It’s been a while since the last time I wrote something about personal finance so I think it’s an appropriate time to revisit.
The budgeting concept has been very strictly enforced in my wife and I practice as we know the inportance of keeping things tight within the household budget.
The idea is to review each of the category at appropriate intervals regularly and instill a habit to follow them throughout. By the time we get to the stage of financial independence, we hope to be master of our own spending pattern.
This week topic is on the spending budget that our household allocate for the weekends.
In our household of 4, including the two children, we strive to keep a budget spending of $200 for the weekends, which means a hundred each for the Saturday and Sunday.
Our patterns for the weekend usually revolves around these activities most of the time:
We start off with the transport.
We do not own a car as we believe our spending will shoot up considerably and possibly delay our path to early financial independence.
In the past, this was a straightforward choice when we have Uber or Grab offering massive discounts that enable us to only spend a few bucks hailing them. Nowdays, there are much lesser discounts and the fares are pretty much comparable to taxis which can add up the spending in this category if used pretty often.
As much as possible, we are trying to cut down on this category because we believe this is the least importance of activity that can add value to our day. As much as possible, we rely nowadays on public transportation such as bus and train which kept our transportation spending to the minimal. This includes places both near and far for as long as they are within the accessible areas (less than 3 transfers).
The idea is simple – If we have to take taxis to places then our allocation of the budget will be lesser for the other activities.
We used to allocate the heaviest onto this category in the past but since we have kids we pushed down a lot on this. This is because restaurants charged diners for their ambience (though does not look evident) and with two kids who can’t keep still, it’s mostly just a waste of money dining in a restaurant with a normal standard quality of food and rushing.
Nowadays, we mostly settled down on food courts or value for money restaurants such as Saizeria, a few Zhir Char places and a few Ramen places which offer really solid and cheap quality food. Best, most of these places either dont charge us service charge or gst or both.
Again, the idea is if we spend our allocation on this then we’ll have to keep others down to meet the budget.
Both my wife and I don’t do that much shopping.
My wife bought most of her stuff at Taobao while I had my last replenishment in our BKK trip a couple years ago. We are really not that interested to purchase any sort of shopping for clothes and shoes and bags and were mostly only doing eye window shopping.
Most of the time, our shopping revolves around things that we bought for the kids, either new hats or shoes or new exercise books for the kids to draw upon. Reading books are mostly frequented by borrowing from the national library so that’s another tick off the box.
Indoor Playground / Zoo / Animal Farm / Sentosa
Every once in a while, we try to mix things up by booking activites that would excite the kids.
This includes going to indoor playground or other outside activities such as the aquarium or animal farm to get them to interact with the animals and the other kids.
These activites can add up to be very pricey especially considering we are two children with three adults for entrance fees (we usually bring over our helper along).
Events include birthday or anniversary actvities that are infrequent in nature but keep a very important part as part of our memory so we want to treasure it.
Once in a while, we have our parents coming over to town and we have to bring them to proper places to dine (not food courts!). Once this happens, our budget for the weekends are usually busted so we can forget about allocating them to the other activities. Still, we just need to plan things well and keep them in rotation so things don’t fall apart.
This is just a quick summary of how our household are managing and allocating our budget for the weekend.
The goal is not to minimize the budget just by staying at home and let weekends pass on its own but rather through proper planning we want to make it a habit to be cost mindful yet at the same time maximize the value of the $200 we have for the two-day weekend.
What about you readers? How would you try to allocate your spending to the fullest yet be most cost mindful?
Thanks for reading.
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