Avoid Spending Too Much Money On The Weekend


If you are like me. then you don’t spend much money during the week. You’re too busy MAKING money to have time spending any money. But the weekend is my financial weakness. I eat out more and I spend money on crap that I don’t need. I am s\ure that I am not the only one that is guilty of this, because it’s natural spend more money on the weekend when you aren’t working and you want to relax and have fun. However, if you have financial goals like getting out of debt, saving for retirement, or saving for large purchases like a house or a car, your weekend binge spending is probably hindering those goals. Here are a few ways to curb your weekend spending.

  1. Instead of going out to watch the game, have friends over. Ask everyone to bring something. It’s so easy to drop $50 to $100 just by going out to eat and drink for a football game. You’ll save much of that money by staying at home but having fun with some friends.
  2. Don’t go shopping without a purpose. We get in so much trouble if we go to Target without a list or to the mall just to “window shop”. We always end up buying stuff for the house that we don’t need or clothes that we didn’t budget for.
  3. Make good use of free recreation. Go to a park or look in the newspaper for free events going on around the city. Use the outdoors, it’s free!
  4. Take your credit cards out of your wallet. If you do go out during the weekend, don’t take your credit cards with you. It’s too tempting to spend money that you don’t have.
  5. Plan out your weekend. Planning can easily help you save money, because then you won’t fill in spots of boredom with spending money. We like to plan one meal for eating out. So if we say, we’re going out to eat Saturday night, then we know that’s our meal out, so we’ll need to eat in for the rest of the meals. It works pretty well.

Do you find yourself overspending on the weekends? What do you do to stop yourself from spending so much?

  • Craig

    Agree, I always try to watch the games at my apt so I don’t have to spend money at the bars and restaurants. Even if I eat or drink its less money.

  • Richard

    Thanks to James Schaefer for the insightful comments, with kind attribution to the Journal’s Jonathan Clements and to Jim’s own brother, about the intriguing and powerful concept of “opportunity cost”. James’ letter appeared in Letters on October 23.

    When we spend money on things we don’t need, not only do we lose that money, but we permanently deprive ourselves of what that money, better applied, could have yielded. $1 million (and maybe much, much more) is not lost by your carelessly misplacing it. It is lost $50 and $100 at a time. When you buy $10 glasses of beer, $15 glasses of wine, $50 lunches, $100 dinners, $125 ties and $500 shoes, you lose out on the future value those funds, if invested even in a poorly performing market, would have produced. Over a lifetime, the poorly performing markets will fade into nothingness and the long term results take effect. Indeed, the financial crises of the hour will one day be but a memory. The shock of realizing what you could have had will floor you and last a lifetime.

    $1,000 per month invested at 8% for 35 years amounts to almost $2.3 million. Adjusting for 3% inflation, you would still have over $800,000 in today’s dollars. Take a look at your annual expenditures on things you don’t need and you’ll find the $1,000 (and maybe a lot more) a month.

    Ignorance of the concept of opportunity cost can mean, after 35 years of well paid employment, having a negligible net worth at 60 and parking cars under the direction of a high school kid at 70. You can be young in this country and be without money but it’s really tough being old and in that shape and much worse to realize it needn’t have turned out that way. James’ brother advised saving “until it hurts.” What did he know that you don’t?

    Richard E. Savoy
    Boston Private Bank & Trust Company
    Boston, MA 02109

  • George

    Great topic Erik,

    I think the main problem here is not the matter of balancing the money we spend but how to control the urge to have fun and enjoy life as much as possible with out becoming penny pincher’s. Yes we can all save all of our money by not buying designer cloth or only drinking during happy hour and then investing our money. But then who’s to say tomorrow is promised for anyone. This is what I struggle with. I want to go out and have fun as much as possible. There have been times that I’m embarrassed to say I spent over $300 dollars a night picking up tabs. I know I shouldn’t have done it but looking back I had a “great” time. I’m not a “baller” I’m a hard working individual and don’t really make that much money but I guess I want the best of both worlds and I’m having a hard time finding the middle ground. Suggestions?