How to Keep a Family Entertained on a Budget

Since every family and individual are different, keeping a family entertained on a budget will vary. This article will give you some ideas to keep your family engaged and enjoying time together.


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    Know the interests of everyone involved. For example, Suzie age 9 and Brian age 14 will more than likely have different interests. Because of that, you will probably have to mix it up a bit. Participate in activities that each person likes from time to time. If they really enjoy it, it will help them be a good sport on events that maybe they don't enjoy so much. Some of the interests will overlap and it will also be wise to capitalize on that as often as possible.
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    Experiment. As stated in step one, you will need to mix things up. This will not only help keep things fun and new, but it will help everyone discover new interests. Learn about new things often. Read a variety of books (reading time can be family time, and you don't even have to have the same interests, because everyone can have their own book, but be sure to set aside time together where you can talk to each other about what you read about) and find out what is available in your area. Don't be the person who has been to Paris but hasn't seen the Grand Canyon an hour away. Visit museums, national parks/monuments, and learning centers, and pay attention to what interests each individual in your family. Talk about it together to gain perspective into each other's lives and grow closer in general. All that said, if a particular activity was very successful, don't be afraid to repeat it or do something very related. Just don't get to the point you have worn it out.
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    Set family goals. You can do some activities that require a lot of time or effort if there is a reason for it. For example, you can grow a strawberry patch together as a goal, and set the reward as a strawberry pie (even if you have to add store bought strawberries to the pie). Start exercising as a family, and when you reach your goal, go to a fun event, or go camping, hiking, or anything that interests you. The thing about goals and rewards is, they reflect information about you, so this article doesn't say specific goals to set. Think about what is important to each of you, set a goal, and plan activities to help you get there and some reward system for when you do (or even for steps along the way to keep you motivated).
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    Have a routine. You can never keep everyone entertained 100% of the time. But if you don't plan to spend time together, it won't happen on its own. Set aside time each week, or however often you can, and how often you would like to make it happen. Remember, small changes are good because they are sustainable. Start with something attainable and grow from there if you need to so that you don't become discouraged.
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    Bring your interests to you. If you want to go to Paris, that doesn't exactly fit every family budget. So bring Paris to you! Buy a couple french songs on iTunes (some good artists are Tete and Edith Piaf), put up a picture of the Eiffel tower (even on the computer), and make a fancy cheese platter (Gruyere is an amazing cheese) with French bread and fruit. Can't attend a favorite sporting event? Get some peanuts and punch for the kids and make your house the loudest one rooting for the team over the television! Think of ways to do this for things you would like to do if you had the money.
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    Avoid giving up. Communicate and keep trying. And don't expect to never have any hardships or down days. We all have them and you will get there if you keep at it!


  • Consider making a competition out of some of your activities to encourage those who may be bad sports. Give them a reason to have fun even when that week's event isn't their favorite.
  • Some possible activities could be: Cooking, learning about cooking, learning about plants, animals, art, or music, going camping, having a picnic in the park (PB&J won't break the budget), watching a classic movie, sharing something you enjoyed from your childhood with your kids, and why you enjoyed it, telling stories about your life, playing cards, or something related to that. Do anything, just use your imagination and do it together!


  • Don't forget to communicate with your family, and especially to listen before you talk. Without really knowing your family, you can't expect to have fun together.

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Categories: Budgeting