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You Can Still Have Fun and Save Money-Here’s How



When you’re trying to save money, spending cash on fun outings or activities might not seem like an option. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to enjoy life that don’t require breaking the bank. If you want to get started, here’s a look at how to save money and still have fun.

How to Save Money and Still Have Fun

1. Try a Savings Challenge

Gamification is the process of imbuing tasks that typically aren’t fun with elements commonly associated with gaming. Usually, it involves reward features, either outward or intrinsic, that help keep you motivated. Plus, they create opportunities for healthy competition, which can make staying on target easier.

If you want to save money and have some fun, participating in a savings challenge is an excellent option. There are a wide variety of savings challenges available, each with unique features and involving different sums. As a result, you can find one that fits with your budget and includes elements you’ll genuinely enjoy, essentially letting you turn saving money into a game.

2. Find Free (or Cheap) Local Events

Even if you have a strict budget that helps you save money, finding opportunities to get out and enjoy an event is important to your well-being. Fortunately, many cities have a slew of free or cheap events during the year. Whether it’s concerts in the park, cultural celebrations, or anything else, it’s a great way to stretch your legs while having a great time.

In many cases, you can learn about cheap or free local events through area newspapers (including their websites) or city and county agency sites. Parks departments and town halls commonly list what’s coming up on their events calendars, making them an excellent place to start. If you’re near a college, you can check their website to see if community events are occurring, too.

3. Enjoy the Outdoors

In many cases, trips to area parks are either free or very low cost, depending on where you live. Along with open spaces and trails to explore, many have picnic tables and pavilions for relaxing. Plus, some host educational events all year round, some of which are pretty entertaining.

While this option can work well for adults, it’s a particularly good choice for families with children. It lets everyone get out some energy and spend time in nature, which can reduce anxiety and support improved well-being.

4. Look for Free Admission Days

Many institutions like museums and botanical gardens charge admission during most of the year. However, it’s quite common for them to also have free admission days on occasion. Some of these events are open to the general public, while others focus on specific communities. By learning about them in advance, you can find times when you can attend without having to pay, giving you a free activity to enjoy.

5. Get Deals on Gift Cards

If you have a specific entertainment destination in mind, finding deals on gift cards to the location can reduce the overall cost. Whether it’s holiday gift card packs with bonus cards, discounts on specific gift cards at a preferred retailer, or resale sites that let you buy a gift card for less than face value, the savings can add up.

You can also check rebate apps for gift card savings. While these are potentially limited to retailers that sell gift cards, they could help you reduce the cost indirectly. Just make sure to check the terms and conditions. Otherwise, you can use those apps to reduce the cost of your other regular shopping and take the savings to support a discounted gift card.

6. Check Savings Sites

Sites designed to help you save on trips to local attractions are an excellent resource in many situations. A website like Groupon is a prime example, as you can often find solid discounts throughout the year. You can also check city passes and similar multi-location entrance cards if you want to have a bigger day or weekend out.

7. Turn a Passion Into a Side Hustle

Some hobbies make excellent side hustles, allowing you to potentially make money from activities you genuinely enjoy. While whether this is viable depends on what you create, it’s an option worth considering.

There are plenty of marketplaces that can simplify selling a range of crafts. Plus, you can potentially write off materials expenses on your taxes. Just make sure you follow the rules regarding whether you’re considered a hobbyist or if you’re running a business, as not getting that right can come with some consequences.

8. Dine Out the Right Way

If you want to dine out with friends or family, there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost. For example, you can have a snack at home before you go, allowing you to choose smaller meals that cost less or go with only lower-cost appetizers. Similarly, if you have a driver, you could make a drink before you leave, allowing you to spend less on alcohol at the restaurant.

Another option is to suggest making the experience dessert-only. Then, you can still gather and have a fun outing without shouldering the cost of a full meal.

9. Ask About Discounts

Many retailers and venues offer discounts to a wide range of people, but they don’t always advertise that they do. If you have a valid military (either active or retired) or student ID, ask whether a discount is available when you’re out. For those over 55 or 65 (depending on the place), seeing about senior discounts isn’t a bad idea. It’s also worth asking if you’re a AAA or AARP member, as discounts may be available for them, too.

Usually, if a discount is available, they’ll let you know as soon as you ask. Just be prepared to show suitable proof if it’s requested, as that’s required at some locations.

10. Work Fun into Your Budget

While focusing on free or low-cost options is excellent if you want to save money, you can still spend a bit on fun from time to time. What’s critical is to account for that spending in your budget. That lets you know how much you have available while giving you flexibility when it comes to the nature of the activity.

For some, focusing this money on a hobby that genuinely brings joy is the best approach. However, you can also use it for some spontaneity, allowing you to take advantage of unexpected opportunities when they arise. Just make sure you account for this spending correctly, preventing you from accidentally overdoing it.


Can you think of any other options that can help people figure out how to save money and still have fun? Have you tried some of the options above and want to discuss your experience with other readers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Read More:

  • 5 Habits That Seem Frugal But Actually Aren’t
  • 10 Things to Do When You Work Hard But Are Still Broke
  • 5 Ways to Curb Spending to Fight Inflation


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