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Cheap Thrills
Convening with your cousins doesn't mean you have to squander your life savings. For your next family reunion, try these 48 tips to keep the budget modest—without downsizing the fun.

Each year, my family gets a little closer to having some consistency in our haphazardly planned family reunions. One of the biggest challenges — you know, after carefully aligning everyone's schedules with the precision of a planetary orbit and praying that nobody changes jobs and screws up everything — is keeping our reunion cost-efficient. I don't want to come right out and say we're cheap, but — well, we're cheap. Thankfully, we're learning that cutting reunion costs doesn't have to mean stomaching potluck dinners from Styrofoam vats or sleeping four wide on a hotel floor. You can save money without feeling like an impoverished band of gypsies, and you can have fun without having to take out a second mortgage on the house.

"Oftentimes, people equate money with fun," says Ginita Wall, an author, consultant and adviser for the GE Center for Financial Learning and the Women's Institute for Financial Education. Luckily, it's not a fair equation.

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