Raising a family is an expensive endeavor. A recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture estimated that the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is $233,610. Though parents know that’s a small price to pay for all the joy their children bring into their lives, those same moms and dads also wouldn’t mind a little financial relief from time to time.
Family outings can be great bonding experiences, and parents may be happy to learn that there’s a host of budget-friendly activities that are fun and affordable.
Movie night under the stars: For the relatively low cost of a mini projector and accompanying screen, parents can host routine outdoor movie nights in the backyard. Though parents might expect some sticker shock when they begin looking for an outdoor mini projector, it’s worth noting that seven of the 10 projectors that make up Amazon’s best sellers list are less than $100. Some of those products even come with their own screens at no extra cost.
Picnic in the park: Some families may be experiencing some sticker shock as they begin dining out again after eating their meals at home throughout the pandemic. Soaring food and supply costs and labor shortages have forced restaurant owners to raise prices. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average American household was already spending $3,000 a year dining out. Families can cut those costs considerably by having homemade meals, or even takeout, away from home. A picnic in the park can make for a wonderful family outing and won’t cost nearly as much as dining in person at a favorite restaurant.
Find ‘yourselves’: Families are finding that digging into their own histories is a great way to learn more about who they are. A 2020 report from Transparency Market Research estimated that the market for global DNA test kits, which help people learn more about their ancestry, is expected to expand by nearly 25 percent between 2019 and 2027. Test kits typically cost around $100, and families can then use the information they glean from test results to conduct their own free research on the history and culture of the countries their ancestors called home.
Exercise: Exercising together is a great way for families to get healthy and feel good. Traditional workouts with weights and time on a treadmill may not be everyone’s idea of a fun time, but families can go for a hike, kayak in a nearby lake, take up jogging, or even play a favorite sport together.