How often have you placed outings on hold with the line, “Can’t afford to right now”? Time to re-think fun and do it without a budget in mind!
Anyone who knows me will always ask what kind of free things have I found to do recently. It’s because I love to go out with my family and friends but hate to have my budget and/or bank account dictate that time spent. For us money isn’t quality. We’re tight with our budget and while most of this is due to my day job as a bookkeeper it’s also because my husband and I like to plan ahead for our little family. That $100 saved on an outing today could translate into bigger things down the road.
Do we ever spend money on outings? We sure do, but it’s limited based on the outing. The list below is our go-to for spur of the moment fun and ensures us will never be at a loss for fun memories and that active lifestyle we so crave.
- Free Events- Google is a big part of who I am these days! Just enter your city name (or a nearby area) followed with the phrase, free events or free things to do. We love finding new things and especially free museum days! This is a great one to share with family and friends. Become the freebie king or queen in your family, they will thank you for it!
- Fun on the water- Water never ceases to amazing me. It’s the simplest thing when you break it down but the possibilities of fun things to do are endless. Whether you like sitting and watching the ripples or waves while reading, diving in and swimming, snorkeling, water sports, or fishing you will never bore of the endless fun in front of you. Find a safe local lake, stream, river, beach, or even free community pool days.
- Play in the rain- We are guilty of wasting away perfectly good rainy days. It’s easy to snuggle up and drift off watching movies when it’s cloudy and pouring rain but what is even better is puddle jumping and exploring all the little creatures that venture out after the storm. Be safe and prepared to get wet!
- Alphabet & Number Photo Game- This is a favorite of our son Busy! He loves taking photos and it’s even more challenging to only take photos of letter and numbers no matter how you find them. This is a fun game for a group of kids where some can be designated spotters and others there to capture their finds.
- Play a card game or board game (yes those non-electronic things collecting dust bunnies in the closet)- Shut off everything and gather a group around your favorite spot for a fun game and for us grown ups, a trip down memory lane in most cases!
- Friendly Competition- Challenge your loved ones! Whether its at brain games, a race, or obstacle course set rules and goals for some strategic family fun.
- Be active (Sports & Fitness)- We have recently been blessed enough to have a personal training session as a family. This opened our eyes to see that even at a young age our son can not only keep up but will benefit greatly from being apart of our workouts. This actually turned out to be a ton of fun and a great way to bond and encourage one another. Not all workouts need to be structured either. Try setting up a weekly sports group with family and friends to get that activity in.
- Themed Movie Nights- We love going all out for this one! Choose a movie or show then build a theme around it by creating a complementary meal and even activities. One of our most memorable was for survival show marathons where we all picked foods that could only be made in those situations. Get every one you invite involved and for an extra challenge use only what you have on hand to keep this completely free!
- Visit Family and Friends- We get so busy and wrapped up in our lives that not many people take time to visit others any more. Schedule time to do this and bring something special like flowers or baked goods to show them you care.
- Volunteer- It’s important to give back but doing so as a family or even with a great friend will make it the best memory and turn it into something you’ll want to do again and again. Check out Volunteer Match where you can search by area, skill, and even age group to find something you and your family can do to contribute in your area.
- Create a goals board as a family- Families who function as a team have been proven to be happier and much more active. We all have goals and things we need to do or want to do so why not share this with those we love the most? Spend time discussing why each person wants to reach the goals they chose and how everyone present can help them get there. Be sure to check in weekly and offer tons of encouragement. Even schedule special celebrations for those goal crushers who meet their deadlines.
- Play- I know you adults reading this haven’t forgotten how to play! Let’s get in there and race some toy cars, pretend to be superheros, create a Lego mansion, build forts, and most importantly of all create laughter and smiles. These memories are the best and hopefully in all cases no batteries required!
- Take a walk- Probably the most simple on the list but also the most rewarding. Search for trails in your area, circle the block, or go great distances. The goal is just to get up and out while enjoying the world around you with people you care about! Have wonderful conversations and reap the benefits of being active.
We will share more money saving tips and ideas that we use daily in upcoming posts this fall. Get your family started saving and planning ahead with great apps and tools like those found at Personal Capital. If you haven’t done so yet sign up for our newsletter to receive monthly behind the scenes peeks, select free local events, freebies, and more.
Thank you for reading!
Mandy- Wild Red