There was a time in my life, as there is for most people, when I was totally shit broke. For a lot of young people, this period usually befalls them when they’re in college (where frankly, no one expects you to have much money anyway, and so in my case, I was in no danger of rising above that expectation). For other people, that period can come after a layoff or a particularly difficult period trying to find work. My bank account was in rough shape during the ages of 19-22, mainly because I was a full-time student working a very low-wage on-campus job. I had student loans that helped me pay for books, but I tried my best to cover the rest of the costs on my own. (I also had help from my parents, so I realized things could have been much worse.) I distinctly remember a time when I had to check my bank account balance before I went to go buy a $4 cup of soup at the cafeteria. (You might be asking why I was buying soup if I was that broke, but I was young and dumb and looked forward to my weekly #treat.) I was usually so strapped for cash that any extra money I received was spent without much consideration.
Even though it was a financially immature time in my life, I did learn to get along with a lot less — and I wasn’t even unhappy about it. I never really knew any other lifestyle at that point, and my friends and I did what we needed to do in order to have fun in frugal ways. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt myself become more spoiled and selective about what I do for fun. It’s not a good feeling to know that happiness is somewhat tied up with your ability to spend, because it makes you feel like something else has power over you. And, of course, money has power over all of us to some extent, but it shouldn’t dictate whether or not we feel fulfilled. Personally, I know it’s hard to bring yourself back to a place where you feel happy to sit at home on a Friday night, saving money, when all you want to do it go out to places that require spending it.
However, staying in in order to cut back doesn’t have to mean sitting on your couch staring at a wall. There are a ton of satisfying alternatives in which one can partake simply by thinking outside the box. Below, I’ve rounded up 16 alternatives that are productive, enriching, and creative. Check them out below!
Here are even more ways your can enjoy yourself, and satisfy your desire to do something fun + leisurely without spending money. Check it out!
- An Introduction To Duolingo
- A Wonderful At-Home Spa Night
- Purge Your Wardrobe Closet Like a Pro
- Deep-Clean Your Bathroom In 7 Steps
- Guide To Socializing And Meeting Friends At Meetup.com
- How To Clean Your House in 20 Minutes A Day For 30 Days
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