Bank holiday special: stretch your weekend, not your wallet

The Momentum UK Team 15 April 2014

Traditionally the Easter bank holiday is a time for family get-togethers, days out, DIY and of course the great British tradition that is the caravan holiday. As the annual double weekend approaches, here we look ahead at how you can make the most of it - without stretching your bank balance!

1. Plan Ahead

An easy way to avoid overspending this weekend is to set yourself a budget. Take a look at how much disposable income you have this month and work out how much you can afford to spend on your bank holiday treats. Once you’ve set a budget, decide on what activities you can plan to have the most fun for your money! If you think you don’t have time to set a budget, think again - our Money Hub tool allows you to create a budget in 4 easy steps, and keep track of your spending at a glance by connecting your bank accounts. Why not try it for free today and see if you can save yourself some time and worry this weekend?

It’s also important to bear in mind any potential impact the double bank holiday could have on your direct debits and other payments; anything that would usually be paid on Friday is likely to be delayed until Tuesday, so make sure you account for this.

2. Be flexible

Although detailed planning is great, leaving a bit of wiggle room can sometimes help you to get the best deal. For example, if you know you want to go on a fun day out with the family, why not set a limit on what you want to spend but stay flexible on the location? Plenty of theme parks and other attractions offer vouchers and discounts during the school holidays, so a last minute internet search could well end up saving you money. Equally, it’s important to make sure you leave room in your budget for a sudden last-minute expense - don’t let an emergency  spend throw off your bank holiday plans!

3. Think beyond the weekend

Think about how your weekend spending will fit into your wider financial plan. For example, many of us will be cooking up a feast for family and friends this Easter. As well as factoring food and drink into your bank holiday budget, it’s a good idea to think about how you can make the most of the ingredients you’ve bought - how can you use them later in the week? Forward planning applies to your finances as well as your fridge; how will this week’s spending affect the rest of the month? Login to Money Hub and adjust your budget if necessary.

4. Shop smart

Bank holiday offers and deals are everywhere, and taking advantage of them could free up more cash for bank holiday fun. If you’re planning a big purchase or need supplies for some home improvements, why not check out the bank holiday sales? Shopping online could help you make the most of the sales, as well as saving you time and hassle.

5. Spread the cost

If you’re having family and friends over for the weekend, why not spread the cost and the work by asking everyone to bring something? You could have a “pot luck” dinner where everyone brings a dish, or simply ask the others to bring the drinks. If the weather is nice (fingers crossed!) why not head to your local park and have everyone bring some picnic food? You could even turn it into an Easter egg hunt!

If you’re already thinking about your next family holiday - or even Christmas - you could take this opportunity to start preparing now? Setting aside a small amount each month could help you to reduce the stress later; Money Hub allows you to set multiple savings goals which can be factored into your monthly budget, and you can track your progress as you go.

This weekend, spend some quality time with your money as well as your loved ones? Taking the time to review your finances, set a budget and keep track of your savings goals can help you to make the most of what you’ve got - and with Money Hub it’s quick and easy.

What are your top tips for a great bank holiday weekend? Share them in the comments below or get in touch on Twitter at @YourWealthUK.