Having Fun While on a Budget: 19 Ideas to Try Today
“That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.” –Henry David Thoreau
Congratulations. You’ve made a budget and so far, you’ve even stuck with it… for a few days. Now, boredom has set in and the novelty of being frugal has worn off.
What to do? All the old habits are calling your name such as shopping, vacations, eating out… and you just want a little fun back in your life.
Not to worry. There are plenty of ways to have fun without blowing your budget.
There are so many ways you can have fun and stick to your financial goals
19 great ideas for budget-friendly fun
- Trade the traditional resort hotel reservation for a camping vacation.
- Visit your nearest museum.
- Visit the farmers market to explore local artists, food and drink producers and street performers.
- Find the nearest board game store and ask for a schedule of their weekly drop-in games.
- Enroll the kids in a craft workshop. Most home improvement and hobby stores now have free classes for kids and adults, too.
- Cancel the cable and explore streaming media for less. Better yet, entertain your family members with an hour of reading books together every night.
- Pack a picnic and head out to a local park. In winter, fill a few thermos containers with soup and find a city park bench to do some people-watching.
- Connect with your food source at the local pick-your-own orchard or vegetable farm. Remember to set a spending limit before you go, and bring bug repellent!
- Visit an elderly relative or neighbor. When conversation lulls, stay anyway.
- Attend a local college or high school theatrical production.
- Take a free class on investing money.
- Write thank-you notes to military personnel overseas or first responders in your area.
- Clean out your closets and donate – or better yet, sell online – whatever you haven’t worn in a year.
- Be a tourist in your own town. Too often, local residents don’t know the history or special sites their region offers. If you only had two days in your city, what would you be sure to see?
- Inspire others to have fun while on a budget. Choose some of these activities to do, and document your fun with photos. Once you’ve achieved a financial milestone like paying off debt or saving for a new car, arrange the images in an online photo album to share with friends, hopefully encouraging them to do likewise.
One of the most encouraging things to hear when living on a budget is “you’re not alone.” There can be tremendous camraderie in knowing that other people are working to cut spending and meet financial goals too. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your budget successes, and even failures!
Dining out is a frequent budget buster!
In 2013, the Principal Knowledge Center’s team surveyed over 1,100 Americans to see what spending derailed their budgets throughout the year. Not surprisingly, dining out topped the list, with high grocery bills coming in second place. So don’t feel like you’re the only one struggling to cook in and brown bag it. Instead, invite friends over to join your frugal adventure. The camaraderie will encourage good decisions, and who knows, they may have some great ideas to add to this list.
How do you enjoy life without blowing the budget? Add your tips to the comments below, or tweet ideas to @CESIsolutions.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
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