Family Budget Fridays – Affordable Weekend Fun

Family Budget Fridays – Affordable Weekend Fun

Variety is the spice of life. Variety also lends itself to a thriving vs. surviving family dynamic.

It would be wonderful to enjoy weekends devoid of price tags or cost concerns, but for the average American family, this is a far cry from reality. It’s especially true for families who are without any extra, and scrimping to stay in a home while weathering the return of the national, state and local economies. Regardless, without some regularly scheduled fun, you’ll go nuts. When you go nuts, the family goes nuts, yeah? So, let’s have some fun.

(On a quick side note, if you missed this great post by WalletGenius contributor Xavier Villamarzo, it’s full of useful knowledge and several great laughs. We’ll delve into snowballing debt in another week or two.)

The occasional family movie outing is great fun, and offers a great conversational energy before and after; however, it’s 2010 and going to see a movie is flippin’ expensive. If you can make it to the Saturday morning or matinée showtimes, you’re able to cut the movie going price in half. Unfortunately, with extra-curricular activities, and the fact that your weekend budget can drop to zero in the passage of 90 animated minutes, movies aren’t the perfect answer to weekend family fun.

Everyone Offers Input

Regardless of where you live, there are places, both indoors and outdoors, that are perfect for family activity. A local nature center, the park, a science center, a museum, a picnic, a performance at a community theatre, a bike ride, hiking trails, bowling, ice skating, roller skating, a sporting event, a festival, fishing, a free concert, the list goes on.

Your local geography will allow you to get further outside the traditional, “spend money doing this” box. If you live near a theme/amusement park and love it, bite the bullet and buy the season passes, or ask for them as a gift! Along those lines, during the summer, even more options are available: Local lakes, rivers, swimming pools.

Regardless of what you decide to do, allow everyone in the family, even the little dudes, an opportunity to offer input. Sure, you may get a few yelps for Disneyland, but that crowd is easily persuaded toward the park and an ice-cream cone. If everyone can offer input, you can spread the options across a month and have something to look forward to M-F.

If you’re a hobbyist, what better time to get your family involved on a project? Teach the kids about some construction or creative development. All options are on the table, and if you’ve noticed with all of these examples, they’ll pull little green stuff from your wallet, or funds from your debit card. I’m so fired up, I can’t shut up. There are truly so many budget-friendly activities available for families, equating to fun.

Heck, my family is loading up after school and work today, heading northwest past Malibu and setting up camp on the beach at Thornhill Broome. Cost? Not including gas, 25 bucks. Plus another 10 for dogs, buns and some fruit for Saturday. Firewood via Craigslist. We’re water drinkers, so there ya go. Friday and Saturday on the Pacific for around 40? SOLD!

(Image via: Best Western)