“I Can’t Afford That!”


You can drive one of these, or you can spend the monthly payment and higher insurance premiums on concerts, shows, clubs, travel, art for your home, or any number of things that are more fun than impressing strangers on the highway.
Photo by Daniel Dionne
Used under a Creative Commons license.

One of the things we hear from friends, when we talk about concerts or museums or plays, is questions about how we can afford to do these things. It’s not that difficult. There are a lot of ways to see and do things that don’t cost a lot but are fun and interesting.

We’ve got a series of posts planned that talk about things to do for little or no cost, but one general suggestion is to check out the offerings at your local library, parks & rec department or college; there are a lot of surprisingly good things to be found there, and many of them are affordable.

But not everything can be done on the cheap; what about rock concerts, festivals, big events? How do you do those? Well, it’s a matter of priorities; for example, you can buy a lot of concert tickets and evenings out if you get rid of your car payment. We haven’t had an auto loan in about 15 years; sure, we drive older cars that aren’t terribly impressive, but as nice as a new car is to ride in, it’s not as nice as seeing Bruce Springsteen live. On a smaller scale, a couple of visits to Starbucks equals a movie ticket. Brown-bagging it for lunch during the week equals a dinner out on Saturday. It’s about choices, right? If you trade in some “status” expenses, you can buy some memorable experiences.

You will also find yourself in company with other active people who are enjoying the nice things of life. If you’re friendly, some of them will tell you about other cool things you can do. Networking plays a big role in getting to do cool things.The first step is to get out and so something. Start with the free stuff and go from there.




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1 comment

    • Michelle Javan on September 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Every year I look forward to the anniversary of the 29th birthday. Not for the gifts my adoring husband may lavish on me, but one particular gift that was first given to me in a very very lean year. It has since become a tradition and excites me more than anything else he could think to bestow on me. It is our annual membership to the Seattle Art Museum! Not terribly expensive and offers not only entrance at any time but advance viewing on exhibits, member discounts on local restaurants and stores along with first choice at lectures and special events. Some day’s I go by for an hour and sketch to keep my muse happy. We find we use the membership so much more than we expected to! A wonderful investment in our sanity, we always have a place to go and contemplate life…or that strangely compelling Jackson Pollock.

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