One of My Favorite Ways to Save on Children’s Activities

One of My Favorite Ways to Save on Children’s Activities

- in Parenting, Things to do
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I’m a mom of twin toddlers and I’m always looking for fun, cool things to do without spending a lot of money. As a single mom on a tight budget, I don’t allocate a lot of money for entertainment. However, my goal is to make each day different and to create new, amazing memories. Therefore, I’m on the lookout for free activities and amazing deals for paid activities.

In the Cleveland area, there is so much to do — many free things, but there also are many fun things that cost money. Initially, I would quickly skim over the stuff that costs money — especially if it costs more than my once a week $5/child budget for activities. However, I challenged myself to stop doing that. Instead of assuming that the activities would cost too much or couldn’t fit into my tight budget, I started to ask myself if there was a way for me to do it for less. This new approach opened up so many more activities. What I learned is to check the website for any special discounted day. If there was a free or discounted day, then I would attend with the twins on that day.

For example, in early August the Cuyahoga County Fair was in town and I wanted to attend with my twins. I went online to their website to research pricing and potential discounts. I learned that the Cuyahoga County Fair had Dollar Days on the Wednesday and Thursday of the fair. I also learned that children under 3 were free and parking was free. Therefore, I decided to attend on Wednesday to take advantage of the Dollar Days. I also packed snacks so we didn’t need to buy food while we were there. I ended up spending about four hours at the fair and only spent $1. We had so much fun that we went back the next day for the Thursday Dollar Days and did the same thing again. Even if my twins were older than 3 and I had to pay for admission for them, the total cost to attend during Dollar Days would have only been $3! If I hadn’t packed snacks, I could have used the money saved on admission to buy food or pay for rides at the fair. Because of the discount, my family decided to come with me both days and we were able to visit the fair as a family.

 My twins were so excited about the Cuyahoga County Fair that when the Geauga County Fair came into town, we visited that one, too. Prior to the fair’s arrival, I checked the website to see which days had free or discounted admission. I learned that children 6 and under were free every day, so I knew my kids would be free; the next step was to determine which day was the best pricing for my ticket. I wanted to attend the Thursday of the fair because it was free before noon and $5 after 12 p.m., however, I was unable to attend that day. Instead, I chose Friday because it was free for seniors and my family attended. By going that day we were able to get a couple of free admissions.

Before you go to an event, museum or activity, search the website for free or discounted admission days and then plan your visit around them. Also look for free parking and the opportunity to bring your own food.

I share these tips and two examples with you to let you know not to overlook events that aren’t free by assuming they aren’t affordable. Also, even if the paid events are within your budget, I’m encouraging you to still look for ways to avoid paying full price because you can use the savings to either offset the total cost of the trip or apply those savings to other bills, expenses, additional activities, or your financial goals. Entertaining the family doesn’t have to be expensive — it just takes a little bit of due diligence to do it for less.

About the author

Aisha Taylor is a single mother of twins who helps corporate moms create the financial foundations to support turning their idea to income so they can exit their full-time job, walk in purpose, and spend more time with their children. Aisha has been featured in Black Enterprise, Jet Magazine, ESSENCE, Go Banking Rates, and The Detroit Free Press. To connect with Aisha, visit www.myideatoincome.com or email [email protected]

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