More Than Finances

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Entertainment on the Cheap

If you are in debt and trying to dig your way out, chances are that you have had to slash your entertainment budget. Perhaps you have given up restaurant meals, music concerts and evenings at the bar. Rather than feeling deprived, instead congratulate yourself for being proactive with your financial situation and putting yourself on a better path for the future. If you look around, you can find plenty of other ways to have fun for free or nearly free. Here are some suggestions:

1. Have a game night. If you want to keep it a simple affair, arrange a game night with your spouse and kids and play some of your favorite board games. If you are looking to take this up a notch, consider hosting a game night at your house. Have friends bring a dish to pass and their favorite game and enjoy an evening of free food and entertainment. If enough people come, you can break into several small groups of 4 to 6; each group plays a different game, and then you can rotate throughout the night.

2. Play games online. There are many free game sites that allow you to play online bingo or other games such as solitaire or mahjong. Some sites even let you test your online trivia such as the Bingo Olympics, which shares fun facts about bingo as they relate to the Olympics. There are even online trivia games for kids, if you search for them.

3. Go to a free concert. If you live near a university, college, or community college, check out some of the free entertainment. Many colleges offer free musical concerts as do some towns in the summer. You may also find a free book reading, which could be a good experience for teenagers and adults alike.
4. Attend festivals. Many festivals offer free music and other performances. Sure, they probably would also like you to buy their overpriced food, but you don’t have to. Or, you could set a small budget for yourself to sample the food, and then spend the rest of the time enjoying the free festival activities.

5. Go to the park. Many kids crave more time with their parents. You can go to the park with them and toss a ball together, fly a kite, or have a picnic. Chances are your kids will have fun just spending time with you.

6. Host your own sports party. Have friends over to play a game you all enjoy. You could pitch a
volleyball net in the backyard and play volleyball for a few hours and enjoy a potluck afterwards
or organize a round of touch football. Just pick something that is easy to learn and that most
people enjoy.

In today’s fast-paced society, we are used to thinking that entertainment is expensive, but if you take a step back, you will find plenty of inexpensive ways to enjoy spending time with family and friends. Best of all, you will be able to use the money you save to pay down debt or further your financial goals.

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