When it comes to saving money, there are a lot of don’ts. Don’t buy this. Don’t do that. Save this. Wait for that. It can make the whole thing feel like a very uncomfortable process.
However, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways you can enrich your life while still saving money for whatever it is you feel the need to save for.
Hobbies and Skills
You might be saying “Taking up new hobbies and learning new skills costs money.” To which I would say, “That depends on the hobby or skill.”
I’m not saying to go out and buy a $100,000 concert grand piano and take $1,000 lessons from a virtuoso at a conservatory somewhere.
You could get an electric keyboard for $100 and watch a bunch of YouTube videos for free. And while, yes, you will have spent $100, imagine how much of your time will be eaten up learning to play your favorite songs. You might start writing some of your own.
It doesn’t have to be music. It can be all kinds of different things. These are ways of filling up your time that don’t involve spending much or any money.
If you were to make a spreadsheet of every penny you spent in a month, how likely would it be that the category you spent the most on was food?
I get it, restaurants are great. In some cases, fast food is even better. Why cook when you can have a better meal with 100% less work?
It could be that you just haven’t experienced the “joy of cooking” yet. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore that turns out barely edible food. With practice, you can start making meals that rival fast food. It could even get to the point where cooking is just as fun as the eating. Not only that, but it’s a great way to impress friends and family.
This somewhat piggybacks off of hobbies and skills in that creating art is a great, often free/inexpensive way of constructively using your time. It gets its own category because you don’t necessarily have to create your own art, you can enjoy the art of others.
People are often shocked by how much they enjoy reading for pleasure when they finally sit down and do it. It makes sense. Around twelve years of having books you may or may not be interested in forced upon you can turn you off to the whole thing. But when you get to choose what you consume, it changes things considerably.
If you’re sure reading isn’t your thing, pretty much every song you could think of is somewhere on YouTube or Spotify or a bunch of different sites for free, legal consumption.
The point is that we don’t have to spend lots and lots of money to keep ourselves entertained.
Make your friends apart of it. Have cook-offs. Start book clubs. There are so many ways of having a good time that don’t involve throwing away a bunch of money during a night on the town. Creativity is the key.