By Friday, most people not only have their weekend plans firmly in place - they have probably begun spending money on it (by booking tickets in advance and securing other logistical arrangements)!
The gruelling work week is enough to make most prudent of us want to unwind and kick back after working so hard for five days straight. Having your weekend fun is imperative but not being aware of how much money is trailing after you can make you poorer before the month is out.
Here are some not-so-obvious ways your weekend is bleeding you dry.
Hanging out with friends in malls or nearby retail outlets often open up the temptation to buy things you didn't plan to in the first place.
Imagine passing by a new arrival in the CD/DVD store or seeing a flashy new gadget being released and you've still got a good portion of your salary sitting prettily in the bank.
Very little is stopping you (except your self-control!) from skipping to the ATM or whipping out your debit/credit card and swiping away. Now if only horse blinders could be fashioned for shopaholics!
Fix: Withdraw only a limited amount and leave your usual ATM card at home. Only bring with you an emergency credit card that you should not use unless well, an emergency. Some self-control is still necessary here!
Multiple Parking Fees
If you're having a fun day out with friends; it's unlikely you are going to be at only one place. You might cafe hop; go from a mall to a strip of eateries nearby and each time paying a parking rate - one most likely higher thanks to weekend surcharges.
Parking fees can be quite exorbitant in many malls and public complexes not to mention the cut throat prices of open air private carparks in the city centre.
Imagine if a mall charges you RM4 for your 2 hour visit; the next public carpark near your dinner eatery charges you RM5 per entry and finally the cafe you ended up at for a supper meet had an RM3 charge at their premise carpark.
All in all, you've paid an additional RM12 on carpark fees in one day. Times this by the number of weekend days you spend socialising or going out per month and you could end up RM72 poorer per month (6 days of such activities per month); RM864 per year on parking fees alone!
Fix: Carpool with as many friends as possible. Carpooling will save you a portion of the parking fee and petrol costs. Take turns driving each other every other week.
Food Delivery Costs
On the other side of the spectrum of the social butterfly is the tired introvert keen on staying home, reading a good book and avoiding people as much as possible.
Being too lazy or unmotivated to go out will make the food ordering app on your phone look extra tempting. Giving in to this urge will make your wallet extra empty.
Delivery fees range from RM2-4 for most of the popular delivery services and save for a select one or two food deliveries; most will also impose a minimum order. This will then force you to up the amount of food you do end up ordering.
For example, if you were to order a meal at RM15, you would need to top up an additional RM3 for delivery and order an extra item for RM5 if the minimum delivery amount is RM20. This is an additional RM8 you would not have paid for had you gone out to buy food.
Of course, going out will also cost in petrol and parking so what is a person who can't cook to do?
Fix: Plan meals and order two meals in one go to make full use of the delivery fee and the minimum order requirement. This way you get two meals for the day and better value for your money.
The Burden of Over Scheduling
Are you guilty of scheduling way too many activities every weekend as if it's the last weekend you'll have on earth? We tend to do this when there's so many things we want to do but only two days per weekend to do it all.
But making too many plans that force you to run about and trip yourself up with trying to keep to time will inevitably cost you in added 'convenience' charges.
For example, you may need to do your laundry but since your weekend is so packed you decide to give the chore the skip and hand it over to the laundromat. Sometimes, it may be something completely innocuous such as choosing a tolled road as opposed to a slightly longer one to save time - costing you more money in toll charges.
Conveniences can come in all forms from food and services to added extras we pay for to expedite our plans - when you aren't rushing from one appointment to the next; you won't need to take the 'express lane' to everything.
Fix: The easiest fix of the lot - schedule ample time in your weekend for each thing on your to do list. Though it's often important for 'man's reach to always exceed his grasp'; this is not the scenario within which to apply that lesson. Not only will your wallet thank you - you'll find yourself happier and more able to enjoy your leisure time as you won't be rushing from one appointment to the next.
At the end of it all - the ultimate key to unlocking a cheaper weekend yet keeping your fun is to simply spend consciously. Instead of opening your wallet mindlessly as if there is no other choice; consider the options you do have and work out if solutions are possible.
This doesn't mean skimping to the point you aren't enjoying yourself but simply to funnel your money where it is most needed and wanted instead of being washed away in a mire of additional fees and charges.
To get even more out of your weekend - use the right credit card when shopping, dining or spending on entertainment. Just find the right one your lifestyle on our credit card comparison page.