The holidays are here, giving everyone a chance to be overwhelmed by the potential spending landmines that Christmas offers the average consumer. But not everything has to cost money. Some frugal and free fun can be found around Christmas.
Here are six things you can do to for free fun and enjoy your holiday for less:
1. Go to a parade
Most cities host a parade during the holiday season. Denver has a long-standing event called the Parade of Lights. It’s a fun event that almost always ends up happening on one of the coldest weekends of the year — but people still attend it!
2. Christmas lights tour
Find out where there are great holiday light displays for some free fun. Places to start: City zoos, downtown displays, or neighborhoods that are know for elaborate holiday light displays.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near homes with a super light display make sure to check those out too! Be aware that there are usually long waits and a lot of traffic for the mega-displays.
3. Go to the mall
Most shopping malls have huge interactive holiday displays that also include Santa. You can go with your kids or on your own but there is some free fun for the whole family during the holidays.
There are numerous opportunities to help others during the holidays. For people who haven’t volunteered before you will find that it can be amazingly fun. Giving to others just feels great.
5. Participate in a giving drive
Organize a giving drive. Partner with a homeless shelter and give unopened toiletries and clothes in good condition. Find a school that needs supplies and do a supply drive.
Get your friends and family involved as well. You will be amazed at how much you have to give.
6. Throw a potluck
Food, drink, and your closest friends are a wonderful combination for free fun. You can go with an anything goes theme or get super creative go from the traditional Christmas theme, to a Roaring 40’s theme. Provide a space to allow people to come together during the holidays and connect with one another.
Free fun saves everyone money
Don’t feel pressured to spend money you might not have or don’t feel like spending to create long lasting holiday memories. There are a number of ways to creatively and inexpensively experience the holiday season with free fun.
Take some time to brainstorm about what how you would like to experience the holidays, with whom, and how much you would like to spend.
Be clear with your friends and family about your budget related goals and objectives. Let them feel good about saving money as well and get them in on the action. If everyone in your circle is on the same financial page it will be much easier to manage expectations and meet the budget related goals that you’ve set for yourself.
There is no reason to go broke this holiday season. Use creativity, some planning, and a sense of fun to create a memorable, inexpensive and enjoyable time without breaking your bank account.
This post was written by Michelle Jackson, a personal finance and lifestyle blogger sharing her story at The Shop My Closet Project. Her goal is to help people cultivate their best life. When she's not blogging or podcasting for Girl Gone Frugal you can find her riding her bike, going for coffee, or hiking in the mountains.