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Jenniffer's Journey:

Who said fun needs to be expensive?

“What are we going to do today?” “I’m bored.” “I wanna do something.” Undoubtedly you have either heard your kid(s) say these things to you or you’ve said them yourself. With one month of Project Money under my belt, this also means that there’s been one month of summer under my belt. And two more months of summer ahead of me and Ashely. In order to prevent myself from becoming a money-crunching-no-spend hermit, I took a hard look in the Project Money mirror and vowed to have a Not Bummer Summer. All while saving money and decreasing debt.

You think I’m crazy, I know. So does Ashley. You are surely thinking there’s not a whole lot you and your kids can do that doesn’t cost a ton of money. I get it. When Ashely and I join my boyfriend and his two kids for a family fun night, just going to dinner and a movie costs a small fortune.

With my new money mindset taking shape, I’ve been forced to sharpen my creativity skills when it comes to getting out of the house. Here is a list of some sanity saving, low (or no) cost fun activities:

  • Check out your local farmer’s market. If you are following my posts, you saw how I got some free samples and a fresh plant for free. I got them at my local market.
  • Enjoy a free music concert. In the Madison area, there are plenty of them, not just the large concerts on the square. Most of the free music nights allow you to carry in snacks – and kids – from home. Some even allow you to bring drinks from home! Win, win.
  • Attend your local festival or carnival. Many of them have a discounted wristband night.
  • Check out Groupon or Living Social. You can find many activities at half off or more.
  • Go hiking or biking. Yes, that will require the kids (and YOU) to set down the devices, but you might learn a little something about your kids. Or they might learn that you have blue eyes and brown hair.
  • Volunteer. You can volunteer for a cause that’s dear to you or you can find opportunities at: https://www.volunteermatch.org, http://createthegood.org or http://www.pointsoflight.org/handsonnetwork

  • Game night. Dust off that old Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots game or learn a new card game on YouTube.
  • Have a movie night. Make homemade pizza and popcorn, and rent a cat movie from Redbox for $1.

No, I won’t subject Ashley (or myself) to a cat movie. Just making sure you are still reading. But you get the point. So here’s this week’s financial fun fact:  You can be a penny pincher AND still have fun. Seek out discounts and free activities, and learn all of the great low cost activities your community has to offer. Or offer a little bit of yourself through volunteering. THAT is priceless.

I’m determined for Ashley and I to have a not bummer cheap summer. First stop: Summerfest with the free tickets that I won.


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