Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fixed Income Living: Fulfilled-Frugally

This week has been slightly busier than usual for me.

As always, I have had school activities and volunteer commitments. However, tonight I am going to a birthday party!  There will be visiting and sharing, as well as cake and all of the accompaniments.  Saturday evening I'll be going to a dinner theater-Barefoot in the Park. On Thursday evening, I'll be attending a local quilt show and quilt auction. Friends and I will view the quilts and enjoy refreshments.  Sunday will be a wine tasting and art show. Sometime this weekend, I've committed myself to seeing the movie Drive, and enjoying both the movies and the munchies that go with the film.

On the face of it, none of these experiences sound exceptional, but they will all be enjoyable. What's important to note is that all of these events will be free, or less than ten dollars. All fun experiences, the kinds of things I like to do, and all within my fixed income budget. I am not Pollyanna by any means.  However, it seems to me that so often I see people who have had to tighten financial belts bemoan the lack of "fun" or the need to "stay home".  While staying home has value (and I tend to be a homebody), one doesn't need a great deal of money in order to have a "good time". I say that as someone who enjoys the theater, entertaining, the arts, and just plain fun as much as anyone else.  Stay home out of choice, but not out of necessity.

On occasion, I admit it takes a bit of extra and effort time to find these frugal opportunities. It also helps if one has connections who also enjoy frugal endeavours.  If you don't, my suggestion is that you search out new friends. If the only way you know how to have fun is to spend money then yes, you will be miserable. Find a way to make new connections who have the same values and the same interests (a subject for a later post, I'm sure).

As to the specifics: The birthday party is a regular group of women that I enjoy visiting with and talking to.  The quilt show is an advertised free event. Obviously the goal is to sell small quilts throughout the silent auction. I have bid in the past, and may again, but feel no obligation other than visiting and looking. Barefoot in the Park is a local community theater, and my son built the sets and I will sell tickets one night,  In exchange I will get a gourmet dinner and a theater performance. The gallery showing was found in the newspaper, and the movie is the only free event requiring my "deal making skills". I've earned AMC gift cards through my debit card rewards and decided this was the time to take advantage.

What you have available will depend on where you live, your interests and desires. Some entertainment ideas will come through connections, some through word of mouth, some by skimming through your local or city paper. Feel free to stay at home if that's the place you choose to be.  But if not, get out and get a life, already!!


  1. By living in a large metropolitan area, we are blessed with a full menu of festivals, plays, concerts, and events that are either free or low cost.

    Even so, it is much too easy for us to pass up something because we are tired, or lazy. If I could change one thing in our future it would be a better track record to taking full advantage of the choices we have.

  2. I live in New York City-everyone complains about how expensive it is here,but there are a lot of free and inexpensive things to do. My local library has concerts,lectures and exercise classes. For those 60 and older,there are senior centers-they have lunch for a donation of $1.50,yoga,tai chi,exercise classes,art classes,language classes etc.-and these activities are free. Most of the museums here are not free,but they all have free hours. And of course the Staten Island ferry with a wonderful view of NYC and the Statue of Liberty is free.
    Make the most of what's available wherever you live.


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