Weekends are the hardest on our family’s budgets. We are really good throughout the work week at not going over our entertainment budget. We take lunches, stay away from stores and other places of temptation. When we go online, it’s more for work than play. Come the weekend, sometimes the celebratory feeling hits, and we just want to have fun.
After a long work week, we just want a break from the action of preparing meals, so we are tempted to eat out or to order pizza. If there is a good movie in the theater that we want to see, and we have the time, we might be compelled to go. I detest going to the mall to shop, but as weather gets colder and restaurants are near shopping, we might wander into the bookstore or coffee shop, and… ka-ching! After church friends may want to go out to eat, which we love to do. Emotions play a big role here for me. Can we still do all of these things, while still saving for the future, and paying off debt? Yes of course, but we must have a plan or our financial future dies by thousands of little impulse purchases.
What does a weekend plan look like? Well, it starts weeks and months before, when we plan. If it is movies and eating out, then we plan how much and consult our spending inventory for the month, or if using cash envelopes we look to see how much is left. To plan ahead for fun, it is going to Red Box or the library for cheap or no-cost DVDs. If running a lot of errands, it is remembering to pack a lunch instead of grabbing fast food. Do we always do all of this? No not always, but we have done a lot of it, and it has really helped us make ends meet. There are other things that we can do too, and you can think of what works for your family. Lastly, it just might be helpful to pray. Sometimes I don’t get around to my morning devotions on the weekend, but writing this, I am compelled to not skip it and ask for wisdom and strength to spend as God intends me to, and to draw closer to Him, and I wonder too what effect this will have on joy and fun during the weekend.