Saturday, July 23, 2005

You don't have to be a hermit

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that having fun doesn't always mean having to fork over the big bucks. Let's face's not always easy being social when you are trying to save money. Just a night out for dinner and a movie can cost $20 per person and a night of drinking can end up costing $50 if you're not smart about it (martinis are not cheap!). So per my sister's suggestion, I decided to post some cheap or FREE ways to have fun this summer.

1) If you live in L.A. or New York or any other big city, go check out free tapings of T.V. shows. If you live in Chicago, even better. Go see Oprah and heck you might even get a free car. Not sure how easy it is to get tickets to Oprah as I'm sure there are thousands of rabid women looking to get a piece of the action. Personally, I was able to visit the Jay Leno show when my favorite singer, Bjork, was on and also got a glimpse of Kevin Spacey and was able to harass the evil Bill O'Reilly (yo, he was dissing on Berkeley peeps). Better yet, why not go on a game show! Ha, wouldn't that be great if I went on Wheel of Fortune or the Price is Right and won beaucoup bux!

2) Get into the great outdoors. A lot of these activities cost nothing if you already have the right equipment. Find a good bike trail, go hiking, or play some volleyball at the beach (sorry to all you inlanders). Snorkeling was my personal pick. I bought some fins and mask for about $40 last year and I'm sure they will last me for many snorkeling trips. Not only are outdoor activities cheap or free but they will usually get your blood pumping so you can pass on your pricey gym membership.

3) Take in some culture. I must be a real nerd but sometimes I love going to the library. They have a lot more than books; think free magazines, newspapers and free a/c. Stop subscribing to all those mags and just take a day to go hang out at the library and get it all for free. Museums also will usually have one day out of the month (maybe more?) where they offer free admission. Go look at some paintings or artifacts and make everyone think you are really smart. Also, check out your local event calendar for free activities like festivals or outdoor concerts.

4) Volunteer and put yourself to some good use. Get off your butt and go do something good for humanity. If you are a pet lover, why not donate some of your time to the local humane society and play with the under-loved animals. Or if you happen to care about people as well, visit a convalescent home. Or if you don't like animals or humans, you can do the environment a favor by cleaning up a beach, a river, or some place where us nasty humans have decided to trash.

5) Invite your friends over. You don't necessarily have to leave home to have fun. Make dinner together or do some baking. Have a flour fight and cover each other with icing. As far as I remember, this was really fun when I was 12 years old, so it might still be kind of fun. After dinner, play some board games. Further evidence that I am a nerd, I love board games. I will kick your ass in trival pursuit any day.

I'm sure there are tons more fun ideas. I'd love to hear what you have to say.

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Monty Loree said...

hey lpkitten...

I like your ideas. Yes.. you can have fun for $0 dollars. These are excellent suggestions.

Sometimes you just have to 'dull down' your entertainment pallet. It's like when your mother tells you to not use that much salt on your food. You try it with less salt for a week and then you get used to that taste.

Visiting with little money spended is kind of like that. More down earth, wholesome visiting is usually pretty darn cheap.

This is good stuff!

Financial Maturity Blog

Pappy said...

Prank calling people can be fun, cheap, and lots of thrills.

Mackin with Pappy said...

these are some great tips because as we all know a social life = empty pockets.

Karen said...

Thanks for the tips!

Jon said...

I just found your site through and have been enjoying it - I find personal finance to be very interesting, especially the ways people try to arrange and manage theirs.

I'm also trying to pay down debts (credit cards and school loans) and find that trying to save money on entertainment to be challenging without feeling like you're turning down your friends' social invitations.

The sheer volume of wedding invitations has been especially troublesome. While I certainly want to celebrate with friends and family, it often makes it difficult to save money when you're figuring in gifts, travel and lodging, not to mention all the extras that go into these events like parties beforehand.

Keep up the good work and best of luck with your project! I think learning about and discussing finances with other people can be very rewarding and should be encouraged more in today's society.

priscilla grim said...

I live in NYc and I would rather gouge my eyes out with a fish hook than sit through an eight hour tv taping in the name of "fun"

weekly papers, Time Out, and have lots of free stuff in them