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Having Frugal Fun My Way

July 19th, 2014 at 03:23 pm

Having fun does not have to be expensive. Heck, having fun can actually cost almost nothing or even nothing at all. Being retired, I have more free time to fill than the average person(1*). And I do fill it -- without having to resort to endless hours of tv watching or rocking chair napping. I have no trouble finding interesting fun activities to pursue without having to spend an arm and a leg to pursue them. The thing is I think anyone can do that. Using me as a case study, here is how and why.

Having a low-cost hobby is a big first step. Something that you enjoy doing, that you can do for hours at a time, and that does not require the constant spending of substantial amounts of money. Preferably, something that is also good for you -- whether physically, mentally or spiritually. Something to keep you engaged and your wallet out of trouble!

For me, that something is actually several somethings. I hike(2*), which only costs me the price of gasoline to get to one of my nearby parks and trails. I read history(3*), which -- if I wished(4*) -- could cost me nothing more than the cost of fuel to occasionally drive 5 miles to the library. I play pc strategy games(5*), which costs me nothing at all as long as I stay happy (which I do) with the 4 games I bought 10 or more years ago for a total of less than $150. And I blog(6*), which also costs me nothing other than the price of yellow pads and disposable mechanical pencils because I prefer to do almost all my writing that way.

Taken together, these activities can more than fill my free time. They keep me interested and mentally involved on a daily basis. They can be mixed and matched depending on the weather and my mood so that I always have something leisure to do. And they do not drain my wallet.

But there are many other frugal fun hobbies to pursue. For a modest one-time cost for the equipment, one can do bird watching... digital photography (no cost for film or print paper)... biking... surfing... skateboarding... rollerskating... astronomy... playing an instrument... just to name a few at random. And for no money at all, one can visit art galleries and museums... take online courses at sites like Coursera... and so on. There are many other frugal leisure options besides what I do.

So it is totally possible to have lots of fun without crashing one's budget(7*). Oh, I of course also do fun things that cost money((8*). Like eating out, traveling, going to concerts, etc. But still my typical week is filled with daily leisure activities that cost little or nothing. For less than $10 a week (mostly for gas) and without a single minute of mind sucking tv programming, I get 35 or more scheduled hours of rewarding leisure blogging, hiking, reading and pc game playing -- not even counting evening library-DVD-movie-buffing and classical music listening. And that is a heck of a lot of frugal fun my way.

The takeaway: There are obviously many fun things to do that do not require the constant spending of money for fees (like golf), or materials (like most crafts), or a major piece of equipment (like a boat). Frugal fun that anyone can afford to have is all around us for the doing. And anyone can make life fuller and richer by doing them.

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(1*) Making Time For Fun:
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(2*) My Love Affair With Hiking:
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(3*) Time Traveling With History Books:
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(4*) My Books -- A Huge Frugality Exception:
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(5*) My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
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(6*) 200 Words A Day That (Hopefully) Matter:
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(7*) My $18K Annual Baseline Budget:
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(8*) A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget:
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2 Responses to “Having Frugal Fun My Way”

  1. Maranatha Says:

    I really enjoy your posts and have been getting many ideas from you that I think I might like to try. I look forward to many more entries from you.

  2. Retired To Win Says:

    Thank you so much, Maranatha! It is comments like yours that keep me motivated to post! Big Grin

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