Dinner out and a movie for a family of four, can cost more than $100.00 depending on where you eat, and often much more than that. An all-inclusive vacation may cost thousands. How can you do fun things with your friends and family without breaking the bank?
Entertain more simply.
Unplug your TV and plan to enjoy your friends, family, the great outdoors, or a book you have been meaning to read. Do not spend time and money on expensive shows, travel or recreational activities. While the land of plenty calls you to spend more money for entertainment, you already have enough right where you are.
That was the recommendation for a short hiatus in the Land of Enough. For a longer stay, like a lifetime, you will need to think about how you entertain yourself.
Ask questions like:
- Can I have fun without spending money?
- Do I spend more time and money doing what other people enjoy?
- Am I lost without TV and internet?
- Should Facebook be considered quality entertainment?
- How do I feel when I have nothing to do?
I’m not suggesting that you never go to the movies, or out to dinner, but I do recommend a plan, and a budget for entertaining. This is especially true when you are paying down debt. I love when Dave Ramsey tells his radio listeners, “Until this debt is gone, you aren’t going to see the inside of a restaurant, unless you are working there!”
13 Ways to Entertain for Less
- Rent cheaper movies. You may not watch movies at all, but if you do, both Netflix and Redbox offer more affordable options than Blockbuster or other movie rental stores.
- Potluck. Ask friends to bring an appetizer or dessert to round off your next dinner party.
- Coffee break instead of lunch hour. I suggest this for personal and business gatherings. You will save money and be able to focus on the conversation instead of the menu.
- Sweat Together. Invite your friends to meet you at a yoga class, or to go for a run.
- Relocate. Sometimes a change of scenery in itself can be entertaining. Bring your dinner to the beach, the mountains, or even into another room in your house for a picnic. Here are more tips for family dinners.
- Cooking Class. Local kitchen stores often offer cooking classes. Bring a bottle of wine, learn to cook a new dish with your friends and family, and enjoy a nice meal together.
- Movie or Book Swap. If you have a movie or book collection, but are bored with your selection, host a swap. Ask everyone to bring the books and movies they don’t use. Donate any of the unpicked collection.
- Get outside. Turn off your TV for a night, or for good, and go play outside. Ski, bike, go sledding, build a snowman, rake leaves, or take a destination-less walk.
- Volunteer. Spending time giving back will be entertaining and fulfilling.
- Meet up. A friend of mine swears by meetup.com. She’s met great, like minded people for hikes, snowshoeing, and other fun activities. Plus, they have an awesome tag line…Do Something. Learn Something. Share Something. Change Something.
- Game or craft night. This could be an evening with friends and/or family. The tag line would be…Play Something. Build Something. Win Something. Lose Something. Really though, this might be a night for a marathon Monopoly game or just a quiet night of wine and knitting.
- Start a Blog. If there is something you are interested in, know something about, and really care about, share your ideas with the world. This is a great way to connect and even start your own minimalist business. Let me know if you need help getting started!
- Soup and Cookie Night. I had to include this. Cindy from Live a Colorful Life recently commented on No Credit Cards, No Matter What including ways she saves money during the holidays. “We have soup with our son, daughter-in-law, and the two kids, and then we make cookies. I stock up on sprinkles and frosting in a tube, and they can go to town decorating, even if they pour the whole bottle of sprinkles on four cookies. We love this tradition.”
I want to close with a reminder that we don’t need to be constantly entertained, or entertaining. Be mindful of your time and energy, especially during the next month, when you have more than enough to do. Build in some time to be free of entertainment and just listen to the season. With a little space and silence, you might notice how Winter sounds, what the Holiday Spirit feels like, and what miracles look like.
How do you like to entertain?