If you’re a social little butterfly or even a spending little butterfly, you might tend to feel the full effect of your card-tapping ways as the weekend comes to a close.
So, if you want to look after your bank balance, we have some thoughts up our sleeves.
Include social engagements in your budget
I’d like to think we all now know that small gatherings, shindigs and formal events all cost an arm and a leg. Even if food and grog are supplied, you still have presents to think about and if the event doesn’t require presents, you still have food and grog to think about. Not to mention travelling to and from the destination.
It’s truly a vicious cycle.
To prevent those Sunday blues, be honest with yourself and work out how much the upcoming weekend’s roughly going to cost. That will hopefully minimise the shock factor when you eventually check your balance.
Find an accountability buddy
If your social circle tends to be on the ‘spend whatever you want and think about it later’ side of life, hunt down the one friend who’s trying to be smarter with their money and set up an accountability buddy system.
Essentially, it means you both keep tabs on each other’s spending and flick your buddy on the nose if they’re about to order three kilos of cured meats.
Lean into the low-key life
No one’s saying that you need to cease all of your fun outings but moderation can truly make a world of difference.
Say, for instance, you know you have a rather large birthday coming up on the Saturday, then opt for a chill Friday night in.
It sounds simple but I’ve fallen victim to the ‘casual Friday arvo work drinks’ far too many times to know that I need to set harder boundaries for myself.
Check your bank account on a regular basis (not once in a blue moon)
Similar to putting off any other standard chore, the longer you leave it the harder it becomes.
Instead of ignoring your bank account for days on end, make sure you’re keeping regular tabs on it – there might be scheduled payments coming out without your knowledge, so you end up with less money than you thought you had.
I’ve enabled push notifications on my Westpac app so I’m alerted the second a payment’s taken out or a deposit goes in.
Have a short-term and long-term savings goal
I know that when you’re caught up in the moment, budgets can fly straight out the window like my pet bird who escaped in Grade 2.
However, if you have actual goals in the back of your mind that you really want to reach, there’s a chance that the little voice in your head might whisper, ‘put down the card, you don’t need to order takeout, just make something at home you daft dandelion’.
There are also options on the Westpac app where you can state how much you want to save and what you want to save for, so in a way, it’s like an accountability buddy in your pocket.