As the weather gets a little chillier and we shift from Summer to Autumn, I’ve got penny-pinching on my mind. Summer may have seen you spending a bit more liberally (vacations, eating out, outdoor adventures) and back-to-school time can get costly as well. Looking ahead to the holidays, the next couple months can be a great time to rein it in, make some cut-backs and start saving. So, turn off those air conditioners, meal plan, host a Naked Lady party to score clothes for a new Fall look…and as for fun; here are 10 ways to spend your down-time this Fall without breaking the bank!
Forget the fancy gym memberships and costly classes. You can just bust a move from the comfort of your own living room. Youtube and Pinterest are fitness gold-mines! Do Erin Motz’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge. See how many reps of push-ups/sit-ups/lunges/squats/WHATEVER you can do in a row. Try to do more each day. Go upside down in a hand stand! Wanna explore? Jog in your neighborhood. Find a hiking trail nearby.
Commit to picking back up a hobby you let fall by the way-side or finally learn the skill you’ve had the equipment for in the back of your closet for ages. Play around with that camera (even if it’s just on your iPhone…you could even sign up for an Instagram “picture a day” challenge). Bust out your craft supplies. Build something. Grow something. Dust off that violin. Teach yourself calligraphy or German or darts.
Turn off your TV, close the laptop and play a game instead. Spread out on the floor with your significant other or gather ’round the kitchen table with friends. Play Backgammon, Rummikub, Pictionary, Jenga, Chess, Trivial Pursuit or Monopoly. Got a deck of cards? Deal out Hearts, Poker, Euchre, B.S. or my always and forever favorite THIRTEEN.
You don’t always have to strap on your hiking boots and hit the woods to have an epic adventure. Try your hand at urban exploration. Find a historic neighborhood and provide a running commentary on the architecture (even if it’s completely made up). Get lost in a gi-normous indoor flea market or antique mall. Check out abandoned buildings (don’t get arrested). See how many green-spaces, fountains, swing-sets, hot-dog stands, libraries or pedways you can walk to in one day.
Do a little research and find free cultural events going on in your area. Check out galleries displaying art in public places. Go to an educational lecture hosted by a school or church or non-profit. Lots of organizations love hosting free movies. Got a friend or family member in a play, concert, dance recital? See if you can peep their dress rehearsal for free. The public library is a fantastic resource. And if you live in a university town you’re golden!
Nothing says Fall like hunkering in a cozy spot with your latest page-turner. Join a book club. Start your own. Blaze through some Young Adult fiction on your e-reader. Pick up a stack of historical romance novels from the library. No one needs to know about your literary guilty pleasures.
Don’t shell out all your hard-earned money at Starbies. Yes, you may lose that gold status (R.I.P.) but you can learn to make your favorite hot beverages at home. If you want to drink all pumpkin everything until Christmas day…so be it.
Ok, so this may cost a LITTLE bit but if you have a Trader Joes we’re not talking much. Have a few friends over for a nice night in. BYO #3buckchuck. BYO #horsdouevrestoshare BYO #classyattire Set your Pandora station to whatever you like best, mingle, and let the conversation flow.
Evaluate your unique gifts and skill-set and figure out ways to give back. Sign up to be a mentor. Play with puppies. Organize events. Try your hand at a radio reading service. Answer phones, ring doorbells or just listen. When you give of your time, not only are you NOT spending money, the Universe finds powerful ways to reward you. : )
What about y’all, dear readers? How do you save money without sacrificing fun? Will you be ballin’ on a budget like me this Fall? Sending you an encouraging high-five if so! We got this!