Apr 21, 2016 at 07:28 o\clock

6 Items You Can Invest in to Make Money-Saving Weekends at Home More Fun

When I was a kid, I was never at home. My teenage years in Singapore were filled with nights that melted into mornings walking from Orchard Road to the Esplanade, playing cards at Newton Circus Hawker Centre at 5am and cycling in the middle of the road late at night in the knowledge that there would be hardly any cars.

I might be revealing my age by saying this, but those were the days when I didnt have to worry about paying a ton of money for cab fares. The night rider buses used to run until 5am, and the price of taking a taxi home after midnight was a mere fraction of what it is today.

Maybe thats why the older I get, the more appealing I find the idea of inviting friends over to my home, or chilling out at theirs, especially since a peaceful evening out in town can now easily cost over $50.

Having your friends over might save you money, but youve got to have something going for you other than your sparkling wit if your place is going to be your crews designated hangout. Here are six things to invest in to make your pad the place to be:

1. Cocktail shaker

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Cocktail shakers might not exactly be something you can buy for two bucks at Daiso, but the fact that cocktails in Singapore are so overpriced makes them a worthwhile investment. A basic $20 cocktail shaker is cheaper than a single cocktail at many bars.

Some friends of mine actually went so far as to buy a home bar complete with giant beer dispenser, but you dont have to go that far. The internet is a huge repository of not only cat videos but also cocktail recipes and instructional videos. Try to get all your booze from duty free as Singapore prices are just not acceptable!

2. Steamboat machine

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Okay, I have to admit I really want one of these things. Not all of us are capable of whipping up edible dinners for six people on short notice, and with a steamboat machine, youll never have to. The best thing is that steamboat dinners are always fun and social. Whether youre helping the person beside you locate his lost fishball or being the bad guy who stuffs all the vegetables into the pot, you can feel pleased that youre not paying $20 per head to enjoy the same experience elsewhere.

3. Mahjong set

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The guy who owns the mahjong set is always the one whose house all the mahjong kakis gather at for their regular games. If youre sick of having to spend all your your winnings to take a cab back home after a mahjong game, youd benefit from buying your own set. Before you purchase your set and table, do your research, as prices can vary greatlyyou should be able to get the whole shebang for about $50 to $70.

4. Board and card games

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Not everyone is a board game geek, but even if the last game your friends played was Snakes and Ladders, its a good idea to have some games at your disposal. Unless your friends are gaming freaks, its a good idea to steer clear of games that are hard to pick up or confusing. Games like Card Against Humanity, Dixit and Telestrations are perfect as theyre super easily to learn, dont require too much strategising and are high in entertainment value.

5. Karaoke microphone

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All of us have seen that middle aged man who goes to KTV pubs alone and then hogs the mike all night long, torturing the other customers with his renditions of Wa Meng Ti. If that sounds like you, instead of subjecting the rest of the world to your warbling, you might want to consider investing in a karaoke machine instead. Considering an evening of KTV usually costs at least $25 to $35 per person, youre saving your posse quite a bit of money. Youll see sets going for more than $1,000, but since most videos are available on YouTube anyway, buy a bunch of $10-$20 microphones instead and an HDMI cable so you can hook your laptop up to the TV.

6. Nintendo Wii

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Most consoles lack the mass appeal that the Wii has. Thanks to games like Rock Band, Just Dance and Wii Sports, the Wii can be the perfect party host/hostess that you most certainly arent. Just make sure the hardcore gamers dont hijack the set. While game consoles are never cheap, now that Wii U is out the Wii has gotten considerably cheaper, and you might be able to get a new one for $200+, while second hand sets can go for as low as $100+.

Image credits: Robert S. Donovan, momo, Alan Yeh, Joe Bain, He JiaWei, Enrique Dans

Do you own any of the above items? Share your experiences in the comments!

The post 6 Items You Can Invest in to Make Money-Saving Weekends at Home More Fun appeared first on the MoneySmart blog.

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