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For most families in these trying times, tightening up the budget is a must. We all have bills to pay and perhaps we’re trying to save for a new home or car, or set up college funds for the kids. And all of that requires more money. We can make as much of it as we can but if we don’t save any, we’re depleting our funds.
Still, all work and no play makes John a dull boy as they say. No matter what your budget, you should still take the opportunity to treat yourself and your family from time to time. These treats don’t need to be extravagant, but they should be a nice reward to remind you of why you work so hard in the first place.
Here are some ideas to try for treating yourself and the family without going completely broke.
1. Check your city for free events
Every city hosts free events and classes. A great place to start is at your local library. They have free movie nights, free story times, and loads of other incredible activities the family will love. And that’s just the library! Your city’s website should have many other resources for you to find fun and free activities for the whole family.
2. Have an ice cream party
Instead of saying, “Hey kids, let’s go out for ice cream!” bring the ice cream party to your own home. The cost of a family of four going out for ice cream can eat up your budget quickly. Go to the supermarket and grab what you need for making ice cream sundaes. Everyone can build their own, plus even if you go all out on hot fudge, sprinkles, and whipped cream, you’re still spending less than you would at an ice cream parlor AND you’ll have more ice cream and toppings left over for another time when you need a treat.
3. Go on an outdoor adventure
No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a park, trail, beach, lake or other outdoor venue that you can explore for free or close to it. Some places will charge for parking, but that’s a small price to pay for a day of fun. Pack a picnic lunch, a kite, ball, or whatever else you’ve got and get out there!
4. Have a movie marathon
Go through your DVR, Netflix, or even dust off those DVDs. Let everyone in the family vote on the movies you all want to watch. Then huddle up with some popcorn and enjoy!
5. Visit a free museum or exhibit
While there are many museums that charge a fee for entry, there are just as many that don’t. Do a search in your area and you might be pleasantly surprised to find a gallery that you can visit for free!
There are no end to ways you can treat yourself and your family for free or on the cheap. Remember, a treat doesn’t need to be expensive. It should fall comfortably within your means. And by staying within budget, you’ll soon find you’ve got extra money to spend on a bigger treat another day!