So far we’ve been able to provide some big concepts to help others save and hopefully find financial freedom. We’ve discussed how to put your savings rate on steroids and how much you really should be saving to get to retirement now. But we’ve only provided a handful of concrete examples from our experiences. Last weekend was an incredibly busy, fun, activity packed weekend that cost us… $0. That’s right, we spent $0 last weekend (ok some gas was used) and here’s how we did it:
-Our community was holding a summer barbeque and pool party. It started at 6:30pm and the rain clouds rolled in at around 6pm. We thought about just scrapping the idea and staying in, but figured it couldn’t hurt to go over and at least see if their party was still going on. Well, it was still going on, the rain cleared, and we had some delicious barbeque chicken, potato salad, beans, and a few beers. Our community hosted the event so we paid nothing out of pocket and we got to meet some of our neighbors. We had planned to stay for only an hour or so but didn’t get back home until after 11pm. What a great way to spend an evening (and we even got to take home left-overs!)
-After a 5 mile run (free because, free) we got ready for our busy afternoon out. We cut Mr. Winning Williams’ hair at home so that he looked fresh. This took about 15 minutes and didn’t cost a thing.
-After we were all cleaned up and ready we headed out to a local college baseball game. Mr. Winning Williams planned very far ahead on this one. When he graduated college in 2006 he joined the Lifetime Alumni Club for his alma mater. Now every year we get an invitation to go to a spring baseball game to root for the team and enjoy a free bar-be-que. Again, we had delicious hot dogs and hamburgers and some snacks while enjoying a live game. It started slow but got very close towards the end. The home team won and we were on our way back home ($0)
-Remembering that Mrs Winning Williams had some gift cards burning a hole in her pocket we stopped by our local mall. After taking a fair amount of surveys through Swagbucks she had earned $25 to one of her favorite stores and combined that with a birthday gift card from last year. She got two dresses and a pair of shorts. She expected to pay a dollar or two at the cash register, but the end result was that she was handed $1.28 back. Mr. Winning Williams patiently waited as she looked to spend a separate gift certificate at another store. She found a great sweater that was 30% off and still has some money left on her gift card. Several new outfits later still $0 out of pocket.
-As if this all wasn’t enough we came home, relaxed for a bit and headed out again to see a movie. Living in Tampa we are delighted by the old-world charm of the Tampa Theatre. They hosted a free movie last Saturday and Mr. Winning Williams happened to be subscribed to their e-mail list. While he doesn’t get e-mails from them more than once a week, the minor hassle of getting a few extra e-mails resulted in a free date night at the movies.
-An easy day in with a few miles run, a library movie rental (or two) watched and some meal prep for the week.
We often worry that people will look at our lifestyle of being frugal and working to save up for an early retirement and think, “but that’s not fun.” Well our busy and fun weekend goes to show that we do have lots of fun and we do so without spending like crazy.
This isn’t the first time we’ve done this either. We’ve been able to sample a great amount of local theatre through On The List, we each pay $20 per year for our membership, which pays for itself after the first show. We easily see 3 plays a year by a professional troupe of actors and a handful of performances at the local university as well. We have some amazing date nights that end up costing no more than $4 an outing once you average out the subscription cost. See if they have an On The List in your area.
How can this can help you: look for deals in your area, learn to cut your own hair, support your locals schools, and earn some Swagbucks yourself.