Having just enjoyed a spring long weekend here it only just occurred to me to check my wallet and have a look at what I have spent, where the money went and even do I have any left!. Consider that on a normal holiday or time away you will set aside a holiday budget (you do don’t you?) and balance your funds carefully between food, shopping, accommodation and travel. But when its a slightly longer than normal weekend do you track your funds? Do you follow your normal two day weekend expenditure and stretch it out or have you been out of control and end up with the long weekend spending spree I just had?
By now you know I try to (hopefully) not over analyze everything but still be responsible with my money so it was a shock to discover I got a little crazy on the weekend. Sure it was a long weekend but did I really need to spend that much or was I wasteful?. Miriam over at About.com made a point of mentioning (a few years ago but still valid) that if you analyze your spending you will find the majority falls on a weekend. So what kind of affect can a long weekend getaways have on your finances?
Here in Australia we have a number long weekends for a variety of reasons from state to state not including the big ones at the end of the year. So let me ask you the question about your long weekends in your home town and how it affects your holiday spending. How does it differ from your holiday budget and did you manage it smartly or did you get a shock like me?
Here are my 5 top tips for that day off and your holiday budget
In reflection I don’t think I did any of these things over the weekend so for this post and all those future holidays here are my top 5 tips for managing your spending on a long weekend;
- Know your starting point! If you don’t know how much money you started off with how on earth can you ever work out a daily spend or even track where it went. How hard is it to count whats in your wallet!
- Avoid cards (of any form) if you can and pay cash. If your busy spending away on those cards its very easy to forget how much you have spent until the next statement arrives.
- Plan ahead your weekend and don’t make it up as you go. You are more likely to choose financially safe pastimes if you pick them in advance. The internet is your friend here. Find that local FREE festival or show that you can attend. Watch that local sports team for free. You get the idea right?.
- I am sure like me you grumble the weekend is too short come Sunday night. So a long weekend is a great time to spend some lazy time around the house you wouldn’t normally get. Get into the garden, spend some comfy time on the couch or go for a walk. Find those “about the house” tasks you don’t have time for on a normal weekend.
- Be smart and be the first one to suggest something to your friends. Sure we all bring something to that weekend BBQ but when its at your place you don’t have travel costs and you have access to all your pantry and bar stocks without needing to stop at a shop. Your friends making their way to your place need visit the local shop if they forgot or need something. Sure this automatically adds some costs to your weekend (try my article on having a superbowl party cheap for some ideas) but how much can you save!. Being first to suggest and play it right and the host can SAVE!
Okay its a long weekend and sure you want have fun but with a little forethought your not going to wake up with a hangover (like me) and an empty wallet. The money you have spent here is money you don’t have access to for other profitable ventures. Its money you haven’t saved for your business or its money not available for paying off personal debt. It can be the difference between that extra interest incurred on a loan or card as you short payed that amount or even in the long term a longer period of repayment on a bank loan.
Even worse it can be lost extra income from an investment you weren’t able to make. So not only are the immediate cash funds lost the long term monetary gain is lost too!
Got a holiday or long weekend coming up? Know someone who does? Dont forget to sharing is caring and help your friends and colleagues avoid and empty wallet from their holiday spending.
***Images thanks to lifehacker.com & ffsc.com.au***