Often, the key to saving money and enjoying yourself on a budget is to plan ahead. Getting some frugal events on the calendar for the next few weeks can help get you excited about saving money. Plus, with things planned in advance you're less likely to stray from your budget or spend money needlessly.
Really take a look at your Forget the Joneses Bucket List and see if you can incorporate the things and activities that mean the most to you in how you're using your time. Here are some suggestions:
• Check out your inter-library loan and holds system online so that you have a steady stream of DVDs and books available to you at no cost.
• Investigate free entertainment in your area. Check websites of local museums, libraries, universities, and community colleges to see if they offer any free programs or activities.
• Instead of waiting for friends to ask you to do something expensive, head them off by inviting them to do something frugal. Invite another family over for a potluck dinner. No babysitters required, just fun for everyone without spending much cash.
• Institute a Family Game Night. Devote a couple hours to your children exclusively with no outside interruptions.
• Is there a hobby or skill on your Forget the Joneses Bucket List that you want to learn more about? Investigate free or low-cost classes. Or, is there someone who can teach you? Invite him/her over for some pointers! Or, find a way to get the family involved. If you'd like to be a better photographer, take your kids on a “photo safari” or “photo scavenger hunt” this weekend.
• Swap babysitting hours with friends so you can have time needed to work on fitness goals, take a free class, visit a friend, or do something nice for yourself.
• Create a getaway without going anywhere. Is there somewhere on your dream list you'd like to visit? Check out a book from the library (or read online) about their food customs and recipes. Plan a meal based on what looks good to you and what you have on hand already.
Assignment: Plan some free or low-cost activities for the next few weeks. Try to incorporate items from your Forget the Joneses Bucket List as much as possible.