Living on the Cheap Suddenly going from two incomes to just one is hitting harder and sooner than I anticipated. I knew it would be a shock to the pocketbook system, but I didn't think I'd feel it this quick. Suddenly there's no going out for dinner. No spur of the moment movies. No buying what I want, only the things I really need.

I think learning to live well below your means is a good lesson to learn. It helps you appreciate things when you have them. It also makes you really stretch your imagination to do things that don't cost any money.

So, yesterday I was thinking about a new adventure to turn this potentially bad situation into a good one. I started thinking about all the fun stuff you could do without spending a dime. And I realized that I can think of a list myself, but you know what would be really cool?

A collaboration.

I figure that this topic could benefit everyone (unless you're stinking rich, and in that case, phooey on you), because everyone I know is living on a budget. Plus it'd be cool to get more ideas than what one person could have on fun, cheap things to do.

Here's how it works: I'll get us started with a list of things to do that cost no money (or less than $5), and then I'll ask you to submit any ideas of your own (post a comment or email me). Then I'll compile all the ideas into one document and post them somewhere on my new site for everyone to read. I'll even illustrate some of them...

So, what do you think? Shall we get started?

Inexpensive Adventures

1. Tell scary stories around a bon fire.

2. Go for a walk in a park. Bring a beach towel so you can sit and admire the wildlife and nature.

3. Write in your journal.

4. Read that book you've been meaning to.

5. Or rent it from the library. They also have movies to borrow for free.

6. Go on an art picnic. Bring your art supplies to a park or random grassy knoll and paint away.

7. Window shop (but make sure you end up at a Dollar store and so you can allow yourself a couple of items, guilt-free.)

8. Go to a local cafe and people watch. (I love to hear little snippets of conversation.)

9. Cook a gourmet meal instead of going out to dinner. Eat by candlelight for full effect.

10. Read the magazines at a newsstand instead of buying them.

Okay....your turn!