Does your fun meter take a hit when you’re on a budget?
I'm sure everyone's unanimous response is: YES!
When we started to crack down and get serious about our budget I dreaded that our fun meter would fall to zero. So far, January’s been fun and we haven't broken the monthly entertainment budget. We got to experience The Escape Zone at a price tag of $57.51 for two people. Basically, it's an hour long puzzle/mystery where (up to 8 people max) have to solve clues to escape out of a darkened room. As much fun as I had, I kicked myself afterwards when I found out that another participant got her tickets for 60% off using a Groupon discount. Guess what site I'll be checking now before I pay for anything else?
Here’s the big secret: FIND THE FREE (or relatively cheap) experiences!
It’s necessary to exercise some restraint in order for you to begin seeing progress in your financial journey. I know all too well the feeling of outlining a fantastic plan only to completely overshoot my projections and ultimately defeat myself before the month has even come to an end. I don’t want that to happen anymore yet I also don’t want to compromise having fun either!
If you’re one of the few that aren’t using a budget and find yourself missing your mark each month it’s time to get serious about your goals. Over time having a hawk-eye watch over your finances will begin to feel less like a chore and you may even start looking forward to the process.
Finding the Free
For the past couple months, Mr. RNW and I have begun adhering to a strict budget and we’ve found ourselves being more cautious towards our spending habits. A while back I discovered our apartment complex and a local studio offers a free yoga class once a week, and I've been taking full advantage of that perk ever since! Most of all, we love to eat out and enjoy new experiences but those things cost money and when you’re on a budget it may not be the greatest idea to indulge as much.
Our mission for February is to go after the FREE and not sacrifice our fun! Instead of staying inside and staring at the walls we’re going to get out commit to being Experience People vs. Things People (Debt Free Guys), this time with a deep focus on budget friendliness. If you live in a mid-sized city like us, it’s likely there’s some type of free event happening every week that you may be interested in attending.
Here’s the catch: You’ve got to get creative with finding these events! Free events (that’ll be worth your time) aren’t usually broadcasted loosely to the entire public, you usually have to go digging for them! Here’s some of my favorite spots to stalk in order to find the best free (& cheap) events taking place in my surrounding area:
- Community newsletters & local papers
- Chamber of commerce website
- Online event calendars of surrounding cities
- Random announcement areas - i.e. Panera's community bulletin board (each location has one), local library activities board, etc.
- Groupon - catch a deal on something you’ve wanted to try so you don’t facepalm yourself later!
- Eventbrite - enter your city & select free (under prices)
- Meetup - great place to find comaradarie in others while learning a skill or starting a new activity.
That’s our plan for February, to still having fun while sticking to our budget. As of today, I’ve found 3 free events we’d like to attend next month and I’m hoping to still find more!