Childfreelife’s Weblog











{June 10, 2008}   Frugal Nightlife Part 1 – For Pleasure

After work, I haven’t many responsibilities except for those I want to take on for myself. I can do what I want with my time. And I want to spend it wisely either really enjoying myself or investing in myself for a better future. This article will be about pleasurable evening activities, I will address investment activities in another article in the series.

Many nightlife activities are expensive and bad for your health. Smokey clubs and drinking in bars are expensive and not conducive to health and well being. Breathing in that smoke can give any allergic or asthmatic an attack and drinking more than moderately can lead to a barrage of health disorders, think of your liver! Sitting at World of Warcraft or watching television for hours every night can contribute to obesity. However, if you are creative and open your horizons there are many frugal activities for your evenings.

Barbecue

This summer, barbecues aren’t only for weekends. Invite a few friends over and fry up some garden burgers, zucchini, sis-kabobs, and some chicken sausages (or if you don’t mind the calories, some hot dogs, ribs and hamburgers). Even just a few people standing outside on your porch and gabbing can attract neighbors and hilarious conversation. Last month we had some outstandingly good weather for May and my husband and I had a few other childfree friends and neighbors over and told dirty jokes. I don’t have to worry about making some of these plans at the drop of a hat and neither do my friends. So night life can be free-flowing.

Live Action Role-Playing Games

You may not know what these are, but if you like watching horror or adventure movies, imagine spending a night in one! In cities all over North America and Britain you can play in a Live Action Roleplaying Game for a very low price. My husband and I play for between 2-3 dollars each for 4 hours of entertainment. I get dressed up as a character, write up a sheet of things my character can do to affect the world around her strategy wise, and I plan a personality for her. Then I go into a grange hall or similar space and interact with others who have done the same thing. You can try this out at home with a Mystery Dinner, but you can take it onto a bigger level with LARPing. You don’t have to be a great actor, just be willing to have an imagination is enough. There are games where you can play heroes, vampires, werewolves, and even fairies. You connect with other people and are creative at the same time. Its a game and with some time put into it you feel like you are in an epic movie or video game rather than passively sitting and watching it happen.

Card and Table Games

If you like Cribbage or Bridge or even Poker, a game where you bet tokens not money can be a stimulating and fun way to spend an evening with others. Playing games of any sort is a great way to interact with others. My friends and I get together and play strategy games together and have hours of fun and entertainment.

A bit of a warning though, collectible card games are not very frugal, there are always new editions being released and you can sink thousands of dollars into collecting pieces of cardboard with pictures on them to make the perfect deck, that later a new release of the game will make extinct. If games like Magic the Gathering are your thing, and you want to be Frugal, consider playing for fun instead of to collect. If you just make yourself a deck or two by buying the cards you want individually instead of buying packs and packs of cards in the hopes you will find the right card, you could save a lot of money. You can likely make yourself a few great decks for 20-50 dollars a piece buying the cards individually versus sinking hundreds or more seeking the cards in the grab bag. My friends and family have literally bags and bags and boxes of these cards, of which maybe two hundred of the little cards get used and thousands sit on the sides gathering dust and representing the wasted money.

Try picking up the humble set of playing cards and see if you can have fun with the hundreds of games that can be played with them. I got my deck of cards for a dollar. My favorite card game is Spit.

Multiplayer Videogames

When my husband has three friends over and they play a multi-player video game, they have so much fun! I think usually they need one to two copies of the game and a couple TVs. We have two TVs and usually his friends even bring theirs over. I think for the amount they spend on these games the hours of fun they have is worth it. They have learned for the one player games to each buy different games and trade them around as to save money. But on the really good multi-player games they get together hook up their consoles and have tons of fun shooting each other on screen. Some games they bought forever ago are still fun for them to play, like Halo.

The Park

I short walk in the park in the evening with a friend or partner can be so much fun. You can see so many animals and the smells of the flowers and other plants is very refreshing. You can make this exercise or you can just walk slowly and enjoy. I have heard some people talk about bird watching, I rabbit and snake watch. I get a lot of joy out of sighting a cute bunny hopping around or seeing a snake sunning herself in the last rays of the sunset. Consider really being in nature and looking at whats around you. This is usually free, most parks have free entrance. Some gardens cost a small fee to visit, but usually have an affordable membership if you like to visit often.

What do you do that is frugal and fun for your child free night life?

My next article in this series will address serious things you can do with your time to invest in yourself–your health, career, income, and intelligence.

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