Yes it is possible. In fact, it is not only possible, but absolutely essential. Having money worries can be stressful. So, while it is very important to take action to deal with debt, it is equally important to relax, have fun and keep in touch with friends and family. This need not derail debt-fighting plans; it is simply a case of some clever planning.
Come dine with me
Instead of expensive nights out at pricy restaurants, get together with friends and family and suggest taking turns eating at each other’s homes. Most people have seen how this works on the TV show, “Come Dine With Me”. This can be great fun and with some clever budgeting and shopping, it need not be expensive. It’s possible to get some friendly rivalry going by awarding marks to each household. Instead of a cash prize though, offer something valuable that doesn’t cost anything. Suggestions could include free babysitting, car-washing or lawn-mowing. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are some great recipes at www.channel4.com on the “Come Dine With Me” website.
These boots were made for walking
It’s always lovely to meet friends for lunch or coffee and muffins but the costs can ratchet up very quickly, especially in city centre coffee shops. Why not encourage your friends to get fit instead by setting up a lunchtime walking club? Not only will everyone save a fortune, they’ll also cut down on calories and get some extra exercise. For ideas on routes check out www.go4awalk.com where there are also tips for setting up a walking group.
Sitting in the back row
Going to the movies is a fun night out, but costs can quickly spiral, especially with children in tow. Save money by choosing the local cinema as these can often be cheaper than large multiplex cinemas. Also think about taking along popcorn and drinks as these cost a fraction of the price if purchased at a budget supermarket. Alternatively, create a themed movie night at home and invite everyone to bring their favourite DVDs with them. Or, for the price of a single cinema ticket, subscribe to www.Netflix.com which gives unlimited access to new and old films.
Think of your liver
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to wriggle out of a night down the pub, but this doesn’t mean having to wreck your finances. Often, the most expensive part of drinking can be getting involved in buying rounds. This can result in people drinking more than they feel comfortable with and spending more than they can afford. Explain to friends that you don’t want to drink in rounds as you’re trying to cut down your units. If there is another member of the group who doesn’t drink much, team up with them. Cut costs further by walking to and from the pub, rather than paying for expensive taxis. If it is too far to walk or if it is unsafe at night, then make arrangements to use public transport. But please ensure that you always put safety first.
Quality Time with the Kids
There are lots of indoor activity centres aimed at children and these can be great places for children to let off steam and meet up with their friends. They are also excellent places for mums and dads to catch up too. However, they can be expensive as many places have steep admittance charges, along with extortionate prices for drinks and snacks. It can be much more fun to take the kids to the park where they can benefit from fresh air as well as exercise. Get together with some other families and organise a mini Olympics event on weekends. Combine this with a home-made picnic and the kids will be raring to go. If it’s raining, don’t let that get in the way, simply wrap everyone up in waterproofs and organise a wet weather treasure hunt instead.
The most important thing is to keep paying off your debts, but still try to enjoy yourself. Just avoid making the mistake of thinking that you need to spend lots of money to have fun. Fun can be free if you think about it.
This article was written by R. Ford in association with www.debtadvisoryline.co.uk. The Debt Advisory Line has helped 1000s of people within the last years and was rewared the best UK Debt Management Provider in 2011, 2009 and 2008.