So, Christmas is in two days and eight hours.
Part of me can’t believe that I just wrote that line. The sun is shining, the heat is finally here, and my parents just got a Christmas tree. All the signs are pointing towards Christmas, but it just feels like this year has been one of those ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ years. This has also been one of my most “budget friendly” years because I moved to a city that is renowned for being expensive.
Christmas is typically associated with hustling around shops and battling the hoards of people that decide to do the same last-minute Christmas shop. Luckily for me, my family has decided to have a “spend free” Christmas. This means that we can buy ingredients to bake or craft something, but we can’t purchase goods from the store and just hand them off. I should have expected this from my family. They are definitely the budget friendly, thrifty type of people, which is something I completely endorse. You don’t need to spend money to have fun! They are people who have realised this, while other people are still spending left, right and centre.
Our “rule” got me thinking about what I could do that was budget friendly (and fun) during the holiday season. It was about this time I was introduced to a company called Personal Capital, and decided to finally share my ideas with you!
Build a fort
I remember draping sheets and blankets over the back of our couches to create forts. I remember dragging in pillows and teddy bears and ‘secret stashes’ of food. Grab some blankets, pillows, a laptop to play movies, and a stash of food (fairy lights optional) to recreate something from your childhood!
Go on a picnic
It’s summer in New Zealand right now, so the weather is absolutely lovely and perfectly inviting. Why not grab some food from home and take food on a picnic? It’s budget friendly, fun, and you get to discover a new place. Go on, toss a salad together, grab some fruit and wine then go on an adventure to a new place!
My family used to host dinners that required guests to wear a certain themed hat. Instead of hosting a dinner for everyone, invite people over and have them bring a plate of food to share! Allocate dinner courses to different people and the end results will be a budget friendly night with friends!
Go for a walk
Feel like you need to exercise after that potluck dinner? Grab your friends (or dog) and go for a walk!
I live on the coast, so fishing is a huge part of my life. My parents own a boat and I know a group of people who are pretty good at free diving. If you live near a beach then you can jump on a boat (or walk down to the beach) and throw a line in the water.
Load up on board games
I’m sure every family has board games in their cupboard from way back when. I know my family was a fan of Monopoly, Operation and HedBanz. There was a moment where the whole of the blogosphere was obsessed with Cards Against Humanity, too. If you’re too old for board games then I’m sure you can find a drinking game or two that you’re more than willing to play 😉 I even found a list (or two) of drinking games that you can work your way through. You’re welcome.
Check out meet up groups!
I joined a website called Meet Up and it has meet up groups for all interests! The meet ups themselves are generally pretty cheap (or free) as well. Go check out a group or create one yourself!
Work on your 101 in 1001
I’m sure everyone has a bucket list that they want to accomplish! Well, a 101 in 1001 list is the same thing…with a time limit. I know some of my things are pretty pricey, but I would never say no to a picnic with wine 😉
Create a collaborative blog!
I love the idea of working on a blog with a friend! It would be amazing to be able to collaborate and work on something like that. Not to mention – cheap. WordPress blogs are free and registering a domain doesn’t run you more than $40 NZD per year. Worth it. Hint, hint: Ilana, Jess and Keri 😉
Visit the drive-in/open air cinema
I had a feeling that there was at least one open air cinema in Auckland, so I looked around and found it! The Silo Markets also open at 5pm, which have food, entertainment, clothing, and anything else you can imagine!
Check your community events page!
I check the Heart of the City once in a while and it usually has something that catches my attention. You can change the filters from free to expensive, so there is something for everyone! Keep an eye on the events page, grab a group of friends and go out for the afternoon! I’m a fan of The Street Food Collective and I will definitely return when I’m back in Auckland!
- What is your favourite thing to do with your friends?
- What is your favourite board game?
- Have you ever been to a potluck dinner?