99 per month, it's easy to see why.
Complete with shows like Stranger Things, Breaking Bad and House of Cards, Netflix has often been seen as a cheaper alternative to monthly cinema trips or buying physical DVD boxsets, which is certainly true. However, what's often forgotten is that for some people out there, a night spent watching Netflix is often accompanied by a takeaway meal, meaning that the monthly cost of enjoying the Netflix experience can soon start to rise if you're not careful.
At the other end of the spectrum, we find the good old fashioned cinema. Here, film lovers can catch the latest blockbusters for around £10 for a single trip, or around £17 per month when purchased as part of a monthly pass.
Sadly, popcorn is not included in either price, and although discounts can be found throughout the week, it's hard to argue that at £5.99 per month for the basic package, staying in does look like the better option – even if it does involve a curry or two!
Staying in: 1
Going out: 0
Round two: Deliveroo vs tastecard
As anyone who's ever tried Deliveroo can tell you, it's oh-so great having all the foods from your favourite restaurants made to order and delivered to you, all from the comfort of your own home or office.
How it works is simple – enter your postcode, check what's available and then start compiling your order. Normally, you'll only have to pay the same price that's available in each restaurant, plus a small Deliveroo charge.
On the plus side, Deliveroo is perfect if you fancy enjoying all your favourite meals without having to go outside, while on the downside, unless you're ordering once or twice per month, the costs can easily start to make a dent in your monthly outgoings.
Tastecard is different, in the sense that it encourages customers to venture outside their homes and pop into their local restaurants.
What's great about this service is that it allows members to take advantage of a whole host of offers, including 50% off the final bill and 2 for 1 meals in places such as Pizza Express, La Tasca and Strada – all for just £29.99 per year, which is a recent discounted price.
For us, there's only one winner – and that’s going out. While one brings the restaurant experience to your home or office for a small sum, the other allows you to enjoy the full restaurant experience for less. And as far as we're concerned, when it comes to saving money, less normally equals more.
Staying in: 1
Going out: 1
Round three: SingStar vs karaoke
For those who enjoy a good sing along after a few drinks, SingStar is the ultimate stay-at-home karaoke machine. Whether you're hooking it up to your Xbox or Playstation, the hours of joy you can have singing along to your favourite jams with the squad are endless with this super fun and user-friendly game.
When purchased alone, SingStar can be picked up for under £20 on Amazon, however, unless you own a PlayStation or Xbox, you may have to splash out a couple of hundred pounds just to have something to play it on, which isn't handy if you're looking to save.
If this is the case, heading to your local karaoke bar could just be the answer. Sure, you may have to pay a small entrance fee, plus a couple of quid for a helping of Dutch courage at the bar, but given that it'll save you from spending hundreds on a new console, it's certainly the cheaper option.
Staying in: 1
Going out: 2
Round four: Working in vs working out
With thousands of workout books, YouTube videos and DVDs available, working out from home has never been easier – but is it fair to assume that it's the cheaper alternative to working out at the gym?
In short, yes! While working out at home may have its limitations, especially if you're short on space, recent trends such as the 'Lean in 15' series are perfect for those looking to get fit for less. Each book in the series costs around £7, while a series of HIIT workouts by the book's author, aka the Body Coach, are available for free on YouTube.
At £7, the 'Lean in 15' series is cheaper than even the most basic gyms – which can easily cost hundreds of pounds per year. Sure, staying in and getting sweaty in your living room might not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're dedicated to cutting your monthly outgoings, it's one of the best options available to you.
Staying in: 2
Going out: 2
Round five: Staying in vs going out
With things neatly poised at two points apiece, the final verdict will be decided by the side that pitches the cheaper alternative to partying – so without further ado, let's dive in!
First up, we have going out – the steadfast favourite that never fails to impress. From trendy cocktail bars to old man pubs, there's nothing quite like a good night out, but is it the cheaper option?
For many, the price of alcohol can be off-putting in itself, and with the average price of a pint coming in at £3.10, it's easy to see why. Another thing that people often fail to consider in their 'big night out' budget is the price of a taxi, or indeed the price of a takeaway at the end of the night.
In short, even a quiet few down the pub can soon add up – so is staying in the smarter option?
Before we decide, consider this: If you have a group of friends who club together to buy a selection of spirits, mixers and fancy cocktail straws, would you spend more, or less, than you would down at your fancy pants cocktail bar? Unless you're picking up cocktails for next to nothing, the answer will of course be less.
Not only this, by making your own cocktails, you and your pals will be able to learn some fun recipes, as well as having some fun shaking (or stirring) your blends together. You'll be able to listen to your own music and won't have to queue for the loo – in short, you may just find that staying in, is the new going out!
Staying in: 3
Going out: 2
So there you have it, if you're looking to save a few quid, you might just be better off enjoying yourself at home as opposed to heading out. Although, if you want a tip from the top, you might want to consider trying all of the above if you're really looking to make the most of your money!