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Do You Open a Bar Tab or Pay With Cash?

Tabs can be dangerous because you're likely to spend more when you open one. Using cash or paying for each drink individually with your debit card are safer bets when you're at Friday happy hour.

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Join The Conversation
LW-London LW-London 5 years
Cash is actually a great idea! I guess I just never have case on me.
vouninou vouninou 7 years
I bring cash (and leave cards at home) ... that's the only way to avoid spending (and drinking) more that planned.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
I open a tab...but then I'll get the bill and pay cash. I usually don't go too overboard with an open tab and I like that I only have to tip ONCE.
gigill gigill 7 years
I use cash and do the whole "round" system that's popular in the UK, where you buy a round for everyone and then each person takes their turn doing the same etc.
tee0206 tee0206 7 years
I'd say cash 45% of the time, debit 35% of the time, and credit 5% of the time. The other 15% of the time, someone else pays for my drinks. ;)
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
when i was younger i would always start a tab and that would get me into trouble, but now i either pay in cash or i pay as i go - cause it's just not worth it to accidentally get someone else's drinks on my bill or not realize how much i'm charging etc.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 7 years
I said it varies, but in the past year or so, I've mainly been doing more cash. My boyfriend has been screwed over MANY times for some reason when running a tab. Like, the bartender will put a $200 charge on there (he got 3 drinks...) and just too many problems. Cash is safer, plus I know when to stop. Depending on where I am, I have begun to not even take any cards with me! Cash ONLY! But I really don't go out much.
Meike Meike 7 years
The only time I go to bars is when my company has happy hours. That's every week. I don't pay anything.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 7 years
it varies, if I am just going to have a drink or two with a friend then I'll pay cash but if its a hanful of us then I will open a tab and get jiggy wit it!
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 7 years
Always cash, cause once it's gone I can't drink anymore. I also buy my own drinks. I didn't spend a dime once and got sloshed cause these guys just kept the drinks coming
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 7 years
cash, almost always. the place i usually go to is connected to a sushi restaurant, so the only time i ever use my debit card is to pay for food (and food only!).
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 7 years
I always get free drinks when I open a tab :)
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 7 years
I don't go to bars.
pantzzz pantzzz 7 years
I hate the bickering over who owes what, so I usually just open a tab. Sure, I might spend more that way but the overall experience is more enjoyable for me, so it works out for the best.
nals33 nals33 7 years
Nope. Most definitely not. That's a quick way for me to get into trouble. When I pay for each drink, I drink less because I don't want to spend too much money on drinks.
ScrabCak ScrabCak 7 years
if there are more than two people going out, I always make sure I have plenty of cash so I can pay for my own drinks, one at a time. Drunk math is never a good thing (esp. when it's your card!)
Megatron Megatron 7 years
Cash. That way, when I am out, I can't drink anymore.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
"Tabs can be dangerous because you're likely to spend more when you open one." You're also likely to drink more. I don't go to bars but if I ever did I would just use cash or debit per drink.
Silliness79 Silliness79 7 years
I open a tab. If you have a good relationship with the bartender, you might get a few free drinks that way :)
nancita nancita 7 years
I prefer to pay cash. Tabs can be dangerous if you have a bit too much to drink then forget to settle up. ;)
Ryot Ryot 7 years
Depends where I'm at. The local karoke bar where the bartender knows my name, tab is no problem. At restaurants where you can drink at the bar until your table is ready, if they'll transfer the tab to your table I always go that way. Otherwise it's cash.
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 7 years
It depends on the place and the group I am with. Local watering hole I usually do a tab because the drinks are cheap but when I go to the pricey bars its cash all the way.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 7 years
It depends on if I have cash or not. But if I'm drinking with a big group, I always make sure to pay cash per drink or to have a SEPARATE tab. I hate getting stuck having to pay extra money when some drunk person ducks out early and doesn't leave enough money.
jessie jessie 7 years
cash!
Jude-C Jude-C 7 years
Cash. Me + booze + credit = bad, bad idea.
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