Money isn’t always readily available for such things as expensive outings and activities for you and your family. With the uncertainty of the economy these days, more and more families are searching for free, frugal and money-saving ideas in order to keep the family having fun together without breaking the bank. How about trying some of these options to keep your family activities happening without the costly aspect some choices may have.
1) Your local community may have a “Parks and Recreation” website or booklet available to residents. These usually include a variety of activities in different price ranges, from free to inexpensive as well as those with a higher fee. There are quite often long lists of activities which fall into the free or inexpensive range, such as community walks through area parks and trails, family cycling days or even free family days at the local indoor pool.
2) Plan regular family visits to your local library. With a little bit of planning ahead of time, each visit can be focused on a particular subject such as traditions from around the world, new crafts you can learn as a family or any other topic which can be learned about as a family. Check out books related to your choices to bring home so you can experience different cultures together. Most libraries also have DVDs or videos you can borrow for free or a very small fee. They may have some which can assist you with this family project.
3) Occasionally your community may provide a fundraising concert or performance in a park or community center. Frequently the entry fee will be a low price for an entire family, or possibly even a donation of canned goods for the local food bank. For this small donation your family could enjoy an evening of music from local talent, or benefit from the amusement of a community fair. Pack your own refreshments to bring along and you have a full day of fun for the price of a few cans of imperishable goods.
4) Hold family read-aloud days when the weather isn’t being cooperative. Rainy days, a good book and being snuggled together under a warm blanket with popcorn for a snack is a great way to bond as a family while waiting for nicer weather when you can do something else outdoors.
5) Visit a museum or zoo on family days or half-price days. What can be more fun than learning new things together while visiting a new museum exhibit, or trying to imitate the faces the monkeys at the zoo are making? Many libraries now allow you to borrow or rent passes to these locations for a very minimal price. They include admission for the whole family, and are normally valid for more than one museum or activity in your area.
If family funds are limited, it doesn’t necessarily mean fun and activities need to be limited as well. All it takes is a little bit of planning, and there is a wealth of activities you and your family can partake in while sticking to a frugal or free rule. The most important aspect of it all is spending time together, not how much or how little you spend while you do it.
Filed under: Money Management