Money Traps to Watch Out For This Weekend

Haaaaaaappy Friday!

In honor of me being at FinCon right now and pretty much doing the opposite of saving my money (which is ironic, considering FinCon is a conference for financial bloggers!), I thought I’d share a list of the major places people send their hard-earned cash to over the weekends.

I first saw this over at Free Money Finance so I’m totally copying him here, but seeing how he stole it from Money Mag first AND he’s not here right now to do anything about it (*waves from San Diego*), let’s just call it even, shall we? :)

But if any other bloggers are here right now reading this – GET OFF YOUR COMPUTERS AND COME TALK TO ME IN PERSON! I pre-scheduled this post as I knew I’d be nursing a wicked hangover right now, so I’m probably full of some crazy stories and I promise to share them :) If you’re my mom reading this right now, I’m totally joking – lol! I’m fully rested and prepared for a day of hard work and career advancement…)

Okay enough of that – here’s the list “they” say to watch out for when out and about on the weekends… How many get you into trouble?

1. The Movie Theater
2. The Car Lot
3. The Mall
4. Restaurants
5. Open Houses
6. The Furniture Store
7. Big Ticket Events
8. The Weekend Road Trip

Here are my two cents on them…

two cent piece 1865[Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s a real coin, though! Mine, to be exact :)]

#1. The Movie Theater. Going out every single weekend? Yeah, probably a problem for your wallet. Going out once every 4 years, 2 months and 13 days? Take your significant other on a date, already! Well worth the $20 or whatever for some nice time out on the town… Which is now what you consider “out on the town,” of course, due to the kids who have recently taken over your life :)

#2. The Car Lot – NOT a good place to be hanging out unless you hate money… Or, you’re J. Money apparently.

#3. The Mall – Oh man, the epicenter of it all! I used to go every single weekend – sometimes even during the week too – just to pass time when I was bored… Worst. Idea. Ever. Unless you’re a teen and all you’re doing is literally just hanging out (do kids still do that? Or they all on Snapchat now?), there’s no reason to set up a tent there. Try out a No Spend Challenge and see how long you can go without setting foot there, or any other store, for that matter. Took me 40 days to break my routine and I’ve saved $200+ a month ever since!

#4. Restaurants – Same as the movie theater. Totally cool to partake every now and then so long as you’re not on a first name basis with the hostess/cashier/bartender. Unless you’re a food blogger, in which case – expense reports!

#5. Open Houses – Hah! Great date idea I’ve heard, but I prefer frustrating myself scanning home apps in bed instead. Much less chance of getting into trouble, and easier to hide the tears too! ;)

#6. The Furniture Store – Who hangs out at furniture stores?? Do they have bars in ’em now that I don’t know about? I actually can see bars/clubs on this list which is much more scary for your wallet in my opinion (and a helluva lot more fun!), but I guess if you are heading out to a furniture place this weekend just do your best to stick firm to your budget. Those water beds will try and tempt you every single time. Don’t fall for it, player!

#7. Big Ticket Events –  Well, I can’t say much here considering where I am at this very moment, but I will say that if something’s important to you and/or really IS a once in a lifetime thing – go for it. You can’t hoard all of your money, and even if you did it’s no life to live!

#8. The Weekend Road Trip – One of the best ways to spend your money AND your time, in my opinion. You can’t get into too much trouble in only a weekend, so I count it as a pretty cheap way to take on an adventure and get outdoors at the same time. Plus, if you’re on the road, less chance of blowing your cash at those furniture stores, am I right? :)

So there you have it. 8 possible money traps to watch for this weekend, along with a handful of permissions to spend your money too – courtesy of yours truly.

There’s no shame in utilizing your money for stuff you VALUE and LOVE, but just make sure that’s where your money’s truly going. (And not all of it)

Spending money can be fun, but working for the rest of your life is not!

Now I’m going back to spending some of my own here while I hang out with my nerdy blog friends :) If you don’t see me on Monday, it’s probably because I’ve snuck away on my friend’s yacht!

True story – you can rent yachts on Airbnb to crash on.  And apparently it can be cheaper than nabbing a hotel room!

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  1. The Green Swan September 23, 2016 at 5:19 AM

    Hope you packed some Tylenol J$!

    My wife and I used to do movies maybe once a month prior to kids.. Now we settle for Netflix after the kid’s bedtime.

    But we do still try to do long weekend trips to get out and about and explore new areas. We try to find cheap hotel rates prior and keep it on the cheaper side. We’ll try to do a couple a year.

    We pretty much do none of any of the other OB the list!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:45 AM

      I did pack some and def. used ’em :)

      Though it’ll probably take me a year to recover – just in time for next year’s conference! (Which you’ll be at, right? RIGHT???)

  2. Jon @ Be Net Worthy September 23, 2016 at 5:57 AM

    Luckily for us, we spend each weekend driving our kids to/from friends’ houses and sporting events. Consequently, we are both too physically and emotionally drained to leave the house on our own let alone spend any money! Except for the occasional restaurant meal because we are too exhausted to cook!

    Ironically, I’m looking FORWARD to a weekend where we could spend some money on ourselves! Ha, ha!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:46 AM

      That is actually funny, haha… I get that way too at times :)

  3. Brian @ Debt Discipline September 23, 2016 at 6:04 AM

    I saw the yachts rental on twitter. Pretty cool way to spend the time in San Diego and save some cash. Enjoy FinCon! Entertainment might creep into our spending for a weekend, but usually its planned. Having a son on the high school football team offers 8 free weekends of entertainment, maybe more if the make the playoffs. :)

    1. Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions September 23, 2016 at 7:08 AM

      Right there with you Brian! We are 3-0 in high school football and it’s Homecoming Weekend – lots of free entertainment by some awesome kids!

        1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:47 AM

          Did they win????

  4. Matt @ Distilled Dollar September 23, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    Great list!! The move theatre was a surprisingly big one in our lives for 2015. Not only the $20 for the movie, but we often found ourselves grabbing popcorn or going somewhere right afterwards outside our normal days.

    Our solution was to ditch the theatre for one year to see how it goes. So far, so good. :) We opt for Netflix or Hulu, and enjoy ourselves just the same. When we need to go out, we walk around Chicago and enjoy the free parks and museums.

    Have fun at FinCon!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:48 AM

      Thanks man! Hope to meet you in person one of these days :)

  5. Roy Largo @ Band of Savers September 23, 2016 at 7:23 AM

    J. What year is your 2 Cents from?

    This weekend (I typically include Fridays in my weekend category) my money is going to kindergarten. Who knew that sending kids to school was so expensive. We have to shell out $70 that my wife committed to for a fundraiser and today is picture day so there goes another $50. I think we are suppose to go to some movie night in the gym this evening and I sure hope it’s free or I might blow a fuse. My plan is to just show up with no form of payment so that we have an excuse to be able to walk home if they try to charge us without just looking like I’m too cheap.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:49 AM

      haha… yeah, we got back to daycare and now preschool and it’s adding up fast. Eats up a huge portion of the wife’s new job!

      The two cent is 1865!

  6. Mr Crazy Kicks September 23, 2016 at 7:28 AM

    Have fun at Fincon. Hopefully there are calm waters if your mixing hangovers with sleeping on yachts :)

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:50 AM

      I was smart enough to only party on them.

      I was tipsy enough on my own heading back to the hotel every night! :)

  7. Miss Mazuma September 23, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    #9 Yachting while hanging at #FinCon :) Definitely a hit for the budget but I’m sure well worth it!

  8. Matt @ Optimize Your Life September 23, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    Isn’t the mall culture crazy? From the time we are teenagers we are taught that we should go hang out at the mall when we are bored. When we grow up to be adults (and have money in our wallets – or at least credit cards!) this idea is still there in the back of our minds. Bored? Need something to do? Spend money!

  9. Mrs. Need2Save September 23, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    I totally agree with you that #8 can be a good use of your time and money if traveling is your thing. As long as you don’t do it every weekend (unless you can afford that and keep to your goals). Sometimes if you can’t afford a full week of vacation, a long weekend is all you need to recharge yourself.

    Sounds like you are enjoying FinCon. We hope to join you guys in the future.

    And go Skins! I hope they can pull out a ‘W’ this weekend!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:51 AM

      Oh man – they came through for once!! What a game! :)

  10. superbien September 23, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Amazon is my downfall. That’s my current focus – teasing out the necessary from the nice-to- have from the silly impulse buys. Oh, and keeping up with the laundry so I don’t get that ‘ nothing to wear!’ feeling that leads to online shopping.

    You mentioned – at the veeeery bottom – about renting a yacht instead of a hotel room, on Airbnb. I planned a Maine honeymoon around that idea, and a fancy ethical-meat* farm-to-table restaurant that we saw on a tv show. But reconsidered staying on a boat in October, in Maine, with wild morning sickness. But I would gladly do it now without the kiddo – how fun!

    *my modified form of kosher, since many of the kosher laws revolve around no cruelty to animals.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:53 AM

      Smart move :)

      I actually booked a hotel room for myself, but my friends got boats and just hanged with them and enjoyed – best of both worlds!

  11. Fiscally Free September 23, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    This list is pretty bizarre. Like you said, I don’t see furniture stores or open houses as a big risk to your budget.
    What people really need to look out for is impulse spending, and I don’t think many people buy furniture or houses on impulse.

  12. FMF September 23, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Ha! I’m watching you!!!!! :)

    Hope you’re having a blast and that next year I can join you!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:54 AM

      I do too!

      I think you’ll have the time ;)

  13. Financial Panther September 23, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Restaurants are my problem. It’s so easy for us on the weekend to treat ourselves to a meal, when we could easily just make something at home.

    For movie theaters, I found that there are a lot of older theaters that have cheap tickets. And if you do like me and keep your student ID forever (and still look young), you can get those student discounts!

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:54 AM

      I wish they’d bring back those drive-in theatres! We used to have one in our old town and was only like $1.00 :) Was so cool!

  14. TJ September 23, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Is it horrible that I’d consider starting a food blog in order to justify continuing with my eating out habits?

    Just kidding…I think. :D

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:56 AM

      You know, that’s actually a brilliant idea! Get all the food for FREE and then make a bazillion dollars off it ;)

  15. DIY$ September 23, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    #8 got me thinking…I remember you used to work for an airline and remember hearing you talk about how you used to fly to Europe for the weekend simply because you could, but because you didn’t make a lot of money back then you couldn’t really do much once you got there.

    Could you imagine the trouble you could get into if you still had that perk now that you have more $$$?

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      Haha – yup!

      Though having kids would have quickly put that on halt :)

      Great memory!

  16. Amy September 23, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    We hang out at the mall fairly often. When it’s super hot & humid in the summers it’s our go to place to go walking. When it’s rainy out we go walking there. When it’s cold and nasty out in the winters we go mall walking. The mall where we live now has a kids play area for kids 10 & under that we take the kids to play at too.

    We very rarely buy anything while we’re at the mall. While on our walks we use the time to talk about advertising, the conditions of the factories where the products are made and even the quality of the clothing. We look at the stitching of clothing. If there’s something that one of the kids tell me that just have to have we’ll take a few pictures of it so I can help them recreate it if they really want it. Only twice since my oldest was born 16 years ago have they actually taken me up on that offer.

    1. superbien September 23, 2016 at 7:34 PM

      Wow. You’re both my frugality and my parenting hero!

      1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 11:59 AM

        Haha yeah – that’s actually a great way to take advantage of the building! :)

        And just realized that I lied about not hanging out there – I used to take my kids there all the time for the play area when we were bored! You’re right that it’s great for kid stuff for sure… Maybe since I associate the mall with free entertainment it didn’t register the same?

        Either way – I’m liking your style. And will now assume/hope everyone else there is doing the same so I don’t get so anxious for them all ;)

  17. Tawcan September 23, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    It’s so easy to spend money. Family road trip is totally worth it.

  18. Latoya @ Femme Frugality September 23, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    I try to avoid all of these, especially the mall. Besides, I hate being out in crowds so that definitely helps!

  19. Jover September 23, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    I am day-tripping to Boca Raton tomorrow and catching a football game. Pre-game is a tailgate event with my Alumni Association, so hopefully I’ll make some good contacts there(?) But otherwise, just a good fun afternoon & evening with 6 hours of driving (3 each way) bookending my adventure!
    I’m wary of the ticket price, parking fees, tolls and gas to get there, but worst of all: Concessions!!! But getting to be a proud Alumnus is almost always worth it.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:00 PM

      Agree 100%.

      I’d be more worried about drinking and driving though, haha.. So I’d have to be the passenger on that trip :)

  20. Gary @ Super Saving Tips September 23, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Enjoy all the partying, um, I mean networking and career advancement at FinCon! I’m so jealous because I couldn’t go this year. But I’ll be spending my money this weekend at the food trucks at the local town fair. Overpriced and unhealthy deliciousness…yes, please! At least the rest of the fair is free.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:01 PM

      Ain’t no shame in that :)

  21. Full Time Finance September 23, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    It’s funny how having young kids changes your perspective. I can’t imagine having the time for half these things. The cash isn’t even in the thought process. At bestI could say lowering expenditures at food vendors at a festival. Fine dining is currently McDonald’s.

  22. Medina @ September 23, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    These are all wonderful suggestions and ideas. Your right you can’t wait every three years to go watch a movie or every ten years to take your significant other on a date.

    THE BIG PROBLEM I see is that the issue lies in trying to do more than one of these activities. Or when you have a family of four or more. My family eats out a lot and the bill, depending where they want to eat can be around $50-$80. The problem is when they want pizza Wednesday (wife doesn’t want to cook), I understand. But the weekends … eating out and a movie (that’s almost $100 or more), and it doesn’t stop there.

    I work hard at trying to find things we can do that wont break the budget or splinter the family into warring factions. But it some times has to be a once a month if possible kind of thing.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:02 PM

      Yeah – the bigger the family the bigger ordeal/cost for sure.

  23. Mustard Seed Money September 23, 2016 at 8:32 PM

    The restaurants get me in the most trouble. Catching up with friends over dinner is always way more expensive than I anticipate. Especially when I can’t control what restaurant we go to.

    I think as an adult I have replaced mall shopping with mindlessly “window” shopping on Amazon. Inevitably, I find something that I like and with Amazon Prime I think it’s a great deal that I’ll get in two days.

    I won’t say I regret all the purchases but I definitely don’t derive the same joy as the minute I bought it.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:03 PM

      I wonder what would happen if we went a month or a year without Amazon?? That would make for an interesting experiment, hmm…. (*jots down notes*)

  24. Liz September 24, 2016 at 5:00 AM

    #5- I have a friend (no, really, it wasn’t me!) Who once bought a brand new house with a $1000 (or similarly stupid low number) credit card deposit because they were walking through a new build neighbourhood with thee dog. Yep. She hadn’t even been looking until they saw the show home that day.

    I’ve had a lot of great weekends in the past- crazy shopping sprees (including leather pants!), late nights that turned into mornings (champagne on a roof top in London!)- but not once did I buy a house like I would a chocolate bar (which is actually a bug deal given how rare it is that I buy chocolate bars)

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:05 PM


      The sad part is that she actually put more money down for hers than I did when I bought a house on a whim! Though at least I was *looking* for a new place…. I was just supposed to rent, oops.

  25. ZJ Thorne September 24, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    I had no idea you could rent a room on a yacht on AirBnB. I had my first AirBnB experience last weekend and it was terrible enough to blog about. But a yacht sounds like it would be different.

    I am currently working so much building up my business that the biggest expense is paying other people to make me food. I just don’t have time to go to the grocery, make the food, and clean up after eating.

  26. Free to Pursue September 24, 2016 at 7:51 PM

    Yeah, not sure about the furniture store. But then again, as a person who buys all our furniture used, I may not be the authority on the validity of this one. That said, bars/clubs do sound like a bigger potential culprit.

  27. Chris September 24, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    The Mrs. and I went to see Hall & Oates last weekend to the tune of $80 a pop. My mind was saying, “I can’t go for that, no, no, no can do.”
    But the entire experience (and One on One time) was worth it. It’s important to make that time every once in a while, lest you become Out of Touch with your spouse. :-)

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:06 PM

      Quite literally! :)

  28. Ten Factorial Rocks September 25, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Enjoy FinCon J. Don’t drink too much, heck what am I saying….drink all you want but remember everything. We want juicy stories after you return back. Too bad you don’t have this in San Diego to throw up like a royal!
    Maybe if the next FinCon is in New York, we can line this up as a bucket list item for the conference participants!

    1. Free to Pursue September 26, 2016 at 10:44 AM

      That brings a whole new meaning to “bucket list”. :)

      1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 12:08 PM


        It’s def. a crappy way to spend your money ;)

  29. Jason Butler September 26, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Restaurants/bars were my weakness in college. Every Friday and Saturday I’d go out and spend tons of money. I racked up so many charges on my credit card. It was no joke. I’m still paying that card down.

    1. J. Money September 26, 2016 at 4:13 PM

      Yes, but the ladies you got on these Fridays and Saturdays?? :)

  30. FinanceClap September 27, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Nice post mate. As you said Malls and restaurants are the real reason why I spend most of my money going there with family. I should consider taking my kids to new areas and should make them stay at places which are cheaper and at least it will make them realize the difference between home and other places. Nice way to save money as well as to understand the experience all aspects of life i must say. Keep writing more articles,

    Have a good day!

    1. J. Money September 28, 2016 at 10:39 AM

      Totally :) Experiencing other lifestyles/areas is super important!

  31. Richard September 29, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    The auto lot is killing me right now! My truck works but there is a shiny new one I fond online for 25% off the MSRP. Lots of bells and whistles . I feel like Gollum – ‘I wants it, I needs it’ but in reality I don’t need it. I may need a more dependable ride soon due to work issues, but not at the cost of that truck. I go about my day working, then find myself looking at the website again. It’s like some evil villain is sending death rays to my budget through the web site. Two things are helping me resist the power of advertising. One is I calculated it would take more than two years longer to pay off my house if I get that truck. The power of compounded interest on those extra payments really adds up. The second is I know this is how I got into a bind before. Remembering my history ( 850k + in debt then to 183k in debt now) is a sobering thought It wasn’t all car purchases, but when you refinance a house to reduce monthly payments and roll that auto loan in to the total, the trap is sprung. The wife and I survived it once, and now keep a tighter leash on our dollars. Time to distract myself with hard labor outside! Cheers

    1. J. Money October 1, 2016 at 3:41 PM

      KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!!!! Trucks are pretty girly anyways! (No they’re not)

  32. Centsai October 6, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    In my opinion, the mall can be a money death trap! As soon as I walk in their (especially if I don’t have a specific item in mind I need to buy), all of my money instantly leaves my wallet! This is the same as going to nice restaurants! It is nice to treat yourself to a fancy meal everyone in a while but doing it every weekend wastes a lot of money!

    If you don’t mind me sharing, there is an article that relates very well to your article about how to curb your enthusiasm to spend! I would love for you to check out about and share your opinions on it!

    Here is the link:

    1. J. Money October 10, 2016 at 10:12 AM

      All I can think about is Larry David from your post, haha… Such a great show!


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