For the broke among us who hate to feel like they’re missing out, here is a list of things that are basically free (nothing is free, but you won’t have to pay upfront money — your taxes pay for your library, for example, but you don’t have to dig in your pockets for books. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already paying for internet service, so things that are “free” on the internet are free to you.)
- The library. Go there. Get a stack of books. You can walk, bike, bum a ride from a friend, take the bus, or drive. You’ve got threeish weeks to figure out how to get back. In the meantime, read.
- The library has lots of other stuff, too, like movies. Feel free to indulge in their free-ness, too.
- What do you already pay for that you don’t take full advantage of? Netflix? Queue up some movies. Internet? Find some great articles. Go to network websites and stream some TV shows (I recommend Once Upon a Time. It’s cheesy in all the right ways.) Does your apartment/condo/house have a pool or jacuzzi? Go enjoy it.
- Have a grassy area nearby that doesn’t require a fee to go to? Grab one of those library books and sit outside. Bonus: have a bunch of tea that hasn’t been used in the back of your cupboard? Brew yourself a pot and bring it with you.
- What’s in your pantry? Do you have the basics? Bake. What’s in your fridge? Do you have some vegetables? Some cheese? Cook.
- Do you love music? Use an online radio, like Slacker. We’ve been loving the “alternative” station so far.
- Have a friend whose face you miss? Download Skype.
- Is there a town center nearby? Go walk around. Bring a book. Sit on a bench. Listen to the people around you. Chat with them.
- Write a blog post (about all the cool things you’ve managed to do with no money.)
I think most of us go through times when we have to stop doing the things we consider “fun” because we have to pay for necessities, but I also think when we are able to pay for “fun” things, we forget that it’s possible to do things without spending money. We’re taught that life will be more exciting the more we consume, but it can also be fun, too, to figure out ways to be a little more frugal.
What are some frugal things you like to do when you’re feeling the financial pinch?