Frugal Activities To Enjoy In The Spring!

Spring is an excellent time of year to be outside taking advantage of the sun, warmer temps, and FREE activities that nature provides.

The state park offers cabins like this to rent.
The state park offers cabins like this to rent. And, they’re right on the water.

I spent this past weekend at the lake with my family but we didn’t spend $1,000 or more on one of the fancy rental houses in the area.  I took advantage of the state park at the lake and rented a cabin with another family and split the cost.  Total cost for a trip to the lake after splitting the costs?  $160!  Not bad for a 3 day weekend.  Each family brought it’s own food so we could cook out by the fire and avoid eating at the high priced restaurants around the lake and nature provided all of the entertainment for the adults AND children.

Look at this Monster!
Look at this Monster!

The state park had miles and miles of hiking trails by the water and through the woods.  We skipped some rocks, caught a few fish, saw a ton of wildlife, and were able to get away from all of the technology that is normally part of our lives.  No T.V., no cell phone, no internet, social media or blogging.  Just fresh air and good times with family and friends.

The fun we had this past weekend got me thinking about other ways I’d like to get away on the cheap this spring and, luckily for you and I, nature provides just about all of them.  There’s no better way to enjoy a weekend after the cold, dark winter than to be out in nature getting fresh air and (for me) some much needed exercise.

  • Camping- Tent camping is the cheapest way to camp but RVs and Cabins are also decent options.
  • Kayaking– it’s great exercise and MUCH cheaper than boating.  You could pick up a decent kayak on craigslist for as little as $100.
  • Hiking- It’s free and you can easily google hiking trails wherever you live or wherever you’re vacationing.
  • Running
  • Trail riding- This could be with horses or bikes.  If you don’t already own a horse, obviously, a bike would be the more cost effective way to go.
  • Geocaching- If you prefer having a goal or a mission while you’re hiking, you could also take up geocaching.  Essentially, it’s the worlds largest treasure hunt and there are millions of “caches” all over the world.  You can check it out here.
  • Playing outdoor games with your kids-  You can teach them some outdoor games or, more likely, you can let them teach you some outdoor games.
  • Swimming in a river or lake
  • Fishing
  • Star Gazing- If you want to have your phone with you, you can always download one of the astronomy apps that points out the stars and planets as you pan your phone along the sky.
  • Hang around a camp fire with friends
  • Take up photography– You never know what types of things you’ll run across if you get out in the wild.

These frugal activities can take up most of your weekends in the spring and you’ll be healthier and more relaxed if you spend time outside and get your mind off of work and the stresses of normal life.  I only listed some of the ones that I really enjoy but there are unlimited options for cheap outdoor activities.  Use your imagination and come up with some that people may not have heard of yet.

What kind of frugal activities are you planning this spring?

**If you like talking about Money, Paying Off Debt, Building Your Net Worth and Retiring Early…This is the place for you!  Subscribe to receive emails of new blog posts, news, tips, and exclusive content!!!

Find Money In Your Budget

Making a budget is critical to staying on track with your finances over the course of the month but it’s also a fantastic way to find extra money by cutting expenses in areas where you noticed you are spending much more than you thought.  For example, when I first started budgeting and keeping track of my expenses, I had no idea how much money I was spending going out to eat.  Can you believe that one month I had spent over $600 in restaurants?  Insane!  The budget allowed me to consciously cut back where I thought I was out of control.  Check out these easy areas you too can save some money…

Cut Back on Eating Out

Don’t do what I did.  Spending $600 a month to eat out is not only ridiculous because it’s $600 but it’s also not nearly as healthy as eating at home.  If you have any debt whatsoever you’ll want to cut this number down to $0 until the debt is paid off, but if you are debt free and have your 6 month emergency fund saved up you can give yourself a little room to live it up.  How much should you spend eating out?  That’s up to you and what kind of goals you have.  Personally, I never spend more than $200 eating out over the course of a month now that I’ve finally come to my senses (but this is still higher than I’d like).

Cancel Your TV Service

No-TV-This one is difficult for many of us because TV has become such a huge habit, but it really does hurt you in many ways.  First, it hits you in your wallet.  I had very popular satellite service that was charging me almost $200 per month because I had every channel you could imagine.  That’s $24,000 every 10 years.  If you invested that $200 per month into a good mutual fund averaging 8% interest, you’d have just over $37,000.

But the monthly payment isn’t the only problem with TV.  Getting bombarded by advertising for hours on end gets you thinking about spending money on items that you would probably never think to buy.

If you need something, you can get use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or any other streaming service for around $8 per month.

Lose The Overpriced Cell Phone

Republic-Wireless-new-logoThere are many options outside of the “big 3” phone companies (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint).  Why pay at least $150 per month for 2 cell phone lines?  Personally, I use republic wireless and I couldn’t be happier.  I get unlimited phone, text, and 2 Gigs worth of data and the phone is configured to have everything run through your WiFi when you’re around it.  Last month, I paid $40 for both of the phones I have.

Work Out At Home

garage gymCut the gym costs by working out at home and it’ll save you the money that you hand over to them every month.  There’s plenty for you to do around the house.  Body weight exercises, running, walking, etc… Or you could set up a garage gym!  It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, you could buy everything you need off of craigslist and you may even be able to find it for free.

Cut Transportation Costs

This is actually for personal use...
This is actually for personal use…

It costs a lot of money to get around these days.  Cut expenses by selling your gas guzzling truck/SUV and buy a practical car that gets around 40 miles per gallon.  You could also try car pooling, using public transportation, or riding a bike to work.

Get Creative

Look for ways to cut hidden costs all over your budget.  For example, you could:

  1. Shop around for better deals on car and home insurance
  2. Compare health insurance plans and see if you can save money by switching to a plan with lower premiums that will still give you the coverage you need.
  3. Save money on your electric bill by following the advice of your provider on becoming more energy efficient.  This could lower your costs significantly.  They probably have a list of things to help you on their website.
  4. Replace all of the light bulbs in your house with energy efficient LED light bulbs.  They last for 20 years and reduce the use of energy dramatically.

Now get to work on that budget!  If you are able to run through this list and save money in all of these areas, you’ll be saving lots of money every month.

How much were you able to save?  Let me know in the comment section below!

**If you like talking about Money, Paying Off Debt, Building Your Net Worth and Retiring Early…This is the place for you!  Subscribe to receive emails of new blog posts!!!