Now that I live on $24,000 a year, I don't have a lot of money in my budget for fun. I mean really it can be kind of easy to forget that "Fun" even exists, when the bills are piling up and my stress level is through the roof. One thing I've learned since getting divorced, though, is that having fun is really important to fend off the inevitable depression and despair that happen if life is just one big drudgery. Here are the activities I've come up with that really cheer us up without emptying my purse!
The $1.99 movie theatre My kids and I love going to movies, but the regular theatre is $7 per person, even for a matinee! That would be $28 for us just to get in and that's not counting snacks. Instead we go to the $1.99 movie theatre and bring our own snacks. I know a lot of people can be really judgemental about people bringing their own food to a movie, but seriously, not everyone can afford a $4 drink and a $5 popcorn! I bring water for my kids and I, 2 mini candy bars for each of us (That I bought on sale after Halloween and Easter last year!) And maybe some crackers or something. Last night we went to see Harry Potter VI and it cost me under $8 total. Now that's a price I can afford!
The Library Here in Augusta, we finally have a great library. The library is a great place to get books and movies and to find out about community events. If the library doesn't have a certain book or movie that you want, they will often order it for you...For free! Our library has a wonderful playground and grassy field next to it. Now that the weather is nice, I've been taking my kids there on weekends to eat a picnic lunch. We pack a bag, spread out a blanket and eat on the grass, in the shade under a tree. Then the kids play on the playground for a while. It's a really nice way to spend an afternoon and best of all...It's free!
I have a pizza and movie night at home Once a week I make homemade pizza with whatever toppings we can come up with. The kids really like this, because they get to help. After our pizza, I pop some popcorn and we watch a movie together. I either rent the movies from the library, or I buy them for $1 at Goodwill. This week I bought "George of the Jungle" and we'll watch it on Saturday.
We play boardgames Boardgames are inexpensive and fun and best of all, they encourage us to spend time together as a family.
Those are a few of our favorite things to do, but even chores and other "un-fun" activities can be made fun. Saturday is usually our big chore day, which would seem pretty bleak and boring. I just put on some music, though and suddenly the chores get done a lot faster and we have some fun while we do them. Pouring some bubble bath into the tub makes bath time a lot more fun. The grocery store becomes fun, because the kids help me with the coupons...One thing about kids is they all seem to think coupons are awesome. Maybe just my kids.:P