How We Paid off $50,000 in debt: How to Save on Entertainment


I've mentioned many times about our debt free journey and how it changed our lives, but who doesn't love a list of how to ACTUALLY implement saving money?? This list is what worked for our family in a time that we really needed to cut back and pay off debt. Many of these items may not work for you, but if you get even one idea from this list, my job here is done.

I cannot stress how much this book changed our family tree forever, check out The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Don't pay for entertainment. Be Creative. Check Pinterest for ideas.

Borrow DVDs from family & friends. Set up a swap meet.

Cancel your cable and sign up for Netflix and Hulu.

Pretend to be a tourist in your own town.

Make it a goal to visit every park in your area.

Visit the library weekly. Sign up for kids' events if there are any.

Find a local blog like Pensacola with Kids

Check out cool things to do that are off the beaten path at Only in Your State
     15 Activities to Add to Your Ohio Bucket List This Summer
     Best BBQ in Ohio
     Ultimate Haunted Road Trip in Ohio
     10 Iconic Foods in Ohio
     12 Amazing Breakfast Spots in Florida (2 of them are right near me!)

     P.S. I grew up in Ohio and visit almost every summer. I now live in Florida.

Start your own blog detailing free or cheap things to do in the area.

Check the newspaper every Friday, there's probably a things to do section.

Check the "events near you" or "events popular in your network" tab on Facebook.

Invite new friends over for dinner.

Grill your food as often as possible and eat outside.

Buy as many used outside toys as possible for your kids.

Host a chili cook-off.

These are ways that my family actually saved money. We LOVED pretending to be a tourist in our hometown of Pensacola, FL. Here is a post 30+ Day trips on the Emerald Coast (includes Destin, Pensacola, Milton, and many other areas).

...and the #1 Tip That Changed the Way We Budget...

Budget an amount each month as "mad money". This is no questions asked money we get to spend on whatever we want. We didn't really master the budgeting thing until we did this. We no longer nit-picked each other about little things and started to focus all of our attention on things that mattered! It was a game-changer, for sure. We started at $50 a month for each of us. That's about $12.50 a week. Once we loosened the belt, it changed to $100 a month for each of us. This may sound like a lot, but we are debt free. Sometimes we use this money for going out to eat when it isn't planned, giving gifts, buying fund-raiser items, or new shoes we totally don't "need" (as if there was a shoe that I didn't need). This single budget item made us feel like we weren't chained to the budget, that life wasn't a drag, and we could do fun things whenever we wanted because there was wiggle room. I love this!

This is just what worked for us. What are some ways your family has saved money?

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