- Personal Finance
Tips for Minimizing Weekend Spending
Feeling the Squeeze?
Let's face it, times are tighter and America is getting what some call "a wake up call" and others call "getting shafted". Whichever you think it is more important to conserve resources now, much to the dismay of retailers everywhere. Many weekend activities we all enjoy end up costing us a lot of money, more perhaps than we can really afford. But we work hard right, don't we deserve to play hard? Yes, indeed we do, but you can play at home too! Here are some does and don'ts for saving money on the weekends.
What Not to Do
Most of these suggestions are pretty obvious but they bear repeating. If you do any of these activities on a regular weekend basis you're probably tossing a lot of moolah down the toilet. Put it in a darn savings account and stay home for Pete's sake.
- Go out drinking and dancing every weekend. I even know married couples who do this and it's an easy $150 per weekend. Hello, that's one Visa bill for me! Going out once in a while is fun, and a couple drinks can be fun, but excess leads to hangovers and negative account balances.
- Eating out on weekends. You can make it cheaper. Look at what's in your favorite restaurant food and try to copy it. A lot of Hubbers have great recipes for you to try! Besides, if you have a partner it's a fun way to spend time together.
- Take a scenic drive. This may have been a fun activity in the 50's, but with gas prices the way they are now I'd rather have a root canal. My husband is a particularly bad culprit, he'll drive to the stinking post office which is a block away. If you need to go somewhere within five miles, just walk. Your body, and your pocket book will thank you.
- Go shopping! Ah yes, the so called favorite "hobby" of many women. Don't buy the consumerist line people, you aren't poor if you don't buy new crap every week, you're smart. Shopping can be fun, don't get me wrong, but it's much more rewarding if you have saved the cash first (no credit cards) and actually need what you are buying.
What To Do
Alright, enough with the negative, let's move on to the positive. So what is there to do at home on the weekends? Well, lots if you just use your imagination. Let's think together...
- Plant a garden. Not only will you help alleviate the food crisis, you'll also save money on vegetables and be busy for a good part of the day. You'll get fresh air and a decent tan as well. Trust me, seeing those fresh little sprouts first emerging from the ground is very rewarding.
- Teach your old dog a new trick. Engaging your pets in mental as well as physical activity is very important for their health. Make an agility course or just teach them how to play dead; both of you will feel the reward of hard work and each other's company. Don't have a dog? Please visit your local shelter and save a life.
- Read a book. When I was in school studying to become an English teacher they kept telling us, "Hey, like only 8% of adults read books". Are you kidding me? This is sad, especially with so much great literature out there. Find out what your tastes are, and don't apologize for what you like, from saucy romance to 2,000 page long biographies.
- Make something. I love the connection of making something useable. Show a kid how to knit and they will be boggled that you can actually make a hat, not just buy one spat out by a factory. Woodworking, sewing, tinkering with engines, all are great ideas. I think creation is an essential part of human beings, and if you are not creating you are going to feel an empty place in your soul that perhaps you fill by buying things.
- Watch a movie. I love Netflix big time. I don't have cable because I think paying for commercials is stupid, but I do watch TV. I love Battlestar Galactica and the Office. DVD's are great too, because when they are over they stop, and you can get up and do something else rather than get sucked into the next show.
- Write a new Hub! Everyone has something great and unique to share. We're waiting!
How To Knit!
I honestly speak from experience here. When I was in college I got myself in credit card debt so deeply that I will probably be thirty before it's all paid off. It's not a fun feeling knowing that $1,000 of your hard earned money is going to someone else every month. Stay home, only spend money you have, and enjoy the things in life that really matter, like your passions and the people who love you.