One of the areas in which we’ve had to cut down our spending has been entertainment for the family. The current economic situation has signalled a shift in the amount we previously spent on our social lives. Many people are currently looking to find more traditional ways of spending time with their spouses and kids. The value of the ‘quality time’ (as opposed to the hefty cost of the treat) can now be stressed. Below are some helpful ways of cutting the entertainment costs within the family. My book ‘How to Spend Less’ addresses these points in more detail.
1. Do some research to find enjoyable games that you can personally set up and play at your kids’ parties instead of hiring a DJ/face painter/juggler. This is terribly easy to do even if you’ve never done it before. Design and print your own invitations. Play your own music. Assign tasks to various family members, and get all the work done for free.
2. Get together with your kids’ friends’ parents and plan a car share system for travelling to clubs, school, swimming, trips and other activities. One parent picks up, the other drops off. Save time, energy, costs and carbon emissions.
3. Book your foreign holidays in University cities. Universities rent out students’ accommodation during school breaks. These go for half the price of hotel rooms. Check before you go, as based on the size of the individual rooms, this plan may not be suitable for families with more than one child.
4. Plan an affordable and green wedding to control your spending. Find the entire article at Beyond Jane. It’s called, ‘How to Have a Green, Affordable Wedding; The Definitive Guide.’
5. There is no need to stop going out for a meal with your partner entirely. If you eat out, check newspapers for two-for-one deals particularly during the winter when custom is slow. Do lunch instead of dinner. It’s a lot cheaper, especially if you order the set menu and the house wine, and pass on the coffee at the end.
6. Remember that if you wish to go to a bowling complex or activities’ centre, you can get significant discounts if you’re part of a group. Getting together a few of your kids’ friends and their families for these outings is an idea to consider.
7. A perfect day out camping in the back garden and surviving on just what you packed in your overnight bag is a great experience to have with your kids. All of this comes for free and the only thing spent would be time and effort.
8. If you would like to take your child to visit interesting venues but can’t afford it, offer yourself as a volunteer on a few of his/her school trips. They’re all free for parent volunteers and give you an opportunity to get to know your child’s friends and teachers.
My book, 'How to Sp£nd L€$$' is now available in hard copy on Lulu.