One thing we love about Malaysia is our abundance of public holidays and with them, the many long weekends.
This translates to your weekend either starting on Friday or ending on Monday and sometimes even Tuesday. You want to go out with your friends and family to make the most out of the extra days that you don’t have to work, but it comes at a price. You end up spending more on food, entertainment, and even parking over weekends.
We asked a few people to learn about their spending habits just to get an idea of how much they spend over a week. The following table is an example of the average expenses for a single male who lives in Kuala Lumpur and enjoys being social on weekends:
|Average expenses from Monday to Friday
|Average weekend expenses
|MRT to work: RM 7 per day (RM35)
Petrol: RM30 for five days
Parking: RM5 per day (RM25)
|Petrol: RM20 for two days
Parking: RM 10 per day (RM20)
|Breakfast: free (at home)
Lunch: RM12 per day (RM 60)
Dinner: RM15 per day (RM75)
|Brunch with friends: RM30 (RM60)
Dinner: RM20 (RM40)
Supper: RM20 (RM40)
We don’t expect anyone to do all these every weekend, but assuming that this happens at least twice a month it amounts to RM5,592 a year.
If you don’t think it’s that bad, here are some things you could have bought with all that money:
|Roundtrip air tickets from KL to New York
|Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
|Apple 14-inch Macbook Air
|Prada Cloudbust Platform sneakers
Yes, we know that there are some of you who can easily spend a lot more over a single weekend, but is this how it’s going to be for the rest of your life? It doesn’t have to.
While the weekend naturally beckons you to splurge and spoil yourself, there are a few tips you can follow to make sure you don’t end up blowing your salary on a weekend and resort to eating instant noodles for the rest of the month:
1. Set a weekend budget and stick to it
You deserve to go out on weekends – you’ve earned it. We won’t tell you to stay home and watch Netflix all day, although that would be more economical.
It’s easy to get carried away with temptations and it’s hard to control the urge to splurge and pamper yourself.
To avoid dabbing tears off your face come Monday, it would help if you come up with a strict weekend budget. The easiest way to budget is to cap your spending in every area. Determine how much you want to spend on food, movies, and entertainment – and do not cross that line.
Also, remember these few tips to keep you on track:
- Once you’ve maxed out your budget, do the sensible thing and go home. There’s always next weekend.
- Don’t borrow money to spend. That’s how you end up in debt.
- If you’re not comfortable spending money on something, just don’t. Your friends shouldn’t pressure you to spend money you don’t have.
2. Research restaurants for promos
Eating out is fun, but it can get quite expensive. However, a quick search on Google will equip you with a list of all the cheapest restaurants in town. On weekdays, you can walk into most restaurants and save money by ordering the the lunch promotion. That’s hard to come by on weekends, but not impossible. You can still opt for cheaper places to eat.
If you insist on dining in a fancy place, you can take advantage of credit card promotions. Find the right dining card for you and start saving money.
3. Leave early – don’t rush!
Malaysians are famous for always being “on the way” – and some of us are even proud of it. But leaving late has more negative implications on your bank account. For one, rushing to meet your friends uses more fuel because you’re constantly accelerating and braking. Leaving early can actually save you more money in the long run.
If you don’t drive, leave early and make use of public transportation – it’s convenient. Running late might prompt you to take a cab instead – which will cost you at least three times more than the MRT down the road.
4. Fill up at home
When heading out for lunch or dinner with friends, you can always fill up a bit at home first so you can order something light and cheap when you’re out. Or perhaps you only have to order a drink or share a dessert – which saves you so much money.
5. Be honest
If, for some reason, you have already maxed out your weekend budget by Thursday, or you feel like you’d rather stay home and have some family time, just let your friends know. You’re not obligated to go out just because someone wants you to. If your friends give you a hard time about it, then you should probably make new friends – and look for ones that will encourage you to spend wisely.
Good luck! 🙂