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If you’re looking to travel, get out of debt, or splurge on a caseload of dark chocolate, you have to regularly take care of your money.
You’re stopping yourself from that dream vacation with fancy drinks on the beach or whatever dream you may have on your vision board.
It may sound like a lot of work.
I understand, but . . .
Here’s Why Low-Cost Weekends Help Your Wallet
Before I explain why, you’ll need to :
Create a reason why you are doing this.
Think about that now.
This is vital for staying on track when you get asked to go to happy hour and down tons of craft beer and chicken wings. Or maybe your work buddy drags you to Lulu Lemon and adopts you as their partner in shopping crimes. You can remind yourself of the reason for turning something like that down temporarily.
Jim Rohn once said:
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
To jumpstart your motivation to stay disciplined, I’m giving the idea of low-cost weekends a double dose of enthusiasm with my 5 tips to spend less.
So let’s say you want to cut back your spending by $200 a month. Instead of buying clothes or going out to eat every month, put a low cost weekend event on your calendar to put money away for what you envision. Start small. If you are use to having sushi every weekend for dinner, maybe you opt to have a less expensive outing like lunch or maybe even breakfast.
Instead of forking over extra money to pay a tip, you find a restaurant like Panera where you don’t have to pay a waitress. So instead of spending 100 dollars every week, you block out two weekends of no cost or low cost activities and only spend two hundred that month versus $400 (assuming the month has four weeks in it). It may seem like a big deal at first but you’ll get use to it. You can now put that money away for your goal.
How to Unleash Your Inner Frugal Nerd
So I’ll finally tell you.
1. Start sharing.
Kindergarteners practice this daily. So should you! Order a sandwich that you and a friend both like. Nine times out of ten half of a Panini or sub is enough for one person. It usually is cut in half for you without asking. So consider this the next time you head out to socialize.
2. Splurge on a book.
While I love digital books, every now and again, I’ll buy a physical one that I know I’ll enjoy. I’m particular about what I choose because I hate clutter and actively avoid it. So for ten-twenty five dollars, I’ll buy it. Yes, I will pay top dollar for a good book if I can’t find it cheaper because I know I’ll reference it multiple times. I take the cost per reference into account.
One gem that I bought two years ago that still serves me well is Clinton Kelly’s Freakin’ Fabulous on a Budget. Every time I look at the book, I get advice from an expert whenever I need it. If I pay 25 dollars and reference the book 5 times, it’s as if I paid thee Clinton Kelly five dollars each time to pick his brain.
I’m sure you never thought of it that way. Now that price sounds like a major bargain! What would you do without me? It’s still cheaper than what you spend on a dinner out. Remember you may only revisit the meal the next day from a doggie bag.
The advice is timeless and there’s a section that tells you about all of the classic pieces a woman should have in her wardrobe. There’s even a section for men. It makes a big difference when you have somewhere to go and you need to look polished quickly. You may even be better equipped when you head back to Lulu Lemon and buy clothes that will last for years.
3. Listen up.
Why not try a new sport or exercise craze? Tennis is inexpensive. Once you buy the racquets and balls, you’re set. Search for a nearby court and play whenever the mood strikes. You’ll pad your wallet while staying in shape. A new hobby could blossom and you won’t even realize you initially did this for frugality purposes. Get a mesh carry bag with tennis balls for $13 or so or a smaller can to start like Penn Championship XD Tennis Balls (Single Can/3 Balls) and get moving.
4. Clean your house and have people over.
Dedicate a weekend to cleaning up. Invite people over the following week for a potluck. This way you’ll turbocharge your efforts when you bust out the feather duster and you’ll impose a deadline on yourself to get it done.
You may even hit the declutter jackpot and save 30 dollars or more while you get organized. You can even sell CDS, clothes that no longer fit or that old beanie baby collection. Be sure to get rid of the items right away so you don’t talk your self back into keeping anything.
5. Be a garden enthusiast.
Attempt to have a green thumb or just a greenish one. Start with something basic. You could even choose to grow veggies like green beans or beets. Look up vegetables and herbs that are easy to grow for starters. If you want minimal upkeep be sure to get something that is low maintenance and doesn’t require a lot of clipping, etc.
If you are friendly with your neighbor and they happen to be avid gardener, see if you can get some perennials from them. You won’t have to pay a dime unless you want to start from scratch and plant seeds. Either way, it can be an exciting process and you can get a mini science lesson as you learn. Now get going, enthusiasts!
The Bottom Line
If you want to seriously free up extra money, you can still enjoy yourself for less on the weekend. With the ideas mentioned, you can start scheduling your savings now — and avoid overspending later.