52 weeks of free things to do!
I’ve decided to create a new series of blog posts about free things that you can do to entertain yourself, your friends and family. It’s way too easy to look back at a weekend and realize that between seeing the latest movie and grabbing lunch out you’ve gone through $100.00 without trying (and sometimes without even enjoying the movie). Over the course of a year that is bound to add up. So….I’ve come up with a list of 51 free things to do instead of spending money. I want to do one a week for the next year and bank the savings to see how much money I can save. I’m going to blog about them here. Some of them will be indoor things, some will be outdoor, some will be creative, and some will be WAY outside of my comfort zone (I’m looking at you snowmobiling!) but all of them will be free. The last week of the challenge I will do one free activity suggested by readers of the blog. The person whose activity I choose for the last week will get a free gift card for a store of their choice for $100.00.
The rules are as follows. The activity itself must be 100% free to do. There must also not be any special costs for equipment. So even if I found a free intro to scuba lesson, if I needed to rent $30.00 worth of gear to attend the lesson it’s out. The only cost that can be associated with it is transportation. I live in a small town, so there will be things I have to drive to get to, like a free day at the museum. There are limits though, so no traveling to Florida to have a "free" day at the beach! The last rule is that it should be something that most people in Canada can do. I feel like it would be almost impossible to come up with a list of things that everyone one in Canada could do that are free and local. Our Country is just too big and there huge differences between what free options you have in a city versus what you have in a rural area. So not everyone may have an indoor walking track close by, but there might be an outdoor track at a local school.
The basic math is as follows: on a weekend it would cost us as a family of three roughly $25.00 to eat at a McDonald’s. I’m using that as my bench mark because it’s relatively inexpensive, mainly everyone can relate to it and my kid loves Happy Meals. As a bare minimum if we were out on a typical Saturday that would be the least amount of money I would expect to spend, other than gas. So instead of buying McDonald’s for lunch I will make and pack a lunch for these activities. If I do this I could reasonably expect to save $20.00 a week before activity fees. If I am doing an activity that would normally have a cost associated with it - like free movies at the library versus paying to go to the theater - then I would bank that saved money too. If it’s something like a trip to the dog park where there wouldn’t be a fee then I am just saving the $20.00.
Once a week I will pick from my list of free things to do, write a post about it, put up some probably badly shot pictures (until I do the Learn to take better Photographs week), show the new amount in the bank and tell you what I am going to do the next week.
If nothing else at the end of the 52 weeks I will have learned new skills, met new people and saved at least a thousand dollars. Let the adventures begin!