Having fun and finding entertainment and recreation opportunities doesn’t have to be expensive, which is great news when you are living with a tight budget. You might need to be a bit more creative than just booking into a 5-star resort or buying expensive tickets to the latest show but it is possible to find budget activities. While everyone’s idea of fun varies, try these 5 great ways to have fun on a budget.
- Budget for entertainment – hoping that there will be money left over for fun doesn’t work when you are on a budget. While your budget might be tight, it is often possible to allow a small amount each month for entertainment or recreation. Put aside the same amount each payday and soon it will start to add up to a tidy sum. You can either save it up for a big event or allocate a certain amount for weekly or monthly inexpensive fun activities. We personally have section in our budget called entertainment which works really well.
- Join with friends – getting away for a weekend can be expensive with accommodation and meals always costing more at the fun places to visit. Get a group of friends, who get along really well, and book a cottage in the country or at the beach, out of season. Organize a menu for the weekend beforehand and allocate meals or dishes to be brought by those attending. I have used Doodle in the past to keep things organized. Our friends love it. Sharing the accommodation and catering costs makes a fun weekend more affordable. It can be more fun spending a weekend break with good friends than going it alone.
- Get outdoors – there is so much to see and do outdoors, whether you are in the city or the country. Go for a walk, ride your bike or borrow one if you don’t have your own, ride a ferry, go to the beach and paddle barefoot, drive to the country and take a picnic. These are just a few of many activities you can do when you get outside your house. Walking is such a friendly pace; you get to see, close up, all the nature around you, even in a city; you have the chance to smile and say hello to total strangers – who knows who you could meet? Don’t knock it until you have tried it! The added advantage of outdoor activities is that they are healthy; you get vitamin D from the sun, you breathe fresh air and the exercise makes you feel good while improving all aspects of your health. When I want some cheap fun or to relax and unwind, the outdoors are my go to option.
- Host a games night – get out the old board games and invite a few friends over for a games night. This was the traditional way of having fun for families and friends for decades, before the advent of television. There are board games for the serious minded and for the fun loving; there are games for children, adults and families to enjoy. If you don’t have your own board or card games, borrow them from friends or relatives. Second-hand goods stores are a great place to source games at very reasonable prices. We love Ticket to Ride and Cranium to name a few.
- Get into books – buy your own books, borrow books from friends, join a library or join or start a book club. Books allow you to travel to another world, to learn about people and places and they bring much enjoyment. Reading is a great way chill out after a hectic week; it is relaxing and fun. Being a member of a book club gives you a social outlet and the meetings are renowned for being lots of fun.
- Open mic evenings – check out your local clubs and bars for open mic nights for free, live entertainment. These offer music, poetry and comedy for the cost of a couple of drinks.
In our modern fast-paced, consumeristic society we seem to have lost the art of enjoying simple pleasures. These are just a few of the amazing range of opportunities we have found for having fun on a budget.
So, how do you enjoy the simple pleasures? How do you like to have fun on the frugal?