If you think about having fun and being frugal a bit differently, you can do both this festive season.
Many people think that when they draw up a budget, they have to say goodbye to fun. That is not true! In fact, having a budget and working with it, makes having fun more fun because you don’t have to worry about paying the bills tomorrow.
With the festive season just around the corner, here are some ideas for having fun without breaking your budget.
Fun with food. There are many ways to turn feeding the holiday crowd into a fun activity. You can, for instance, divide people into teams and issue a challenge for the best dish costing less than R100, or the best dish made with only green vegetables, or team members have to cook in relay. And how about putting together a little recipe book with the holiday’s best meals as a keepsake?
Take to the stage. Yes, we all have Netflix these days, but why not try your hand at staging a play or making your own short movie? It might take some convincing to get everyone involved, but it will be worth the effort. Alternatively, you can put a variety show together for individuals to showcase their talents, be it singing, dancing or doing magic tricks.
Hunt for treasure. Hide a few small gifts or packets of sweets, draw a treasure map or write down some clues, and let the games begin. Your treasure hunt can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be, and everyone – not only the children – can take part.
Enjoy nature. If your holiday takes you to the seaside, the beach can provide you with all the free entertainment you need. Take your own refreshments and spend money on a treat like ice cream. If you’re in the mountains or the bush, go for walks or have a picnic. If the city is where you’re spending December, enjoy the public parks and all they have to offer.
Window shopping. Even if you do end up going to the mall, you don’t have to blow your budget. Do some window shopping, have a coffee and watch the crowds go by, or take the kids to enjoy the many free shows that malls put on at this time of year.
Spend on something special. Instead of throwing money at anything that looks like fun, decide what you really want to do and spend your fun budget on that. Not only will the event or experience be special, but you will have some wonderful memories to treasure afterwards.
Capture the memories. Children often demand constant entertainment, but you can redirect some of this energy by encouraging them to keep a journal of their experiences. Ask them to write down (or draw pictures of) the highlights of every day, and chat to them about it. Use this activity to learn more about your child’s likes and dislikes, and share your own special moments too. If possible, repeat the favourite activities.
Game on! Board games or card games can be great fun. It might take some effort to get people away from their screens, but once the fun and laughter start, there will be no more complaints. Even building a puzzle while listening to music or an audiobook can be a most enjoyable way to spend a few hours together.
The key to having fun on a budget, is creative thinking and pushing people just a little outside their comfort zones. Why not try it this year?