As you may know, our Family is currently in the middle of a “No Spending Month”.
I have to admit, going into the weekend, I was a bit nervous about how to entertain all the kiddos while not spending money. Now that I’m working from home, I knew I wanted to be able to get out of the house, but also stay aligned with our pledge to not spend money. The added challenge is January itself, in all it gloom and cold, making outside activities obsolete.
So here’s how we went about limiting our spending and boredom this weekend.
I find that our family functions best if I plan ahead. If I wait until Saturday, we tend to miss out on opportunities. So Wednesday I was creating lists of potential things to do, checking out websites for any free events (nada), or thinking about free things we have access to. I also thought about things the kids enjoy doing as a family because I really feel kids can be happy with anything as long as their parent is taking the time to spend it with them.
Here’s the list I came up with:
- 1. Tacos and Packer game on Sunday
- 2. Family movie and sleepover Saturday night
- 3. Make cookies for dad to take to work
- 4. Sewing projects
- 5. Go to the zoo to see the winter animals
- 6. Go Sledding
- 7. Make ice cream sundaes
- 8. Break in the hot tub
- 9. Have a game night- board or video games (wii)
- 10. Jelly Belly Jelly Bean tour
- 11. Betty Brinn
- 12. “Spa” time with Avery
So What Did We Decide on? Just a few things from the list actually.
Friday night Avery asked an important question, “Why don’t we help the people of Nigeria?” That led to my breaking out the movie “Hotel Rwanda” in an effort to try to answer that question.
The older kids decided on their own to play the Wii like the good ol’ days Saturday afternoon, so we let them do that.
Normally on busy weekends we don’t get time to make a meal, but since we weren’t out and about, we had a family sit-down meal Saturday night. Avery loves those and was quick to set the table and light some candles for ambiance. It wasn’t gourmet by any means (we were using stuff up in the house), but it gave us time to sit down together as a family.
The most fun was probably breaking in the hot tub. We remodeled our bathroom two years ago, but due to my pregnancy, we never used it. Saturday night we let the kids put on their swimsuits and have some fun, sipping juices and watching TV via the tub. That was followed by some killer ice cream sundaes with supplies I received as a gift over the summer but hadn’t used yet!
Sunday we decided on something not on the list and utilized our YMCA membership. We headed to West Bend to use their water-park. Kennedy even tried swimming for the first time!
At night we cheered on the Packers of course. However, we didn’t get tacos because Grandma and Grandpa had just returned from Iceland and brought pictures, BBQ, and good company to join us. Guess that gives us something to serve up next weekend!
In the end, we had a good weekend and only spent $3.76 (I splurged on ice cream from McD’s on the way home from swimming)! The kids had old-fashioned fun and will be happy later when Mom and Dad have saved money for them to spend in our upcoming family vacation. Those items on the list that we didn’t do…well we still have a few more no-spend weekends to occupy them!
So give it a try! You can still have fun on a No-Spend month!