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If an alcoholic is bored, do you think it’s a good idea if he goes to hang out at the bar? Or will this lead to his making decisions that won’t be in his best interest? In the same manner, if you’re on a budget at the moment where things are incredibly tight (you know, maybe you’ve lost several thousands of dollars in purchasing power just over the course of the last year), if you’re looking for something to do, is it a good idea to head to the mall or someplace else where there are a lot of stores?
I think we both know what the answer here is.
The problem is that for a lot of people, if they’re not spending money, then “there’s nothing to do around here.” The idea being that unless you’re going to a restaurant, watching a movie, or shopping, there are zero activities that a human being can engage in outside of the home to seek diversion.
Though I’ve never really understood this mindset (I’m happy as can be just walking through the woods), I also understand that everybody is wired differently, and so, I wanted to see if I couldn’t give my two cents on some of the things that one could do outside of the house that don’t any cost money.
2020 pretty much killed these for two years, but I have noticed that there are a host of these now coming back. While there are some of these that require the purchasing of a ticket, many of them, in my experience, do not.
Going to a festival is a fun way to spend several hours seeing what the local artists are making in your town, listening to local music, or just hanging out with friends in a different setting.
You might want to leave your wallet at home or only bring a small amount of cash with you.
If you live in the cold and barren wastelands of (*shifts eyes side to side and lowers voice*) The North (*shudders*), then this isn’t really an option for you at all times of the year. If you live in The Beautiful South, it is.
When was the last time that you went out with your friends on a picnic? We do this fairly consistently with my amigos. We just got back from one the other day, where peanut butter and jelly, crackers, and hot chocolate (okay, it was a little chilly) were the main course.
Even if you don’t have any discs, it’s still fun to just walk the courses at these places sometimes. Just watch your head if people are around. Heads and trees are disc magnets.
Local Swimming Holes
These are everywhere where I’m at. It’s not uncommon for people to spend time kayaking, jumping off big rocks into little swimming holes, and tubing. Odds are there are plenty of those little swimming holes where you live as well.
Again, this is something of a seasonal thing, but it’s a cool way to spend the day without spending a dime.
Go read a book at the park.
Step 1: go to your local library. Step 2: go to your local park. Step 3: find a bench. Step 4: plant your butt.
It’s funny sometimes to read older books and read about peoples’ “evening constitutional,” where they basically just went outside to get fresh air. There is something to this, however. Research does show that just being outside makes people happier, and sunshine is most certainly a health-granting thing.
So grab a book (I recommend this one) and go for your own constitutional. You’ll enjoy it.
Go visit a friend.
Growing up, my mom taught us you don’t invite yourself over to somebody’s house. I think that’s true for about 95% of your relationships. The other 5% of those friendships you have are closer-knit, and you can do this without trouble (if you’re not making it a routine).
Bake a loaf of bread and take it to your neighbor.
The key to inviting yourself to somebody else that’s in that 95% is a gift. When was the last time you checked in with your neighbor three doors down? (Gotcha.) When you don’t have a physical key to get into somebody’s house, baked goods tend to work just as well.
It’ll take you an hour and a half of work inside your house, cost next to nothing, and then you get to hang out with somebody for a little bit.
Provided you have the license, this doesn’t have to cost you anything. Like any hobby, you can easily let this one suck you up into it and devour your wallet, but if there’s one thing watching Alone can teach you, it’s that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Keep a jar of stinky bait on hand and a few hooks, and you’re good to go.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking.
To me, lack of money and entertainment is like walking into the gym injured. You can still work out, you just have to be creative and find the things that don’t hurt. You can still have fun when the budget is tight, you just have to be creative here as well.
But what do you think? Are there other things you would add to this list? Are there things you would remove? Help your fellow readers out by giving your advice in the comments section.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.