Showing posts with label child. Show all posts
Showing posts with label child. Show all posts

The Fun You Can Have For Free

Like you, I used to be under the impression that not many things came for free, except maybe love - and for anyone that has experienced a broken heart, even that can be costly!
However, after having babies I was forced into looking at things from a different perspective; usually through a tired haze of milky drool (the babies, not mine) and discovered there are, in fact, plenty of fun things to do that don't cost a single cent.
This is great news in todays financially challenging world, where every single dollar really does count, and that trip to the cinema may mean sacrificing your chocolate allowance for the week.  As every busy mom knows, chocolate equals sanity…it's really not worth it!
So, here are my top tips for enjoying life for free, and even having a little fun along the way:
Review a new restaurant
is now a $1.6 billion dollar industry, focussed on improving the customer service offered by retail outlets, restaurants and service providers. 
During an assignment you should expect to be asked to eat anywhere, from fine dining restaurants to fast food outlets, for a set budget of anything between $10-$90.
Make a budget
Work out your outgoings every month and set this off against how much you earn. By establishing how much money you should be spending every month, you can then find out how much you can realistically save. This also allows you to see how much free cash you have each month, so if you're personal interest outside of work and home is shopping, eating out or playing online games, such as , you can indulge without the guilt!
Freecycling is the latest craze sweeping the nation.  It is defined as: the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new products of a better quality.  In layman's terms it's a fantastic way to 'bring back to life' products that would have otherwise have sat, unloved, in your garage for the next seventeen years. 
You can have so much fun painting and adorning that dreary mahogany wardrobe in fresh white paint and new handles, and I promise you will be amazed at the results. 
This is a great way to redesign your house without investing hundreds of dollars, or you could sell your items for a premium by selling them at craft fairs or online and listing them as 'vintage' or 'shabby chic'
Free Days out
Believe it or not, there are hundreds of fun, free days out to be taken advantage of that even the most challenging of children will enjoy.  I will list some of my favourites:
·         Get educated and go to a museum or art gallery
·         Blow away the cobwebs at the seaside
·         Find a river and feed the ducks
·         Meet up with friends and take a picnic to the park
·         Start a scrapbook in which to preserve your treasured memories
·         Camp with your kids in the garden.  It's like a holiday only cheaper, and you get to use your own bathroom.
Make Play dough
All kids (and a fair few adults) love play dough.  Even though you'll be picking bits of neon paste from the carpet for several days afterwards, play dough is an easy kids crowd-pleaser that can be whipped up with ingredients from your store cupboard.  I find the following recipe best:
3 cups of flour
1.5 cups of salt
6 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp oil
3 cups of water
Food colouring (optional)
Vanilla or peppermint essence (optional)
Put all ingredients into a large, sturdy saucepan.  Stir continuously over a medium heat until dough forms.  Remove from the pan and knead until the consistency is play-dough like.  Leave to cool before giving it to the kids.

Guest Post by Kathryn Thompson (Photo Via:


The Accompanied Minor

Many years ago we moved out of state, across the country from our families, and my husbands child from a previous marriage. When we moved, his child was 9 years old and had never been on a airplane. The first experience was for visitation at Easter break and the child was boarded on a direct flight from Minnesota to Florida. Back then, the whole unaccompanied minor situation was not so common, but it was common enough that the airlines accomodated worrying parents by escorting children from the gate into the airplane, and then from the airplane to the gate for pickup by the other parent. Remember, back in the day when you could actually sit and wait with someone until their plane came in? Anyway, there were no extra charges or fees for this service, or even any forms to sign.
We did this for many years for spring, summer and winter break without any troubles. But times have changed and they will never go back to the good old days. These days to send a child across the country on an airplane unaccompanied costs a few bucks. I'm not sure how much, since I don't do it anymore.
Today a woman at work was there earlier than usual (which is early!) and she mentioned it was because she had to take her husband to the airport. I inquired where this retired gentleman was off to now, and she said he was flying with their grandson (who is 10) back to Newark, and then flying back. Tonight. Yes, he is flying to escort their grandson up North, and then immediately turning around and flying back to Florida. I couldn't believe it. What a way to not be frugal. Granted its not the same as it was fifteen or twenty years ago, but airlines do offer escort services for children for a fee and I'm thinking its pretty safe. The lady at work wouldn't even hear of doing that, what if her grandson ran into some turbulence and got scared? I asked if he's like that, scared of things. She said no, but she just wants the peace of mind. Apparently, her husband agrees with her too, since he's the one spending ALL DAY in an airplane, even transfering in Baltimore for a layover. I didn't ask how much his plane ticket was, but it was regular price she said.
Just another example of how hard it is to be frugal when you're a worry wart.
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