Leisure when frugal
Finding alternatives to those 'treats' you used to haveWhat is leisure ? The bit between doing thing's which are classified as work ?
So that takes in lounging around in the evenings, hobbies and holidays. Again, I'm not trying in any way to tell people how to run their lives; I'm giving my own experience and ways. Maybe you will get something out of this, maybe not - but the overall concept tells a story of cutting back and ways to save.
Well, lounging around in the evenings doesn't cost you anything unless you're going out somewhere. I cut this down from about three evenings a week up the Pub, which is about 60 metres away, and now just go Well, lounging around in the evenings doesn't cost you anything unless you're going out somewhere. I cut this down from about three evenings a week up the Pub, which is about 60 metres away, and now just go once a week on Pool evenings. The money I need for this is mainly by doing odd jobs now and again for the Landlord plus doing his menu's on my PC. It won't always cover every week, but it allows an evening of enjoyment (if you like losing at Pool) and a chance to catch up on the news and any other little jobs needed doing around the community.
You could say if he didn't go up the Pub atall, he'd have a bit more cash to pay the bills, but surely we all need a little going out once in a while.Lounging around isn't just that though, it's getting out and doing thing's to relieve the brain of the 'work situ'.
If you have the pleasure of being rural you have the big country to walk in gathering up the fresh air, actually seeing the birds you've only heard (if you did !!) and understanding a little more of 'The Bigger Story' of nature itself. Even in town, there's usually a Park and it often has the same birds and the bigger story there is understanding people. I like sitting on a Park bench and just watching people going about their day.
My hobby is my PC and I have to admit that I don't cut too many corners with it. I set myself up with a pretty good system before I couldn't afford to and with the exception of the occasional up-grade or blip, it's fairly OK. The PC stops you going out and can be a wealth of information if used in the correct manner.
I dowse not only for underground energy / stress lines but for electro stress in the home and as a natural information source.
So I have two main hobbies, both quite extreme from one another but embracing themselves into old and new. Both interesting and mysterious in their own right.
It's good to take a hobby with you when you downshift and thing's become tighter, luckily you have the equipment and only have to worry about up-dates and replacements for whatever. But new life / new hobby is nice as well, especially if there's no outlay ! What? - I don't know, but the more time you have of your own and not someone elses, you have time to think, time to search and time to learn. All too often you will find you have a talent you never knew you had and that becomes a hobby, even a source of a bit more work. Maybe it's carving wood, general carpentry etc. These are the thing's you have to do yourself now, whereas before you got someone else to do them for you.
In holidays I am lucky, I had an enjoyable time in Scouting when I was a lad and was a Scout Leader for about 8 years when in my late 30's, early 40's.
So 'the frugal camping holiday' is not a cut back for me, it's a return to youth, independance, hiding from the Package Courier and exploring when I want and where I want. I have done the package holiday and had a good time, often they are very cheap if you scan the teletext and internet for last minute deals. I know people who have simply packed suitcases, gone to the Airport without a clue as to where they are going - just bartering at the Agency desk and getting 'silly deals' !!
The only fear with camping is the 7 days you decide to do it on can be the wettest since 1857, but you're getting extra that bit of challenge out.
Other good 'free' leisure activities are chilling out in the local library, find a newspaper or good book and stick around a few hours. All the time you're in there, you're not spending any money ! Most museums are free and visiting them can quite often open up a new hobby i.e. Treasure and getting a Metal Detector !! Sitting on the beach costs you nothing.
If you're near the South Coast, take a foot passenger ticket to France. So many things are cheaper there and you can more than pay off the £5 ticket fare; Wine, Bacci, Washing Powder, Cheeses etc.,etc. I reckon, if you take the car, you could spend £200 and have saved £150 buying the right stuff !
Some of the Operators take your purchase from you after buying in their Tax-Free shop, load it on the Boat / Seacat and you collect it at Dover or wherever
The art of all this is not to believe you've sacrified but found pastures new. Some hobbies and passtimes are difficult to take with you if you're taking a nose dive in income; ie Golf, or Football Season Ticket etc.
On the football front, if you enjoy football, join a team and play it. That way you're not going to watch at £30 a ticket, you're taking part for a £3 sub.
As I said, I maintain a cut no corners approach to my PC, solely for the reason I get so much back from it, use it as a learning tool and can activate my photography and camcorder interests. I can easily spend all day on the PC, but the initial outlay and £17 per month broadband is good money.
I don't agree with the downshifter learns knitting and handicrafts. If that's what you want, OK, but the image is of frugal types being very green, to the left, cosy woolly jumpers with a beard (the blokes that is !).
I want to live my life to the utmost, in 20 years or so I may not be here. I may not have wealth in the wallet, but I have wealth inside the heart. For me, that's what matters
No matter how hard you are finding things, try your hardest to have a break. Good for you and good for the family