Have you ever experienced one of those months where it seemed that everyone and their dog needed a payment from you? This month has been one of those months. Car registration was due on top of accountant fees and insurance renewal. Our car also needed some fixing - and all of this on top of our regular expenses. Since we only live on one income, it was a tad hurtful. Thankfully we knew it was coming, and God provides!
Since we are trying to save money (maybe to retire...but maybe because we haven't gone on a honeymoon yet...), we put ourselves on a more strict budget this month.
Because we were long distance for so long, J and I often joke that we got married in order to go on dates. Part of our strict budget was completely nixing going out, so we had to be creative when planning extra activities to do together (I say extra because even though we see each other so much, it's not focused on us). I thought I'd share a few of these extras with you today. They're nothing new, but could spark other creative ideas!
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Try a new recipe or teach each other a specialty (preferably with ingredients you already have - remember we like saving money!). Bonus points if you clean the kitchen afterwards too! I usually cook alone, so it's nice to have a partner every once in a while. The other night, we made fresh spring rolls and peanut sauce - they were terribly ugly, but tasted delicious. More importantly, we had a blast!
Go For a Walk
Kill two birds with one stone: get in some exercise and connect with each other. We live along a river, so this is something we do often! If you have bikes, a bike ride could be fun too.
Window Shopping at the Mall
This may not work for everyone, but it could if you left all of your money at home. It also helps to have an accountability partner. I'm personally great at window shopping - even at Target - and I like to do it on rainy days.
Pick a movie you already have, or rent one from iTunes. It is much cheaper than going to the theatre - plus you get to wear your sweatpants and don't have to smuggle in a water bottle. Win!
Bowl on a Week Night
It's generally cheaper and less crowded too! Bonus: If there are just two of you, an hour goes a long way. You can also check if your local alley has a discount night and take advantage of it.
Do A Shared Hobby
If you don't have a shared one, why not explore a new one?
Dress Up for a Night In
Cook a candlelit dinner of....spaghetti (hello, frugal!) and eat it off of your best plates in your best outfits. Optional Awesomeness: Play some music in the background and reenact the famous Lady & the Tramp scene.
Play a Game
Pull a board game off the shelf and have some fun! If you truly want to test your relationship, start a game of Monopoly (grab it here on Amazon). We personally enjoy Monopoly Deal (grab it here on Amazon!) - all the fun of Monopoly in a fourth of the time. You could always make up a game or call some friends over for a round of Scattergories (grab it here on Amazon!).
Speaking of Friends...
Organize a get-together. You were going to cook anyway. Tell everyone to bring a dish and feast all together.
This just reminded me that we have a beautiful picnic basket that needs to be used! Who doesn't love to picnic? If it's too cold to outside, set up on the living room floor. You could even make a blanket fort or teepee to sit in :)
Enjoy a Get-Away....In!
Sometimes all you need is a change in surroundings. Camp out in the living room (that blanket fort could definitely be an option), or convert your guest room into a five star hotel room. Why not?
Seriously. Sometimes there are some really worthwhile activities or restaurant coupons on Groupon! This wouldn't work for us this month because we decided to spend zero, but maybe next month?
Who said you had to spend a lot to have fun? We also enjoy volunteering, and honestly, an evening relaxing on the couch (even if we're both doing different things) is fun enough to us!
What are some ways you have fun on a budget?