What do you do for fun? Don’t you love that question? For some people such as sports enthusiasts or hobbyists, it’s easier to answer. You’ve probably noticed that as you get older, activities that are fun for some people are no longer what you consider to be fun. Redefining fun is a vital part of frugality, too. You become more aware of the costs involved in your choices. Your community offers many free activities. You can often find where to go and what to do on the bulletin board at your local library, by calling your chamber of commerce or in your newspaper. You’ll often find coupons or free passes for local events at your grocery store, too. Find out whether there’s a Newcomers club. You don’t have to be new to your neighborhood to participate. Visit www.newcomersclub.com to find a club near you.
What do you do for fun on a budget? Here are a few activities frugal people consider fun.
It can be a dreaded chore for many people, but a productive day working in the yard can make you feel great. When you’re frugal, you gain a newfound interest in your home and it becomes your haven. Take pride in keeping a beautifully maintained yard. As a bonus, you’re getting a workout and enjoying the outdoors. If you have a home produce garden, you reap the fruits of your labor, too. Don’t want to do all of the work yourself? Look for or start a community garden. A recently popular urban movement is guerrilla gardening which involves beautifying (through gardening) neglected areas. Visit www.guerrillagardening.org for tips and more information on this topic. Or try a neighborhood cleanup. Get together and everyone can work on each person’s yard, or start a cleanup project within your community.
Making or doing things yourself gives you a sense of accomplishment and independence. You can start making gifts for upcoming holidays or try making something yourself that you’ve been meaning to such as soaps, cleaners, origami, copycat recipes or kid crafts (play dough, bubbles, etc) to name a few.
Plan a weekend garage sale. Clear your house of things that are no longer useful to you and turn them into extra cash. Coordinate a neighborhood sale or ask family or friends to join your sale.
Make a nature walk more fun by bringing your camera, a plant guide, book on wild food foraging, small flower press, binoculars or delicious food. Tired of your nature center? Try historical tours or botanical gardens. Another fun activity is doing grave rubbings. The materials are cheap and you can create your own artwork. Visit www.gravestonestudies.org/faq.htm to learn some do’s and don’ts. Or try letterboxing (www.letterboxing.org and www.atlasquest.com) or geocaching (www.geocaching.com), which are combinations of treasure hunting and adventure.
Get together with friends or family, and have everyone bring a dish to pass. Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy a backyard BBQ. Play cards for fun. Visit www.pagat.com for a listing of tons of card games and their rules. Or have a fun late night movie marathon. Pick a fun theme for your potluck party to change it up throughout the year. And since everyone is coming over, organize a fun swap party, too. Exchange items such as clothing, games, DVDs, books or toys.