Life is what you make it. So is it possible to still have fun in life even if you are on a budget? The answer is… definitely YES! We all have heard that money doesn’t buy happiness. And while that is true, it sure is nice to not have to worry about money or stick to such a tight budget that we feel deprived.
Here are some ideas to help you enjoy life and learn how to have fun while being on a budget.
This post is sponsored by CreditRepair.com. All opinions are mine alone and are honestly conveyed.
Host a backyard potluck
Hanging out with friends doesn’t mean that you have to go out on the town and spend a ton of money on dinner and entertainment—in fact, you can still live rich, even on a budget. Host a potluck party instead. Hosting a party doesn’t mean that you have to provide everything. Set a date and time and invite all of your friends over and ask them to bring their favorite main dish, snack, or dessert to share. No need to hire a DJ, either—simply turn on your favorite music on the radio. Chat with your friends, play card games, or start a fun backyard game of baseball, soccer, or your sport of choice.
Take a mini vacation
If you are trying to save money, you can still plan a getaway without spending thousands of dollars. Instead of planning an entire week long vacation, opt for a long weekend. So instead of staying at the beach for a week, just stay for three or four days. You can literally cut your vacation budget for the year in half by just cutting down on the number of days you spend at your destination. Also going on your vacation during the off-season can also save you a ton of money. For instance, take a beach vacation late summer or early fall. It will still nice and warm, it much cheaper (and much less crowded!). Avoiding holiday travel can save you a lot of money too. It may not be as convenient for your schedule, but traveling at off-times will give you the same destination experience for a lot less!
Related article: 12 Budget Friendly Staycation Ideas
Attend local/community events
Visit your local city’s visitors and convention bureau website or tourism webpage. You will find lots of information regarding free and cheap local events. Many will also have community calendars to give you an idea of events that are open to the community throughout the season or year. There are many festivals, concerts, parades, street fairs, and other entertainment that you will be able to find in your community or the surrounding areas if you just do a little digging. Visiting these types of websites for vacation destinations is a great idea too. You can probably find some free local events for the area that you are going to visit.
Take advantage of birthday freebies
Many restaurants and stores offer some sort of freebie on or around your birthday. You can probably find programs for both adults and kids. This can be a great way to save yourself some money on eating out and entertainment. Some stores even give you a “gift card” for your birthday that you can use toward your next purchase.
This is not a comprehensive list, but here are 105+ Places to Get Freebies for Your Birthday.
Have a weekly family night
Having a weekly family game night or movie night at home will not only save you money from taking the entire family out, but it truly is fun! With all of the video games and technology at our fingertips, it is nice to take a night off from that and just enjoy being together. My kids absolutely love board games and getting to pick a movie to watch as a family. Our schedules are always so busy, that taking time in this way really is a novel idea. Believe it or not, this is also a great way to connect with your kids.
Free summer fun for kids
It can be pretty easy to avoid entertainment during the school year because everyone is so busy—and the kids are occupied most of the day at school. But as parents, we all know that after being out of school for about one week, you kids are most likely sitting around and declaring how bored they are. So the temptation to spend more money to go and do “exciting” things may be harder to resist in the summer. However, there are so many fun ideas that you can do with your kids over the summer that won’t break your budget.
Kidsbowlfree.com is a nationwide program that you can sign your kids up for each year and they can bowl free all summer long. You will need to pay for shoe rental and check with the participating location for specific times and dates. I did this with my kids last summer and they loved it! They had never been bowling before, but they enjoyed it so much that we went nearly every week!
You can also take advantage of Cinemark and Regal movie theaters summer movie club for kids. This is so great because you are getting the movie theater experience, but for a fraction of the price. These theaters have certain showings throughout the week that are family-friendly and only cost $1.00 per ticket—adults and kids! And there are even specials for popcorn and drinks. AMC theaters have a slightly different special—$4.00 for a ticket and snack pack is included.
Get out into nature
There are so many things that you can do outside, there is no reason to be bored—or spend a lot of money! Depending on the season, you can find a lot of entertainment in the great outdoors!
- Take a hike at a state or local park
- Go for a jog
- Take a walk around your neighborhood or find a walking trail
- Go to the park
- Visit a local pool or splash park
- Go apple or berry picking
- Visit a pumpkin patch
- Go through a hay maze or corn maze
- Take a nature hike
- Collect leaves, acorns, and pine cones
- Build a snowman
- Go sledding
Some of the best things in life really are free.