The weekend is less than 48 hours away, people! But before you make plans to indulge, consider ways to cut your spending on things that you might have always taken for granted.

A typical weekend cost breakdown might look like:

Two drinks on a Friday night: S$20 – S$40
Saturday night dinner with a drink or dessert: S$40 – S$60
Two drinks on a Saturday night: S$25 – S$60
Sunday brunch: S$20 – S$50
One Uber/cab round trip: S$20 – S$35

This adds up to S$125 – S$245 over two days! It’s possible to rack up hundreds in spending over one weekend and not really notice, especially when it becomes a habit to have certain things like expensive coffee or dessert and multiple taxi or Uber rides.

This weekend, try these creative methods of saving money without giving up the fun factor:

How To Enjoy Your Weekend Without Draining Your Wallet
(Photo: Pixabay)

1. Use public transport

Singapore’s public transport system may not be perfect, but it gets you from Point A to Point B with minimal effort and at little cost. Take the bus or MRT to and from your weekend haunts, and uninstall Uber, Grab, and other ride-hailing apps to avoid the temptation of a cushy ride.

Instead of using the excuse that bars close later than the MRT, use this as motivation to leave early. Not only do you save on transport costs; you spend less on drinks too!

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2. Brew your own coffee

When you’re trying to cure a hangover, spending S$5 on fancy coffee seems like a necessary expense. But you can save a lot of money by investing in good coffee beans and making your own artisanal brew.

Supermarket coffee can be decent enough if coffee is just coffee for you. Those who would like something more refined can get the world’s best coffee beans delivered to their home via services like Perk Coffee and Hook.

A 250 g bag of beans from Perk costs about S$18 and makes 12 to 18 cups of coffee. Compare this to similar offerings from your local hipster cafe, which costs around S$6 per cup. At S$1 – S$1.50 a cup, the home-delivered beans are a total steal.

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3. Set yourself a drink limit

With drinks costing anywhere from S$12 – S$30, limiting your alcohol consumption is an easy way to save money.

Order only one drink, and spend the rest of the night drinking a glass of seltzer or cola. As long as you’re holding a Coke, everyone will assume you’re drinking a cuba libre, thus sparing you from having to defend your choice to spend less.

You can stretch that one drink to two if your credit card has 1-for-1 deals at your favourite watering holes. Try the American Platinum Express Card, which gives you complimentary drinks at The Secret Mermaid, Maison Ikkoku, and other trendy bars in Singapore.

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(Photo: Pixabay)

4. Use a dining credit card

If good food is necessary for your sanity and well-being, you’ll thank yourself later for getting the right dining credit card. These credit cards are specifically designed to give cash back or discounts at restaurants, saving you a lot of money in the process.

Try the UOB YOLO Card, which gives you 8% cashback on weekend dining, plus discounts at restaurants like Naughty Nuri’s, Kite, and Fat Cow. There’s also the OCBC 365 Card, which offers 6% cashback on weekend dining and a variety of restaurant deals.

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5. Or, go cardless

There’s no better way to spend within your limits than to cut off access to cash or credit. As an extreme measure, leave all your cards at home to limit your spending. Step out with just S$40 in your wallet, or whatever amount you can comfortably spend that day.

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6. Make your own meals

Some restaurant dishes like pasta, eggs, and steak are not worth ordering because they’re easy to prepare and the ingredients are incredibly cheap compared to what restaurants charge in Singapore. Even if you bought premium ingredients from Cold Storage and a gourmet butcher, you’d still spend far less if you make them yourself.

Get started with these simple recipes: for Salmon Pasta, Boston Baked Eggs With Bacon, and BBQ Steak Sandwiches.

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(Photo: Pexels)

7. Spend time with thrifty people

The company you keep influences your spending habits more than you know. If they don’t think twice about spending S$250 in one weekend, you’ll end up doing so too – especially when the places they prefer have high price tags.

You don’t have to ditch your extravagant friends completely. But if you really want to save money this weekend, take a rain check when they invite you out. Then make plans with friends who enjoy an afternoon at a museum, takeout over a TV show marathon, cycling at the park and other cheap thrills. You’ll have just as much fun, and your wallet will thank you for it.


Text: Lauren Dado / Additional Reporting: Elizabeth Liew

This article first appeared on, Singapore’s #1 financial comparison platform for credit cards and personal loans.