The words “fun” and “budget” appear to have absolutely nothing in common. One is defined as “something that provides mirth or amusement” whereas the other…well, even the definition is too boring to repeat!
When you initially create a family budget, it can be very easy to get lost in all the various essential expenses, such as food, housing, education, and more. While these categories are incredibly important, so is “fun” money: cash that is your own to spend and that makes you and your family happy and grateful. It can feel incredibly rewarding to just have some finances to dedicate to yourself and your family, something that goes towards bonding activities and experiences which create beautiful memories. Be it traveling, eating out, going to events or anything else that tickles your fancy. While we’re not going to tell you that it’s possible to completely avoid planning family finance, there are some things you can do to make family finance fun (sort of!) and to budget the good times into your life. After all, what’s better than having fun AND saving money while you do so?
Travel on a Tight Budget
Family vacations can be tough when you’re traveling on a budget. However, there are some tips you can follow to have fun and save money. Seem impossible? We’re not lying! Consider, for example, taking a trip outside peak times. A beach vacation can be just as magical, if not more, if taken in September instead of July or August. After all, it’s slightly cooler (but not cold enough to stop you from having a good time), the beaches are much less crowded so your kids can play without worrying about splashing the irritable beach neighbours, prices are lower and – last but not least – while you’re on the beach having a good time, most people are back at work (or school). What’s not to love?
Make sure to choose your destination carefully and, if possible, well in advance; some places are more expensive than others, but booking early can help maintain prices low, and always compare online offers! Feeling adventurous? Some travel booking sites let you pick “anywhere” as a destination, so you’re free to compare prices and perhaps travel somewhere you never thought you’d see. Your family will love the adventure!
Take Advantage of Free Events and Locations!
It may not seem like it, but there are lots of free events and things to do in your area if you take the time to do your homework. Certain apps, such as Eventbrite, automatically identify free (and paid) events near you; all you have to do is select the ones you like and hey presto, you’ve magically conjured up a fun weekend for you and your family! Events can range from movies to free workshops for your kids with everything else in between.
If your kids are older and you’re feeling the need to get some culture flowing in your veins, there’s quite a few museums in Surrey that don’t charge admission – all you need is your thirst for knowledge!
Perhaps you and your family prefer outdoors activities? Have no fear – especially if the weather is good there are plenty of options to get you and your kids up and running (literally!) in no time!
Take Out a Loan (but Find the Best One!)
Many UK citizens turn to personal loans for some help in relieving immediate financial pressure, such as credit card debt; in fact, it is estimated that one in ten people in the UK have a personal loan and rates are falling as low as 2.8%. According to Moneybanker, something similar to a price war has broken out amongst the lenders which is great news for borrowers. With so many options around, however, it can be confusing to find the best personal loan for you and your family, even if your credit isn’t exactly stellar. Luckily, there are some websites which can help you find your ideal loan by comparing all the available ones. Just so you know, the average personal loan is around £10,000 over a period of four years – but with so many different choices and personalized options, you’re bound to find the best one to suit your financial needs.
Rethink Your Budget
Take a long hard look at your budget. Are you sure there aren’t any areas that can be eliminated or perhaps at least reduced? Look for areas that aren’t absolutely necessary or perhaps can be postponed to the future with no particular consequences. This way, you might be able to cover the cost of a seemingly big event, such as a special family vacation or your son’s birthday party. Initially, it may seem like a sacrifice, but the final result will be totally worth it!