FrugalIn the spirit of keeping our expenses down to reach Financial Independence, Kayla and I have decided to challenge ourselves for “Frugal February.”  I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing, but I’m deeming it one now.  In all honesty though, we went out a bit more than usual seeing friends after getting back from our honeymoon and have decided to challenge ourselves to minimize our expenses for the following month.  Not that going out to eat a few times and going into the city to see a show wasn’t really fun, it’s just not sustainable.

What we want to do is keep our expenses down without feeling like we are depriving ourselves.  The common misconception is that by trying to spend less, you must prevent yourself from having fun or buying anything at all.  This is not what being frugal really means.  It is really about aligning priorities with spending habits.

So, how do we plan to spend our time without depriving ourselves?  We’ve found that there are many free or nearly free activities that always seem to take up more time than we have.  In a given week, we spend our time by:

  • Working- Where most of our time goes.
  • Working out- Of the two of us, I’m the only one that works out and I use a combination of the free gym at work and taking krav maga classes where I also teach to workout 4-5 times per week.
  • Cooking at home- cheap and delicious! Kayla is a great cook and has vowed to try at least 1 new recipe every week as part of her New Year’s Resolutions. She’s tried 10 already!
  • Spending time with family- we try to see our families once every couple of weeks.
  • Hiking- Living in the North East, there are a lot of great places to go hiking. Even in winter, there are plenty of places to hike.  Not to mention that Gino loves hiking.
  • Having game nights- Whether it’s with friends or just the two of us, we have a great time  playing cards and board games.  Good food, good friends and good conversation. What else do you need, right?
  • Netflix- Our queue is very backed up with new shows and movies…. sprinkled of course with some re-runs of The Office and Parks and Rec
  • Reading- We’re both trying to read more this year since it’s something we love doing.

Of course, every once in a while, we do go out and spend money, but mostly it’s free (or mostly free) activities like this that keep us pretty busy.  Let’s see how we do to keep ourselves entertained for the next month during our Frugal February Challenge!

Want to join us in our Frugal February Challenge?  Let me know some of your favorite free (or cheap) activities that you love in the comments!