I spend all year looking forward to long weekends. The idea of an extra day off and everything that can be achieved just really seems to excite me. It is a little present to help us all relax, catch up on everything and go back to work re-energized and ready for the 4 day working week.
The one small problem with long weekends though? You always spend more than you anticipate and end up reaping the consequences for weeks after until you get back on your feet.
So how can you save money on long weekends while still having a hoot?
We look at some of the best possible ways to use your long weekends for a bit of fun, a bit of organisation and come out in the green and ready to rock and roll.
The long weekend Friday night drinks
So tempting! Everyone at work is asking you to come have a drink to celebrate the long weekend. I hate to sound like a party pooper but I am a little over spending $100’s of dollars on a night out only to feel like complete and utter garbage the next day.
The solution is to either still go out but don’t drink or alternatively opt to have some close friends over to your house. Much easier, cheaper and less messy than a night out on the town.
The Saturday spending spree
Yipeeee! It is the long weekend finally. You have woken up without a hangover, congratulations! Now you can go to the shops and spend like it is Christmas – hmm maybe that isn’t such a good idea after all.
Long weekends have a tendency to make you feel free and relaxed, similar to Christmas, though you aren’t buying gifts, you are just spending money for the sake of it.
Try and real in your spending over the long weekend. Go to the shops, browse for potential Christmas presents and make lists to help you remember (or price shop online later?). Just don’t spend anything just yet.
”It’s Saturday! Lets go out for dinner, I couldn’t be bothered cooking”
I am all for going out for dinner a few times a week if your budget can allow it (if it doesn’t, you should try!). Though if you do decide to go out, remember that some restaurants falsly charge extra ‘long weekend’ or ‘public holiday’ surcharges on the weekend when really the only day they can do that is the 1 day off on Monday. Be sure to tell them this is against the law and they are mistaken.
Also, why not try doing a family BBQ instead? Steak, sausages, bread and salad can be a good Aussie way to hit the spot while keeping your budget down.
Yawwwn, Sunday – what should I do today?
Use Sunday to your advantage.
Try and do some gardening, bill paying and general maintenance you would otherwise do in a rush during the working week. Get everything in your house more organised and try and use every hour of day light to your advantage.
The purpose is to get organised and avoid spending any money. Just be warning of Bunnings Warehouse, I can easily spend $100-$200 a visit there!
Monday, the long awaited public holiday
Avoid eating out as this will cost you lots more due to the public holiday wage surcharges for wait staff. Instead try and do something with your family, perhaps go out for the day and do something active.
I tend to visit family, have a read of some books I’ve missed out on and generally take it easy. I want to go back to work rested and a little less stressed, which is impossible unless you take some ‘me’ time over the long weekend.
What do you do on long weekends?
Is there a way to not blow your budget?
Last year I spent $150 on Friday night at the pub, $120 having dinner on Saturday, $150 for drinks and food at the NRL grand final followed by shopping on the Monday.
I won’t be doing that this year!