Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean you have to give up having fun. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking fun and money go hand in hand. They don't. It's your attitude and determination that will allow you to have fun, with or without money.
Now I'm not saying I don't every feel sorry for myself because I don't have the money to do certain things. I think anyone who is financially strapped goes through those moments now and then. It's OK. You can't always help how you feel. It's not OK to dwell on it and let it keep you from moving forward and finding new ways to have fun while saving some cash.
One thing we do is keep a "Family Fun Jar". It's just a mason jar we drop change in. Any change found while cleaning goes into the jar as well. This includes laundry and couch cushions. When the jar is full, we count the money and decide on something we want to do as a family. It could be going out to do something such as bowling, or a movie. Or it could be a family fun night such as getting a new board game and a bunch of snack foods to have a fun night in.
The neat thing about the Family Fun Jar is that the whole family gets in on it and no one pays attention to who is helping more or less than the others. Every member of the family drops change in it from time to time. Everyone gets to feel like they are a part, no matter how small.
When we are waiting for the jar to get full, we still do fun things at home. We have family movie nights, or family game nights. All we need is the TV, a board game and a cheap snack. We usually have popcorn or some sort of sale chips on hand.
For our family Super Bowl party, I got frozen pizzas on sale and with a coupon for $2.96 each. And I'm not talking store brand either, these were Digiorno. The only brand my husband actually likes. I also got some turkey cheddar sausages for $1 a package, and buns were only 85 cents at Aldi. I had everything on hand to make a veggie pizza except for the cream cheese ($1.29 at Aldi).
So we will have a grilled chicken pizza, sausages on buns, and a veggie pizza. And all it cost me to get the additional ingredients we needed was $7.10. There will likely be enough food there for lunches the next day as well.
What other ideas do you have for fun that doesn't cost a lot of money?