3 Ideas for Having Fun on a Budget

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest article from Gunter Jameson

Everyone is trying to cut costs. We’re clipping more coupons, cutting back on gas, turning the thermostat down and wearing more sweaters. We’re all trying to learn how to do more with less. But all that penny pinching and stress about finances can get to you. Sometimes you just want go out to the movies and buy a big tub of buttery popcorn even though you know it’s way too expensive. In fact, did you know that the average family spends over $1,800 a year on entertainment? That’s a lot of money you could be saving. But there are ways to have fun and save money at the same time, you may even find that they’re even more fun than spending all the money you used to spend on movies, cable, and sporting events. Here are some ways that you can save money, but still have a good time:

Cut the Cable and Borrow Movies

Most people spend anywhere between $50-$100 a month on cable or satellite service. You may have 500 channels, but there still nothing on TV. Cutting out that monthly cost may open you up to new possibilities, like spending more time with your family or reading instead of watching reruns of Jersey Shore. Cutting out cable frees you up to take more walks and maybe even finish up a few projects around the house that you keep meaning to get to. But that doesn’t mean you have to cut out entertainment altogether. Your local library probably has a good selection of movies, both old and new. Take the chance to catch up on old classics or learn more with documentaries. And if you are still hankering for something newer, you can always rent cheap movies for a $1 at local DVD rental kiosks, like Redbox.

Community Events

How involved are you in your community? If you spend most Saturdays glued to the tube, probably not much. But if you cut out that expense, you may be looking for more ways to get out of the house and have fun with your family. Most large cities and communities have free events all year round, like concerts, festivals, fairs, exhibitions, and more. Find the website in your area that lists community events, and you might be surprised by the cool and interesting things you can attend like an Asian Festival, Llama Days, a folk art fair, a Jewish music festival, or other events that will both entertain, teach, and let you spend time with your family.

Games and Sports

Now that you’ve cut out your season tickets to your favorite college football team, how can you get your game on? Well, you could watch it on TV, or you could go out and participate in sports yourself. Why watch other people play baseball, when you could join a city or community softball league? Not only will this get you out of the house, making new friends, and having fun, it’s also great exercise and you might even lose a few pounds.And if you’re looking for a way to spend more time with your family, try starting a family game night. Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk, Uno, and more are a great way to interact with your family, have fun, and save money all at the same time.

See? You can be frugal and still have fun. It just takes the courage to get and try new things. And once you’re out in the community and spending more time with your family, you’ll start to wonder why you ever spend $40 for one night at the movies.

About the author: Gunter Jameson writes about several topics including travel, minimalism and

online colleges.

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