Having fun doesn’t always have to cost money, as many of the best things in life are free. When sticking to a strict budget it may seem difficult to plan social activities without breaking the bank. Try thinking outside of the box and you can save some money.
Warm weather and longer days increase your likelihood of hanging out with friends and family by about 100%*.
Use local parks
You may not even realize how many great local parks are within a 10-mile radius of your home. Many parks offer picnic tables and shaded areas perfect for hosting picnics and outdoor parties. There will also likely be trails within the park if you want to go for a walk or have some quiet time while out with friends and family. Use a search engine or get a list from your city hall website and start planning.
Head to the beach
During the summer months, the beaches (that are free) get very busy, but if you plan accordingly and leave early, you can pitch an umbrella and secure a great spot. Grab a Frisbee, your old badminton rackets, a volleyball or soccer ball and head out to have some fun in the sun. If you plan to go swimming, make sure you check the water quality for nearby lakes to ensure they are safe for swimming.
Have a bonfire
Who said fun couldn’t be simple and cheap? Host a great evening/night time event with a simple bonfire. You can do this at the beach or in your backyard, just make sure you do so safely. Make some smores, bring a thermos or cooler with your beverage of choice, a wireless speaker or boombox, invite great company and you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Although smoke is a natural repellent for more insects, don’t forget your bug spray or citronella to help prevent bites.
You can’t always count on dry weather, so here are some cheap indoor alternatives.
Get a Coupon
Daily deal sites offer great deals on restaurants and activities you would never normally try or know about. Most venues will require you to let them know in advance if you’re using a coupon and may restrict how many people can use coupons in a sitting, so plan accordingly. Even if you get invited out, it is still a money saving option to check if there is a coupon available or discounts for pre-purchasing tickets or vouchers. Don’t be shy, chances are your friends and family will be jealous they had to pay full price.
Host a game night
Game nights are a fun and easy way to keep your money in the bank. You can go the classic route with a deck of cards or traditional board games like Pictionary, Twister, and Jenga. Alternatively, you can try installing games on your mobile device, or download games directly to your gaming console for something new. Inviting your friends to bring their favorite board games works just as well if your collection is lacking.
Use someone else’s house
If you’re short on square footage in your own home or apartment but still want to host a party or wedding reception, consider asking close friends and family if you can use their home or cottage for your event. You still should offer to compensate whomever your reach out to, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you can save on a venue just by using your own personal network.
When it comes down to it, if you’re willing to get creative and have some low maintenance fun, you will be able to save your money and have a good time with loved ones this summer.
*Not a real statistic