Thursday, February 12, 2009

Financial Preparedness: Frugality Challenge #1

In keeping with the idea of practicing thrift and frugality, I have decided to issue a new frugality challenge each week. I hope my readers will respond by sharing their ideas. Please comment!

Frugality Challenge #1:

Instead of spending money for entertainment, find inexpensive or free entertainment.

My three favorite free things to do are to:
  1. Go to the library and borrow books and movies.
  2. Explore local parks.
  3. Go on a "nature walk."

What are yours?


Lynn said...

We chose to have this month (Feb.) a NO SPEND month, as a "Mock Unemployment" trial for our family.. We wanted to see if we could completely live off our food storage and if we could break some bad spending habits, while at the same time regain some savings that would help in the event of an actual unemployment. This is a strong possibility for my husband due to the economy in the next few months.

We are doing great! It's been almost two weeks and going to the stores for everything, has not been missed. We celebrated a birthday here at home with what we had and had FUN! Games, treats,and all. We plan on doing the same for Valentine's Day. A fun meal with games and activities.

We also made our homemade cards and treats from what we had for our Visiting teaching and home teaching families. It's been a GREAT experience.

sammon said...

Hey, we do that already...that's not a challenge, (well, really it is a challege). :)

Great idea!!! I can't wait to see what the other challenges are and what kind of ideas you have!!!

Anonymous said...

We check the museums for free days - sometimes it's once a week, othertimes monthly.

We also like to go to garden nurseries to see what's new, in bloom or what we'd like to grow.

Depending on the time of year, we visit stores or malls for their free concerts & art shows. We always check the Sunday paper, at the library as we don't subscribe, for anything free - libraries often have free programs that you can't find anywhere else - like how a person puts on make-up & costume to become a clown!!

Free entertainment is easier than most people think because you have 'think outside the box'.

Kristi said...

One thing that I like is Redbox gives free movie codes on Mondays. You just have to signup to receive text messages of the codes. We have made Monday movie night. The only catch is it has to be back on Tue night by 9pm or they charge you $1 per night.
My kids love it & I do too! Free movies, can't beat that!

Anonymous said...

We are exchanging/borrowing DVDs within our circle of family and friends. We all get to see a "new" movie at no expense to anyone. It's working out wonderfully! So far, we have had 3 or 4 "movie nights". We make our own popcorn and make a real night of it.:)


Kristi Allen said...

I'm so happy I found this blog. This is exactly what I have been looking for, something to motivate me....none of my vegas buddies are interested, I'm totally on board, I am ready for the challenge!

Anonymous said...

We have done lots of things along this line of thinking... We don't go to the movies... we rent Netflix because it's even cheaper than Blockbuster AND you can get it streaming through your xbox 360 if you have one. Also, I take my son to free story hour at the library (your local library has so many free activities if you just ask or look online at their calender!! Learn spanish, how to plant a garden, story times etc). I also take my son to a free story time at Barnes and Noble. Going for walks, going to the park, going to feed the ducks. There's really so much to do that is free or very little at all! Sometimes your local paper (like in arizona you can go to you can go to the entertainment section and search "free events"... like local fairs,carnivals etc. Also, you can buy an annual pass for the zoo if you have kiddo's that aren't in school yet... you can go there at least once a week and it's like the best thing in the world to them! Plus they usually have super good deals! Also, starting a babysitting co-op with neighbors or ward members saves HUGE on babysitting because you pay with "tickets"!!

Something Marvellous said...

I love the library! Another idea is to do a swap with your friends! I love knitting, but instead of going out and spending $$ on yarn and other notions, I get together with other knitters and we swap needles and yarns and other things. Then we re-swap when we are done!

tellepa said...

the website to get the free movie codes is

What we do is sign up for all the activities at the library that we can. Storytime, workshops, movie nights - all are fun and free.

Something else we do is make our own take out food - while this isn't free it is so much cheaper than going out. We still like to go out but this makes for more fun themed dinners.

I also think that playgroups for your kids are a great for you to socialize and give them interaction with others. My friend and I do a preschool co-op, we take turns teaching and we have been able to save the money that preschool would cost.

If you are in our ward come to enrichment on 4/15 - I will be speaking on some other ways to save money.


Kerri said...

I also thought of another really fun thing to do: Play board and card games! Actually, Lynn mentioned it as well.

Tam said...

we check out movies at the library, we place some fun dice games, sometimes we just make treats at home and watch one of our own movies.

we've even had nights where everyone is given a dollar and as a group we have to shop for dinner and dessert, with only five of us we have to get pretty creative..... a box of little debbies treats for just over a dollar, 2 cans of soup, or a box of mac and cheese, or even a couple of chocolate bars and couple pieces of fruit to dip in the melted chocolate,

we love to go to yard sales or thrift stores too.

we live in a very small rural town, so there aren't many opportunities for free activities so we have to make our own fun.

flag football, frisbee at the park, jump on the trampoline, lay on trampoline and watch the stars (one night there was a meteor shower and we layed out there at 3:00 in the morning to see it.

Preparedness Quotes

"When faced with the choice to buy, consume, or engage in worldly things and activities, we all need to learn to say to one another, 'We can’t afford it, even though we want it!' or 'We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!'" - Elder Robert D. Hales, April 2009 General Conference

"Many areas of the world have experienced difficult economic times. Businesses have failed, jobs have been lost, and investments have been jeopardized. We must make certain that those for whom we share responsibility do not go hungry or unclothed or unsheltered. When the priesthood of this Church works together as one in meeting these vexing conditions, near miracles take place.

"We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt."
- President Thomas S. Monson, October 2008 Priesthood Session, General Conference

"Avoid the philosophy that yesterday's luxuries have become today's necessities. They aren't necessities until we make them so. Many enter into long-term debt only to find that changes occur; people become ill or incapacitated, companies fail or downsize, jobs are lost, natural disasters befall us. For many reasons, payments on large amounts of debt can no longer be made. Our debt becomes as a Damocles sword hanging over our heads and threatening to destroy us."
- President Thomas S. Monson, April 2006 General Conference

“We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the real storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, ‘Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing’ (D&C 109:8.)”
President Gordon B. Hinckley

"We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult--the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35,) when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91.) There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual." Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Every father and mother are the family’s store keepers. They should store whatever their family would like to have in case of an emergency…(and) God will sustain us through our trials.” President James E. Faust

“We live in a most exciting and challenging period in human history. As technology sweeps through every facet of our lives, changes are occurring so rapidly that it can be difficult for us to keep our lives in balance. To maintain some semblance of stability in our lives, it is essential that we plan for our future. I believe it is time, and perhaps with some urgency, to review the counsel we have received in dealing with our personal and family preparedness. We want to be found with oil in our lamps sufficient to endure to the end.”- Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, Nov. 1995

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their year's supply of food. . . and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year's supply of debt and are food free." President Thomas S. Monson

"Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness.” - Elder L. Tom Perry, October 1995 General Conference

“Maintain a year's supply. The Lord has urged that his people save for the rainy days, prepare for the difficult times, and put away for emergencies, a year's supply or more of bare necessities so that when comes the flood, the earthquake, the famine, the hurricane, the storms of life, our families can be sustained through the dark days. How many of us have complied with this? We strive with the Lord, finding many excuses: We do not have room for storage. The food spoils. We do not have the funds to do it. We do not like these common foods. It is not needed -- there will always be someone to help in trouble. The government will come to the rescue. And some intend to obey but procrastinate.” - The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.375

“All too often a family's spending is governed more by their yearning than by their earning. They somehow believe that their life will be better if they surround themselves with an abundance of things. All too often all they are left with is avoidable anxiety and distress” - Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

"Be prepared in all things against the day when tribulations and desolations are sent forth upon the wicked." D&C 29:8

"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not aquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them." President Ezra Taft Benson

"Fear not little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. . .Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:34, 36

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ. . . They (five foolish) had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion.

"The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. . . . This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. . . . In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living." - President Spencer W. Kimball

“We encourage families to have on hand this year’s supply; we say it over and over and over and repeat over and over the scripture of the Lord where he says, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” How empty it is as they put their spirituality, so-called, into action and call him by his important names, but fail to do the things which he says." - President Spencer W. Kimball"/>


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