03/30/2012 10:27 am ET Updated May 30, 2012

How To Have The Best, Cheapest Weekend Ever

By Laura Vanderkam for Bookish:

Here's some happy news: With the Dow up about 20 percent since October, and the unemployment rate down, the economy is slowly climbing out of its doldrums. Even so, many of us aren't ready to resurrect our big spending ways. We're being more mindful of money than we've been in the past. How can we use money more consciously as a tool to build a happy life for ourselves and the people we care about? That's a question I explore in my new book, "All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending" [Penguin, $26.95]. Contrary to much conventional wisdom, I believe that money can buy happiness, if we spend it right.

One way to buy happiness? Take the time to create an incredible weekend--one you'll look back on fondly, savoring the memory for weeks to come. Here are seven steps for making that happen, for less money than you might imagine.

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