Tips on how to not go crazy when saving money…

When you start taking on a massive financial project whether it is paying of debt or saving for a extended trip… or saving for anything really, you can find yourself frustrated.  Boredom will kick in, you will change your lifestyle, you will change your spending habits.  You might find yourself bored when you are not spending money. 

I know, personally, I want immediate results, when I make a plan I want things to change over night… the quick fix.  Well when it comes to saving money & getting out of debt there really isn’t a quick fix.   So you just have to suck it up and stick to your plan.

Well while sticking to your plan you are primed to notice things, like the fact that your co-workers go out to lunch a lot, your friend’s on facebook showing amazing pictures of Aruba, or maybe the new Tory Burch purse one of your friend’s just bought.  Things you want to be able to do but quite simply can’t.

It sucks everyone, but you know what get the hell over it.  (I have to tell myself this daily) I have found other ways to not go crazy & still be able to do things I love.

So when you can’t afford to do stuff what do you do?

I go to movie premiers. 

Wait Jen, going to the movies costs money.  Ha!  I have seen 100s of movies for free.  How you ask?  I go to movie premiers.  I live in Dallas, so if you are like me and live near a major city you can also go to movie premiers.    Getting passes is work & people are not just going to call you up and offer passes, you literally have to fight the masses to get passes.   If you are interested in  seeing movies for free & before all your friends,  google Movie Screenings in your city and see what comes up.   Sign up for the websites and when you see an email offering a screening, jump on it.

Then once you get a pass it often involves fighting traffic to get to the movies 1-2 hours early to wait in a line with other people to get into the premier.    A lot of people don’t want to do it, but I am broke & if I want to see the newest film free… this is the way I have to see it.  Plus movie screenings often bring out some interesting people.  That alone is often worth it.   I typically average 1-2 movies a week and I never pay to see movies, I get to see the movies before my friends.  Sometimes the movies are utter garbage and I get mad that I wasted 2-3 hours of my life, but it is better than sitting around thinking about how broke I am so I get over it 🙂

Find lists and tackle them. 

Right now I am working on two lists.  The AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies of all time & the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die lists.   Both of these require time and effort to work though.   It can be free if you go to the library and check out the books & movies.  No money spent and plenty of entertainment.

Learn to cook. 

This has been pretty fun, I want to travel and eat food in different countries.  I can’t right now, but have had tons of fun googling recipes and trying to make them.  I have made Sri Lanken Stir-Fry, Cuban Beans.. and many others.  I am going to try and start sharing these posts because it is a fun way to try different foods from around the world. 🙂 Plus bringing the left overs to work the next day help keep me on budget.  I freeze what I can and when I am in a pinch I grab something I previously froze.  It keeps me from spending money 🙂

Go for walks. 

Get outside get exercise, really not much else to say about this except just get out and get active.  Burn some time & calories.

Have wine nights. 

Spend a night in watching movies and BYOB.  A lot of my friends LOVE doing this & it is a great way to spend time with friends & be social while not breaking the bank.  Watch movies, have a game night or all bring food and have a pot luck.

Finish projects. 

I also have un-finished craft projects, I try and and finish what I can when I am bored.

Sell the crap you do not want. 

I can’t stress this enough.  Sell crap you no longer use or want.  Seriously you will get a little $$$ and have some space.  Plus your life will just feel less cluttered.  Sometimes feeling less cluttered is a stress release on it’s own.

These are just a few suggestions but they are good ones.  Having fun doesn’t mean you have to spend money.  I am always trying to find unique ways to not spend money but have a great time.

I know when you are trying to get out of debt or save money for something it is easy to feel defeated and that you will never have a social life again.  It sucks.  I know personally I am struggling with this stage.  I have to read blogs every single day to help me get through the day.  I have to stay motivated and keep swimming to the light at the end of the tunnel.  You can do it, you just have to get creative.

Please comment below and share with me how you beat the debt pay down blues.

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