Living a Full Life on a Limited Budget


There are tens of millions of people for whom money is in short supply. There are students, some of the people who are retired and many others who simply do not earn enough to pay for the many little extras that add so much enjoyment to life. For all those people who have not yet discovered it, there is good news. That news is that it is very possible to have a full life that includes many perks even while living on a limited budget.

Research, clear thinking and following through when an opportunity presents itself, all combined together, will take the place of a lot of money. Here are guidelines and suggestions to help you get started down the road of taking advantage of opportunities to go, do and enjoy – all for a low cost or free.

General Guidelines:

1. Read the newspaper regularly, paying special attention to the Friday entertainment section and the Sunday travel and entertainment sections. Many free concerts, lectures and programs are announced on a regular basis. There are articles about nearby state and local parks, activities for children and much more.

2. Become well-acquainted with how and where to find local listings for sports events, craft shows, monthly art walks and other activities on your computer’s search engine.

3. Join group buying websites such as Groupon, Living Social and Twongo. Every day, each offers a deal of the day with a service or a restaurant meal offered at 50%-70% off the regular price. If the discount groups listed above are not active in your community, you can probably find others that are.

4. Become active in a church or synagogue. Not only will you learn spiritual truth, there will be activities and dinners for the whole family. Often there are trips, softball leagues and summer camp at low cost or free.

5. Volunteer to usher at community theaters and to work at high school sports activities. Special Olympics programs always need helpers. You may be surprised by how quickly you are accepted and what a good time you have doing these things. The opportunity to build relationships with new people is always a worthwhile thing.

6. Use coupons. This suggestion is so common that it may sound trite, but you can save hundreds of dollars at the grocery store each year by using coupons. If you faithfully set the money aside that you save, it will pay for many extras or even a small vacation.

7. Be sure to do and enjoy simple activities that bring great pleasure even though they cost little or are free. A family picnic at a nearby park or at a lake where you can go swimming is a wonderful way to spend a day. Going fishing or for a family hike is both inexpensive and a lot of fun.

8. When you decide to go out, go early. Lunch is often cheaper than dinner at restaurants. There are early-bird hours for dinner at some restaurants which give a significant discount. Plays, movies and even the circus have discounted prices for matinee performances.

9. Go to the public library. A library card is free, but it can provide you with many services. Libraries, of course, have thousands of books available to check out. They also loan books on audio tape, have story time for children, have computers to use for free, have reading rooms with current newspapers and magazines, check out past issues of magazines and have book clubs and summer reading programs for children. They sometimes check out art work and have lecture programs.

10. Join a movie rental club like Netflix. For a few dollars per month, a steady stream of movies that you select will come to your home through the mail. Your whole family can enjoy relatively new movies, popcorn and all the amenities at home at very little cost.

11. Buy a coupon book. These books, such as the Entertainment book and the City Pass book cost $20 to $25 but supply hundreds of coupons for discounted prices for dry cleaning, retail stores, beauty shops, restaurants, miniature golf courses and many other businesses. They make an excellent gift to either give or receive.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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