I’m one of those people who have a cheery smile on Monday mornings. Oftentimes I have found myself apologetically explaining my cheeriness to the person with Monday-Morning-Blues who would like to commiserate. Mondays usually excite me because it’s the start of a new week, and more importantly, there is a comfort within the confines of my routine and rituals. Don’t get me wrong—I love the weekend as well. It’s time to spend with family, nature, and my laptop. Weekends are also more creative for me as I revel in the mental space afforded by breaking routine. But a routine is where a lot of the actual work occurs to propel my life forward. It’s where much of the work on my life goals is done, interspersed with life’s “have-to’s”.

I have found that both the weekend and the weekday are very important in the process of first finding and then meeting financial and life goals. In a typical week I work, I exercise, I take vitamins, there are a set of shows my husband and I love to watch together, we clean, we check our financial accounts, watch the news, run errands, pay bills, and cook. On weekends we do hardly any of these; we do not watch the news, we run few errands, we do not pay bills, and there’s no cleaning (except dishes). I even stop taking my vitamins! Cooking is different on the weeknights versus weekends as well. I will try out new recipes more often on a weekend, and tend to stick to tried-and-true favorites during the weekdays (though I must admit my husband cooks more often than I do).

Weekends I explore, weekdays I incorporate.  

In my life, this setup allows for both the creation of financial goals as well as the implementation of them. On weekends I have the space to daydream beyond the confines of current routines and current possibilities, stretching our normal financial boundaries (be they physical boundaries or mental ones). This is the case during vacations as well. When we vacate from our normal lives, we have new ideas and suddenly the world seems a lot bigger. For example, during the week while I am more pragmatic I may think that taking a trip to Alaska would be out of our price range and comfort zone. But if I have this same thought on the weekend, the excitement of the idea would allow me to brainstorm and dream further without being bogged down by the reality of details and execution. As the week approaches, I can then take this idea of ours and start to incorporate it into our lives. Using the Alaska example, during the week I may take an excel sheet and do some research on the internet to figure out an estimated cost for the trip. Then I can start figuring out how long we will need to save for it. By breaking the dream down into smaller details that are more palatable, and then working towards the financial goal week by week, the dream that I had one weekend now becomes a reality. If I had the same grand idea during a workweek in between writing a report and filling the car up with gasoline, I might not have been too open to the idea and we may never have enjoyed our Alaska trip.

This is not to say that I do not dream on weekdays, or that I do not take care of details on weekends. This is also not to say that weekdays are boring and weekends are ‘where it’s at’; quite the contrary. Without weekdays our dreams may not be accomplished, and without weekends we may never take the time in between our busy lives to ever dream at all.

If you’ve had some financial ideas that came up while in the middle of your own routine and you quickly squashed them as impossible or implausible, try thinking about them again on a weekend. Take out a pad of paper (paper with no lines is best—think about shunning all conventions and restraints when you daydream and brainstorm) and just write down whatever comes to mind with no judgments at all. It can be very difficult at first to not judge the silliness that might pop out of your head once you give it some space. But it can also be a lot of fun. Paul and I are currently in the brainstorming/dreaming stage of figuring out what our goals are moving forward. We’ve had financial goals in the past that were easy to come up with: pay off our non-mortgage debt, put a down payment on a home, pay for our wedding and honeymoon in cash. Now that we’ve met these goals, we’ve realized that we don’t have new ones moving forward. Where do we wish to be 5, 10, 15 years from now? What financial goal do we want to accomplish but are too scared to say out loud?

Feed these goals and dreams of yours with both the weekend and the weekday. It’s very important to keep dreaming about them, and it is equally as important to incorporate them into your weekly routine. Without one or the other, the dream could die.     

As for Paul and I, who knows what our next goals will be. But we will certainly keep you all informed.

5 replies
  1. Lance@MoneyLife&More
    [email protected]&More says:

    I need to work on getting more done during the week so I can relax more on weekends. How your week works seems like a good plan that I should try to incorporate. It would give me more time to think things through and come up with ideas.

  2. Shannon-ReadyForZero
    Shannon-ReadyForZero says:

    Oh to be a morning person – and a Monday person…I wish I could be more like that! I prefer the week too sometimes because I think easier when there’s a routine and on the weekends I end up having so much freedom that I’m not sure what to do with it. There are so many things I want to do that I don’t know where to begin. So it looks like I am the opposite – I stress more on the weekends than during the week. Either way, I like the idea of revisiting ideas at a time when your mind is a little bit freer and able to think creatively to help you reach goals.

    You shouldn’t apologize for being cheery ever, that’s part of what makes your blog such fun to read :).

  3. Charlotte @SmartMoneyFocus
    Charlotte @SmartMoneyFocus says:

    Looking forward to Monday mornings has a lot to do with how much you like your job. I don’t dread Mondays as much as some of my friends, but I will be glad when I can retire. I look forward to the day that I can get up and do whatever I want and finally get some things finished on my list.


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  1. […] The Interplay of Weekends and Weekdays in Finding and Meeting Financial Goals (Frugal Confessions) Great look at combining and balancing weekday and weekend goals. An energizing way to organize your financial plan – especially after a holiday! […]

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