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Entertainment During a Recession
Ideas and suggestions to bring your family together and have a good time during a recession.
The following is a list of suggestions you can use to help your family (and yourself) stay positive and enjoy a little entertainment in life. Many of these suggestions are family oriented so if you've been trying to get your family back into a family mood and "around the dinner table" as they say, a recession is a perfect opportunity to strengthen family bonds. Technology is all around us. It's made our lives seem wonderful, but it can also make our lives seem miserable too. Sometimes it's nice to get back to the simple things in life. Some of these suggestions are technology based and some are just simple things you can do.
The first suggestion is to stop watching the news. I'm not saying ignore the problem, but you don't have to focus on it. If like attracts like, then what we as a nation are attracting is more negativity. We have to keep positive so we'll attract more positive things into our lives. Step away from the news and don't worry about it. There are actually people who are paid to worry about the economy and come up with solutions for it--why should you do this for free?
Are you one of the many families who'll be facing budget cuts and wondering how you'll pay your bills? It may be time to decide what you can live without. Many of us pay for cable TV, internet, rent movies, use a cell phone and a home phone. Which of these can you do without? If you have a cell phone do you really need to pay for a home phone too? When it comes to internet and cable TV, I'd suggest you lose the cable TV. You can get all the news right on the internet and it still allows you to keep in touch with friends and family through email and message boards.
Maybe you like to rent movies. By the time you drive to and from Blockbuster or some other movie rental place and rent a few movies, you've spent at least $20. I'd suggest you give Netflix a try. For $15 a month you can have 2 movies at a time sent to you, plus they have many titles available to watch online instantly. Depending on how close a mailing center is to you depends on how many movies you can get per week. We use Netflix and sometimes we get 4 or more movies a week depending on how quickly we get them back in the mail. Yes, that's all for $15 a month. We were paying that for 2 movies per week at our local movie store, plus we had to go get them and return them. With Netflix, you just go to the mailbox.
This is also a good time to break out the board games. Not only is it cheap entertainment but it gets the family together as well. With all of today's electronic gadgets a board game may seem simple, but finding simplicity in life can also help you gain balance in a hectic world. If you're fresh out of board games, these can be purchased relatively cheap at department stores and bring you many hours of great fun. Board games are a good investment money wise and also family wise.
Have you been putting off getting in shape? Did you tell yourself this would be the year you finally got in shape but so far you keep putting it off? This is a great time to break out the work-out videos. When we're physically active and feel better about ourselves we have a more positive outlook. Just because we think the economy is shot doesn't mean our bodies and minds have to be. And just think, when the economy does pick back up you'll actually feel like getting out to do things and you'll look fabulous doing it.
Scrap booking is another hobby you can pick up now. It can be an expensive hobby though, so be careful. Generally you can get a whole starter kit for about $15 to $20 at places like Wal-Mart. A starter kit is a good way to decide if you'll even like to scrapbook, and gives you a chance to create a really cute family book of your kids' pictures. Scrap booking began by using scraps of paper and magazine clippings. These days it has turned into a gigantic business, but you can still keep things simple, especially if you have some old magazines lying around that you haven't decided what to use them for. If you have kids in grade school, you probably have construction paper and stuff lying around too. See how creative you can get. This can also be a family project.
Get into some music. Put on tunes that lift your spirits and put you in a good mood. Avoid sad songs that bring you down. It could also be a good time to finally learn how to play that instrument you have stashed in the garage. If you don't have an instrument you can check pawn shops and second hand stores and many times find a decent deal. It may not be the best instrument in the world, but if you're just learning how to play it'll be perfect.
If you walk away from the news and put your thinking cap on, I'm sure you can come up with other great ideas to help your family stay positive and entertained during a recession. In a few years when all of this is behind us, it won't be the hard times we remember, it'll be the good times we shared with our loved ones.