Want To Save Money? Then Do What You Like

by Katy on December 29, 2008 · 5 comments



I’m in Seattle visiting my sister Jessica right now, and we’re winding down from  a pretty terrific day.

First, we hung out in the A.M. with the kids, chowing down on delicious challah french toast for breakfast. We then corralled the youngsters and ventured out on a treasure hunt to Goodwill. (I bought a 79 cent copy of Out of the Dust and a $1.99 uber-cool wooden hanger with lot of pegs and hooks on it, which will be handy for wrangling my husband’s ties and belts.)

We then hit the wonderfully greasy Dick’s Drive-In for cheap and tasty sustenance. (Cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes — okay, okay, the healthy eating initiative starts January 1st.) 

Next was a trip to the Experience Music Project. (My husband sprang for a membership last February. We’ve used it four times so far, twice with my sister’s whole family!) This is a perfect compromise for our motley crew, ages 4 to 43. The teenager went to the rock music section, and the rest of us geekoids explored the on-site Science Fiction Museum. (Today’s exciting discovery was that the high-tech Star Trek Borg eye is made from an everyday tea strainer. Who knew?) Had we not already possessed a membership, we’d have used my sister’s Pacific Science Center or zoo membership. 

Best part though? An awesome close-in parking spot that was $2.20, instead of the $12 we spent last time.

A quick stop into the Montlake library for Manga and movies was the perfect ending to a day of outings.

What’s my point here?

Nothing we did today cost much of anything. I’m on a very tight budget right now, yet there was not one moment of deprivation.

There is a common misconception that to live under one’s means is to live without the things and experiences that give you pleasure. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. My idea of a fun time may seem far from the norm, but I disagree. 

I like traveling, thrift store spelunking, libraries, treating the kids to fun experiences and hanging out with friends and family. 

Check, check, check, check, and check.

Tomorrow, my sister and I are going to dress up and dine out with a couple of old college friends. But you know what? We’ll be using a $100 restaurant gift certificate my sister was given. And yeah, I’ll probably order the tap water, because that is what I like to drink.

Do you feel like a tightened budget is keeping you from the things you love? Please share your responses in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

livnletlrn December 30, 2008 at 4:49 am

Our (self-imposed) tightened budget is ENABLING us to do the things we love because we (dh and I, both self-employed in home-based businesses) don’t have to work a kazillion hours to pay for the never-ending consumption of stuff. Unburdened by debt, we are free to enjoy our leisure time to the fullest, exploring our hobbies (weaving, knitting, glasswork, etc.), listening to audiobooks w/ our kids, taking walks around town, checking out cool museums on memberships or free passes from the library, bringing home big stacks of library books, visiting with friends, and generally lovin’ life.


Jinger December 30, 2008 at 6:58 am

Definitely, but I have learned to love what I can do for free or on the cheap…not that I still don’t long for some things though…sigh!


GLM December 30, 2008 at 9:13 am

I miss being able to travel with less worry, but I also know now that when I spend money, it’s my money and not credit.

However, I’ve found that not being much of a drinker keeps things down a lot for me.


steplikeagiant December 30, 2008 at 10:14 am

I concur with livnletlrn – I have the life I want precisely because I am thrifty. I was raised by depression era grandparents, so living like this is the norm for me. I like making do. I feel more connected to everything.


another number January 6, 2009 at 10:25 am

if you live a life that is not dependent on a maximised and forever growing income you get to meet the real you more often. money helps maintain the momentum of our desires which are not able to be satisfied. the more we spend the further we travel from ourselves i believe. cutting my income, by ditching a job that was driving me crazy has forced me to re evaluate things but it has been remarkable how much more i feel in touch with myself. the joseph rowntree trust did research in the uk re what level of income was required for a lifestyle that was participatory rather than deprived. it settled on around £13,000.
anyway enough of my ramble i am glad you had such a good day without having to spend loads.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: