On Friday, it’s drinks with coworkers and a celebration dinner with your partner. Saturday is all about shopping the outlet malls and heading out to party with your best friend. Sunday’s downtime means a manicure and a movie.
It all sounds like an amazing way to spend a weekend off, but what happens on Monday when you check your bank balance? Moreover, what happens when you stack up your pricey weekend outings with your spending budget for the month?
Sticking to a budget on the weekends may seem impossible given all the temptations out there. However, you can learn how to stick to a budget with simple strategies that will help you keep more of your money.
How to stick to a budget on the weekend
1. Schedule no-spend weekends.
Wait — isn’t the point of a budget to be able to spend (within limits)? Of course it is, but by putting no-spend weekends in your calendar you can proactively make up for overspending in the future.
Say, for example, that your budget allows you to spend $50 per weekend but you have plans for an overnight trip later in the month. Participating in two or three no-spend weekends, where you only purchase the essentials (food, gas, and other everyday items), can net you enough money to enjoy your weekend trip without the guilt.
2. Map out transportation in advance.
One of the priciest parts of weekends, especially if you live in a major city, is getting around. Parking can be nonexistent and garages can rack up a huge bill. Alternatives such as cabs and rideshares can jack up prices during peak weekend periods. Twenty extra dollars (plus tip) just doesn’t fit in most people’s modest weekend budgets.
Stick to your budget by becoming a local transit expert. Map out your routes in advance or use your phone’s GPS to help you decide how best to get around. Research public transit ticket options that are the most economical, too. If you love getting around town, forking over money for a monthly unlimited pass may be your best options to save the rest of the weekend.
3. Leave cards at home.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “Cash is king,” and it’s never been truer than when it comes to learning how to stick to a budget. While you may love the convenience of carrying cards, credit cards and even debit cards can actually make you spend more.
By carrying only cash on the weekends, you’re limited to what you have in your pocket. You don’t get to borrow more or promise yourself that you’ll pay it all off later. Your budget is right there in your wallet, keeping you on target.
Even better, if you’re going the all cash route, split it up based on your activities in different parts of your wallet or in envelopes (such as $10 for parking, $30 for dinner, $10 for matinee movie).
4. Play the appetizer game.
If you’re like me, eating out is probably your favorite weekend activity. You get to enjoy the company of friends and avoid making a mess in your kitchen. However, it’s easy to fall for restaurant traps such as ordering expensive “designer” cocktails or two-for-one meals.
Before you go, research the menu. Planning how much you want to spend ahead of time will keep you focused. If that’s not possible, order an appetizer as an entree instead. It’ll save you big bucks and most places now offer large enough appetizers to make it into a meal if eaten solo.
Lastly, skip the drinks. Avoiding a $4 glass of soda twice a weekend can save you $416 per year. Cutting out $10 drinks twice a weekend means a savings of $1,040 annually. That may well be a month’s worth of rent!
5. Clip coupons and scan for deals.
For some financial advisors, deal sites such as Groupon or LivingSocial can be another excuse for spending money you don’t have in your budget. But when done right, these sites can make your weekend much more money-friendly.
Scan the coupon sites well in advance instead of Thursday or Friday nights. Research the deal to make sure it actually saves you money. (Some shifty businesses use these sites to jack up the price on an experience or meal.)
If possible, purchase the offer while you’re planning a monthly budget so you know which deals will fit in your financial constraints. Buy them with your friends or partner and mark on the calendar when you’ll use them so they don’t go to waste.
6. Research local offerings.
Of course, not every activity is going to cost money. Especially in warmer months, there are likely local events where you can try new things or explore a new neighborhood. A good community calendar or local newspaper can point you the way.
As Kate Dore of Cashville Skyline says, “Many cities offer a wide assortment of free entertainment on the weekends. Activities like art crawls, biking in local parks, or outdoor concerts are worth exploring. Skipping the cost of tickets can free up your budget for enjoying some cheap eats, like food trucks, in the evening.”
7. Limit yourself to a specific time.
It’s easy to feel like your weekends should be make-up time for stressful weekdays, but that feeling can get out of control fast when you devote every minute to the pursuit. Instead, give yourself a break. Make home your base and spend some quiet, wallet-friendly time enjoying moments off.
When it comes to going out, picking a single day to go out with friends can limit your damage to the budget. Sunday, in particular, is a good choice, as you’re limited by having to go to work the next day (and are less likely to want to do more tiring activities).
Friday night happy hours can save you money by getting your drinks, food, or tickets at a lower price while still allowing you two days of peace, quiet, and money savings.
8. Work with what you have.
Sometimes you have the answers right in your wallet. That loyalty card for the free sandwich can save you money on a lunch bite with your parents. The gym membership may offer you a free sauna visit or a discount on a massage. Your apartment complex might have a pool or a free room to plan board game nights with your friends and neighbors.
The point of the weekend isn’t just to explore, but to also appreciate what you have. Maximizing what you have already paid for can keep you from overspending while giving you an even bigger bang for your buck on those purchases.
9. Be honest with your friends.
Don’t be afraid to tell your friends “No thanks” when their plans are just not jiving with your spending limit. They’ll appreciate you being upfront about the reason and will work to make sure you can participate in their plans.
Your friends might even be going through the same thing as you, and could be more money-minded than you think. Opening up to them about your weekend budget and your overall goals may lead to making a financially savvy buddy who can keep you accountable.
Sticking to a budget, even on weekends
Knowing how to stick to a budget Friday through Sunday can benefit your money in big ways.
By overcoming weekend temptations and learning to manage your cash, you can save for the times you really want to go out — without having to worry about what’s left in your bank account. You might be surprised at just how much you save when you budget well!
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 0318/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.67% – 8.96%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|