I’m currently trying to help my sister work on her already very tight budget and figure out a course of action to get her out of debt. Realistically she needs a second job (and is looking for one outside of her 9-5 career) but if she’s really diligent and strict with herself she could be debt free within 37 months. I’m doubtful this will happen though because I already predict many unnecessary ”financial hiccups” working against her will power (like the $13 picture frame she ”needed” for her apartment…)
When I told her what her budgeted ”fun/entertainment/date” money would be (monthly), her first reaction was to argue that there was no way she could have fun with her friends and boyfriend on that low monthly budget. I reminded her that she’s deep in debt and if she wants to get this paid off she needs to do this. I also reminded her that she can have a lot of fun, for little money, while working to pay her debt off.
Maybe you’re not working towards paying debt off but saving like mad for something equally important to you, whatever your financial goals and priorities, I tell you it doesn’t mean you have to suck every ounce of fun out of your life. You just need to get creative.
Games Night In
I’m a self admitted homebody anyway so this sort of night really gets me excited. Though we used to do this more pre-baby, one of my favorite things to do is host friends for a night of fun, laughs and games. The evening is always BYOB (if at all) and we all provide snacks for the evening. We play a lot of games, everything from classics like Clue or Scrabble to more modern games like Cards Against Humanity. It always ends in a good laugh and doesn’t usually cost us a thing!
Have Dinner at Home
I love to cook for large groups so this is an easy one for me. You can likely buy better fresh ingredients and all the fixin’s for much less than if you went out to eat. When cooking for large groups look for recipes that can be made cheap and require little attention once guests arrive since you don’t want to be stuck in a kitchen prepping multiple steps. Pasta is always a favorite of mine since it is relatively cheap and usually tastes great!
Check Out Local Attractions
This past weekend we tried to have a super frugal weekend at home. My husband had an additional day off and we wanted to capitalize on our family time together. We planned out a few nice and cheap events that were close to home, if not at home. Our fun weekend plans included checking out a local farmers market, taking kiddo to a local playground (that was new to us) where she had fun running around and playing, grabbing ice cream cones and heading to a local wildlife park for some exploration. We didn’t spend more than $40 the whole weekend and that included lunch out one day. It’s easy to forget about what’s in your own back yard, especially if you’re constantly dreaming of ways to leave and explore.
Like anything else trying to have fun while working towards your financial goals is possible, it just requires a little imagination and effort!