Mr. And Mrs. Beatles blog about their frugal life at Stacking Pennies. They recently began their journey towards frugality and write about different things they learn on their way to a debt free lifestyle.
In the Beatles household, family activities are what we look most forward to in the Summer. We believe that frugal families tend to be closer and stronger than their counterparts because rather than paying someone else to entertain them, they find entertainment together and within each other. This creates special bonding moments!
While entertainment costs have gotten out of control (have you seen the price of a movie ticket and popcorn lately?), there are plenty of other ways of having fun without paying a dime; these are cost-free activities that anyone can do with their families.
Let’s look at some family activities that don’t require you to open your purse or wallet:
Visit the beach (or water near you)
Beaches are a ton of fun and make no impact on the budget! You can collect shells, swim, build sand castles, feed the seagulls, fly a kite without getting it caught in a power line, etc. Jazz it up with a pitcher of homemade lemonade and sandwiches. If there’s no beach in your area, you can search for a camp on the shores of a lake or the banks of a river or find the closest pool.
Again, this is a cost-free activity (or nearly cost free if you have absolutely no extra food on hand) that absolutely everyone can do. You prepare some food at home, put it in the picnic basket and you’re ready to go. Find a spot with a nice view or that holds some memories. What could you want more than sun, gentle breezes and some good laughs with your family?
Go on a bike ride
A bike ride doesn’t necessarily mean strolling through the neighborhood: you can make an entire adventure out of it by going through the woods and even on long-term travels. A backpack with food and potable water along with family and bikes – everything they need to have fun. Even better, biking combines entertainment with working out – so it’s time for you to ditch that gym membership that takes your money and head to the trail. Many people who subscribe to a frugal life even use their bike for all of their transportation needs!
Take a tour of the fire station
Fire station tours are typically free. If you ever wondered what the world of the firefighters looks like, check it out!
How many of us dreamed of becoming firefighters when we were children? Now you can have the chance of embarking yourself on a fire truck and feel a rush of adrenaline going right through you. Firefighters for a day! A dream long overdue, but you know the saying “Better late than never.” It is also a good chance to see how much effort and thoroughness goes into saving people’s lives, as well as how much training one requires to be able to even keep that hose in place.
Whether you do it in an observatory or just by laying on the grass at nighttime, stargazing is extremely rewarding. The night sky never ceases to amaze us – it has done so since our inception on our Earth. If you want to splurge a little, you can even find guides for making your own telescope on the Internet! All you need is some cardboard, paint, some lenses, glue, and tape. Make one for each member of your family and revitalize the lost art of glancing at the stars by laying down on the meadow or even in your backyard.
Start a garden
Again, zero funds needed to do it. If you don’t already own any gardening tools, ask to borrow a few from friends, family, or ask neighbors through your community connections, website, or Nextdoor.com. Then rise with the sun (or at least try to avoid the worst of it midday) and go in the backyard and start working. You can plant cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, onions, garlic and pretty much every vegetable you had to buy prior to making your own garden.
These are just a few of the free activities you can do with your family. There are many others which you have yet to discover for yourself. Activities like these fortify the foundation of a family; they teach people how to respect each other, how to use their imagination and they’re certainly healthier than crashing a restaurant and calling it “having fun.”
Open-air activities are perfect for both the psyche and the body. Playing tennis, soccer, biking, hiking, swimming, etc. – all of these are cost-free activities. You can see for yourself that everything we’ve mentioned above is designed to enhance family communication through genuine shared experiences based on collaboration and harmony.
Print the attached infographic and checkmark each activity as you do them. Fun for the whole family!
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!