by Dennis L.
Most parents are looking for ways to stretch budgets and save money. This is especially true for single parents that may be living from paycheck to paycheck. Some of the best dollar stretching activities will incorporate family time with low cost activities. These activities do more than save money. They also serve to strengthen the family’s connection to one another.
Going out to eat can cost well over forty dollars for an average family. Instead of a night out to eat, plan a special “dine-in” night. It does not have to be formal or fancy. Just simple healthy foods and snacks that the kids can help to make. Children enjoy cooking with parents. For young children, cooking represents a sign of growing up and helping mom and dad in the kitchen provides great bonding time. Kids can help to mix salads are make fun snacks that the family can enjoy together. For ten dollars you can create a kid fun feast that can be used to teach them team work, responsibility and not break your budget.
Rather than spending forty or fifty dollars for a movie consider having a movie night at home. Making popcorn and other healthy snacks is far cheaper and healthier than going out and loading up on expensive snacks and soda. Renting a movie is a fraction of the cost and allows families to control what they watch. You can also change a movie night into a family evening of games.
Not everyone can be a homebody. Some need to get out for adventure and this does not have to cost a fortune. Keep your eyes open for free events. Public concerts, craft shows, open street festivals and parks can be great ways to spend time without spending a fortune. To keep costs low, consider packing a cooler with sandwiches and snacks from home. This can allow you and your family to go out and experience new things. These can be the moments when memories are built. If you do go to someplace where shopping is involved, make sure to only carry a minimal amount of cash. Leave all credit cards at home. By restricting your access to money, you are controlling how much is spent.
Too often do people equate family time to spending money. With a little creativity, you can create family events that your children will treasure for years to come. As you find ways to enjoy your family time budget, you will discover more ways to save money and still build those family memories. That little bit of planning and creativity spent allows you to grow your most precious asset, your family.