Coming back home to Seattle has been pretty amazing, but the reality of moving back (or really, moving in general) is that it costs a lot of money. And, even though I am working, having to fit moving costs and living expenses etc. in definitely drains the “fun budget.” That being said, I’ve actually had such a busy social life since I’ve been back – the secret being that I haven’t spent $1 on any of my amusements. How have I done it!? Well a little bit of luck, a whole lot of crazy and some fun tricks I’m going to let you in on! Grab a notepad or iPhone or whatever it is kids are using these days, because some of these things I didn’t even know about before moving away. Ready? Okay, let’s go:
1. Volunteer: One of my favorite things to do is to volunteer at events. Not only do you generally get back stage access/get to meet the artists (how I met Mary Lambert!), but you also get to give back to your community! It’s a win-win, right!? I volunteer at the Fremont Abbey a lot and I absolutely love supporting such an amazing community of artists and musicians. Whether it’s working with the bar, the glam task of stacking chairs, or being a volunteer painter/artist during a show, there are always so many ways to help out! Oh! And volunteering = free entry to any show at the abbey.
2. Know your community: Along the same lines, there are some awesome community events in Seattle that are free. During the summer there are free outdoor movies in most neighborhoods, Shakespeare in the park, free museum days and all kinds of festivals with little to no cost. Don’t think that not having a huge budget means you have to sit in a corner all summer!
3. Check your assets: You might not even know what you have access to, but you might have freebies already! I’ve just taken to reading any and everything that comes into my hands and guess what!? I found some awesome events/passes through my local library and my bank (weird, right). If you bank with Bank of America, for instance, you can get a free pass to the Seattle Art Museum, Northwest African American Museum and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and many others in cities other than Seattle.
4. Get to know people: We have a saying in our classroom that “It’s better to make friends than enemies. Because you never know what you’re missing out on with most people.” People in Seattle have some of the most eccentric tastes you could probably find and making friends is an awesome way of finding out about awesome things going on around Seattle that are fun, low budget and may be something you’ve never done before! This is how I’ve ended up at the semi final Women’s World Cup game, concerts and COMING SOON: hikes that are going to kick my ass (Paris has left me so out of shape it’s an actual tragedy). Don’t burn bridges – build them! (Another favorite is to join up with a Meetup group!)
5. Keep your eyes open: I do a lot of awesome things that are last minute and random and awesome, and the reason for that is because I love looking around reading signs, picking up fliers and going to things that might not be on my normal agenda. For example, I love going to pre-screenings of movies. And companies love me going to pre-screenings of movies. I’ve seen some great documentaries and movies (the last one being Inside Out) for absolutely free just because I picked up a flier that was “admit one” for a pre-screening. There are several spaces you can find tickets, but a good starting place is with Universal pictures, which does a lot of pre-screenings that you can sign up for notifications for (and usually you can bring a friend!).
Do you guys have any money saving tips for summer????