How to Have Fun on a Budget

November 2021family game night

Living on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t afford to have fun. Even as you save money, it’s important to treat yourself and enjoy life. Here are some of the top budget-friendly activities to keep you entertained.

Check out local events

The city or town where you live, as well as many local organizations, may publicize lists of upcoming events. They could range from festivals and movie nights to concerts and celebrations, and the cost of admission is typically low or free. Plus, in addition to having fun, you’ll get the satisfaction of supporting and being part of your local community.

Explore nature

Spending time outdoors and exploring nature is one of the most budget-friendly activities around. It can be as simple as gardening or going on a walk around the neighborhood. More involved activities include picnicking, hiking, biking, or even camping. But exploring nature is not just an affordable way to bond as a family — it can also greatly benefit your mental health, as well as that of your kids. According to the Child Mind Institute, “Kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.”

Visit a zoo, aquarium, or museum

By visiting a zoo, aquarium, or museum, you can get a whole day’s worth of entertainment at little cost. Many of these may even waive admission fees on certain days, or have discounts for students, senior citizens or military members.

Organize a game or movie night

Staying home and having fun with friends and family can be a refreshing change from going out. Grab a board or yard game and have a good time with your family, or host a movie night with friends and ask them to bring snacks and drinks. You’ve got lots of fun, affordable options — and more importantly, you can be sure the company will be good.

Read a book

Reading a book is always a nice way to spend time without spending money. Discover a fictional adventure, revisit an old one you love, or dive into nonfiction and learn something new about the world. If nothing on your bookshelf seems interesting, there are many ways to get new books at a low cost. You can borrow from friends, check out the used section at your local bookstore, or simply get a library card. Alternatively, Schwahn says that if you’re an Amazon Prime member, “you can choose from a collection of books, magazines and comics to download for free.”

Whether you’re in the mood for socialization, spending time outdoors, or a private night in, there are many fun activities you can enjoy even while living frugally.