Welcome to your first money-free weekend!
Moving into a new place is super exciting. You’re typically upgrading from your previous living space, and everyone loves to upgrade – unless you’re one of those people who got a damn bendy iPhone 6 Plus. Anyway, moving brings many stresses; physical stress, emotional stress, and major stress to the budget. You need first month’s rent up front, along with a security deposit, a pet deposit (if you have a furry member of your family like me), and cash for moving expenses. To top it all off, the security deposit from your last place never comes in cash, which means you’ll have to wait a couple weeks before you can add it to the few lonely dollars in your current bank account. Times are tough, and budgeting those few dollars is essential for survival.
Welcome to my deliciously bittersweet struggle!
“Don’t fret!” I tell myself as I add water to my dinner, the last packet of peach flavored instant oatmeal. All hope is not lost! There are a few creative ways I can still budget my money and have fun. Read on to check out my strategic steps to planning my first money-free weekend.
1. What Does a money-free weekend mean to you?
As a young adult with no children, my financial responsibilities are limited after I’ve paid my bills for the month. However, that might not be true for your family. It’s best to clarify what a weekend without spending truly means. Does it mean no frivolous spending? No spending at all? Find a way that you can make the weekend without money work best for your family’s needs.
2. What the HECK are you going to do?
Excellent question, my friends. This weekend will fail miserably if you don’t have a plan. Check to see what local events offer free admission. Given the time of year, there’s bound to be some fall festivals, fairs or concert events.
However, be careful! These types of events always come with temptation. For example, if I walked into a fall themed fair, there’s no way I’m not walking out without a sleeve of kettle corn in one hand and plate of fried dough in the next. I have no willpower when it comes to the smell of delicious autumn delicacies wafting through the air. If I’m trying to get my free on, these events are a no-go for me, but might be a perfectly acceptable activity for you!
3. Get down with DIY.
I consider DIY painting my own nails. I mean… I do it my damn self and therefore it counts in my book. However, painting your own nails might not exactly be considered a lofty goal if you plan on surviving this weekend without spending a single red cent. Get your Pinterest on and look for crafts that could easily be tackled with things you have in your home. Whether it’s repurposing a wine bottle, because you KNOW you have more than a few hanging around, or finishing that scarf you started knitting ages ago, try choosing an activity that yields a reward.
4.Let your friends and family know your plans.
It would be absolutely terrible if your friends were planning a girl’s night on the town during your money-free weekend. To avoid missing any fun and non-free events, coordinate with your friends and family to ensure they know you will be unavailable for outings that come with an expense for that weekend. However, this is also the perfect time to schedule a homemade meal from mom. Let’s face it, you don’t spend enough quality time with her anyway. Head on over to mom’s on a saturday night for a free meal and some bonding time.
5. Remember your reasons for doing it.
A weekend without any frivolous spending might seem like a great idea in theory, but you won’t be successful unless you have a clear goal in mind. Are you saving up for a family vacation? Trying to pay off a pesky credit card bill? Whatever your reasons, make sure this weekend will have an impact on your overall goal. If you lose sight of your plan, chances are you’ll be headed out for dinner and drinks on Saturday night rather than playing Monopoly at home.
Next time you find yourself saving up for something important, think about trying a money-free weekend. You’ll be surprised at all the fun you can have without spending a dime!