I will have attended over 52 gigs as the year closes, more than I have ever attended in any previous year, and a few times people have asked me how I can afford it.
I get the impression that what they are really saying is "How the fuck can you have that sort of social life when I can't?"
Well here's how I do it.
1) I don't smoke and never have. So when someone is paying virtually £5 for a packet of twenty that will last them a day or two they should maybe consider that this is how much I pay to see say four bands on a bill in a club.
2) I barely drink now. I don't buy a box of twelve cans of lager as part of the weekly shopping and have a couple every night like so many other people do.
Now I'm not judging. If that's what floats your boat then fine. Fire into it.
Sometimes I will buy a bottle of wine to knock back on the way to a gig and only buy a pint or two when I'm at it. I'm doing everything on the cheap.
The thing is I just drink socially now, and even then it is rare for me to get pissed. I've got a tight lid on it, except for the times I don't :)
I'm prioritizing what I do and then budgeting accordingly.
A couple of boxes of cans/bottles is the cost of a ticket to a well known band in a major venue. Think about it.
3) Never pay a booking fee when you don't have to. That's another tip
Why anyone wants to add another fiver, or more, for a ticket when they don't have to is beyond me.
Also see if the supports are offering tickets. The forthcoming Glen Matlock gig is a tenner, maybe more on the door on the night, but Gerry of Fire Exit has some at six or seven quid if you are fast.
4) Just generally think about what you are spending. Are you paying a tenner for a book you could get from the library? Are you buying a jacket at £50 that you want, but don't need?
Now once again I'm not judging. If that's what you want to do then I do not have one single problem with it.......except when you piss and moan about not being able to afford to go out.
5) Another thing is that I am very lucky that due to writing some bits and bobs for people I can occassionally be put on a guest list. Personally I never ask and wait until I'm offered, but others I know simply will not go to anything unless they aren't paying.
So there you go. If you want it you have to make it happen. Cut the cloth accordingly and do what makes you happy.