On being poor, but having fun. And, the rules of my new contest.
March 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
The husband and I are moving soon–to a much nicer apartment nearer to the city–and since we made this decision, we’ve been (once again) re-thinking the good ol’ budget.
I posted before about when I was engaged, I’d wished someone had talked to me about budgeting, instead all I got numerous and varying sex talks, so I went into this marriage unprepared as far as budgeting goes. But since we’ve been married, we’ve paid off 2 credit cards, gone on vacation, gone to Texas, and much more, all while making our rent each month.
So I started thinking. Christians–who, of course, don’t believe in sex before marriage–feel it their duty to talk up the honeymoon night to all those doe-eyed unsuspecting girls who don’t always know what’s exactly going on. But I think some very important life lessons are missed by concentrating solely on that aspect. Like how you can be poor, and still have fun.
Now, we’re not exactly living off food stamps. My husband makes decent money (although, I’m not quite sure what he does) and I’ve definitely contributed with albeit very irregular paychecks of varying amounts–my freelance and contract work doesn’t always allow for set hours and set checks. But since we live in one of the most expensive places in the country, what we’re paying for a small one bed/one bath would translate into a 3 bed/2.5 bath house (or so) back in Texas. So, needless to say, our good jobs put us in that low-middle income range and we’re constantly juggling debt, school loans, a car payment, along with everything else.
This week, I’d like to focus on those married or single people who are just getting started in these terrible economic times and how to live off small paychecks.
So how is it that we live off a very tight budget but still have fun?
We play games!
For the first month of our marriage, we didn’t watch TV (I know, gasp, right?). Every night when the hubs got home from work, we usually played Skip-Bo, a card game you can pick up for around $5 at Wal-Mart. The TV didn’t come on once at all during that month–mostly because we didn’t even have cable or a dvd player–and we were okay with it. We wore out our Skip-Bo cards so much that we went and bought Scattegories. My mom-in-law gave us her Scrabble game, and slowly we started adding to our game closet.
I feel that playing games is the most inexpensive way to have fun and still get to know that boy that’s living with you.
My husband and I had spent a grand total of 23 days together in the 9 months that we knew each other before we married; which means in our first months we were way more concerned with getting to know each other as persons to spend time watching TV or not talking to each other. And one of these ways was through board games.
In fact, when we get invited to a get-together, we’re the ones asked to bring over a fun game. Because, in addition to board games being cheap and fun and a great way to have one-on-one time with each other, it’s also a cheap way to have fun with other people.
We like crazy games, like Apples to Apples, because then we get to know how people think. We play Dicecapades–which we got for Christmas–because the cards make you do random things like situps and pushups and arm wrestle before you can advance your token, and there is never a dull moment during that game. But I think the best game out there is Dakara: The Ultimate Game of Chance.
We picked this board game up for $3 at Building #19–a kind of thrift store/warehouse–and I’m convinced that it’s really Monopoly for poor people. And it really is the ultimate game of chance!! The money bills are outrageously large and in obscene amounts, and each roll you end up gambling most of–if not all–your money on ridiculous dice games. Playing this cheap little board game is some of the most funny and great times we’ve ever had.
For this week, not only will we have guest bloggers and more stories on what it’s like being poor in an expensive world, I’d like to hear your thoughts! How do you spend your time, your money, and your life? What’s important to you: being budget conscious, or having fun, or both?
So post your comments below or on the Facebook page letting me and all the other readers know your own tips and stories on what it’s like being poor, being a newlywed, or both, and still maintaining a decent lifestyle.
And the best/funniest/neatest post will win a prize–you’ll get your very own Dakara!!