I don’t know about you, but any time I go somewhere that involves paying for entertainment, one of the things I always notice is just how expensive everything always seems to be. Why would I spend that much!? Of course, I understand it to a point – they are there to make money, and everyone needs money.
But when it’s painfully obvious I am paying a lot more than what it costs to provide that service, all I can think about is how much better it would be if I could just do something free instead.
Yes, spending less won’t solve all your problems, but it can still improve your finances.
I’m Not gonna go to Disney world
By now, most of us are probably familiar with the strangely prevalent ads in which an NFL player who just won the Super Bowl emphatically proclaims he’s going to go to Disney World to celebrate. Obviously, these ads are meant to convince the masses to do the same. After all, millions of people idolize professional athletes. Unfortunately, though, the masses’ pockets aren’t lined with gold like those of most NFL players.
Also, I’m not sure if the times have changed that much in a little over 30 years since the original ad. What I do know is it seems a bit odd that a grown man just can’t wait to go to Disney World. Maybe he has kids and it’s because he wants to take them, but still…
And to be clear, it’s not that I’m judging him. It’s just that all I can think is that he must have been paid to say that, and would he have said it if it he weren’t paid? It’s also ironic to think he was paid to say he’s going to a very expensive tourist attraction, given that NFL players are already so much more well off than the average person. Funny, isn’t it?
To be honest, I don’t even know how much the average trip to Disney World costs, partly because I’m not thinking about going at the moment, and partly because I don’t want to know! Thankfully, there are lots of ways to have fun and not spend too much.
How to have fun without breaking the bank
My sister actually mentioned this idea and I think it’s a great one. In our consumerist culture, I think sometimes we forget how much there is you can do without having to spend a ton. Just how much you can do for free might vary depending on where you live, but I’m sure everyone can find something fun to do for free (or very cheap). Here are some ideas:
Check out a nearby state park. One of the really nice things we have here in the states is definitely state parks. They can be found all over the country, and many of them are great places to visit. For example, here in Raleigh where I’m currently based is Umstead State Park. It has over 20 miles of trails, camping, boating, and lots of other cool things. I highly recommend checking out the parks your area has to offer.
Visit a local museum. This is another one that could be different based on where you live. And again, I am referencing where I am currently. But here, we have an art museum, a history museum, a natural science museum, and more. All of them are free and provide hours of entertainment. What’s not to like?
Take a stroll through an arboretum or garden. Not too far from me is Duke Gardens. The only thing you have to pay for is to park at the entrance (and parking is cheap!). They have more outdoor exhibits than you can possibly see in a day. Barring that, most areas have an arboretum with similar exhibits.
See a movie in the park. Of course, this one is weather-permitting, but many cities and towns show movies in large outdoor green spaces at no cost to viewers. Just show up with your lawn chairs and enjoy!
Make a campfire. This one does have a small cost involved since you have to buy firewood, but that is minimal compared to what most other entertainment usually costs. Plus, sitting in front of a campfire while just chatting with friends is always so relaxing.
Do you have any other ideas for how to have fun for free? Let me know your thoughts.