how to have fun when you're broke

3:45 PM

The inspiration for this post is two-fold. My dear friend Carsyn runs an advice Instagram on which she posted a list of things to do when you don't have the money to go out. I thought this was a super cute idea. Then, this week I found myself in Boston, alone, broke, and without a phone. (My life right now is a lot like the chorus of a certain FIDLAR song.)

Hot summer days in a city are both spiritual and intensely uncomfortable. They're the kind of days to listen to Tei Shi, embrace the sweat, and just relax. So, I took some of Carsyn's ideas and ended up having an amazing day to decompress from the travel and visiting family I had been doing.

I spent several hours window shopping (note: this only works if you literally leave your card/cash at home), sitting in Starbucks with an ice water and eavesdropping on conversations, and working on some creative writing on the edge of a fountain. I also got to talk to some awesome, kind, interesting strangers and started work on a new photography project.

I also got to walk with no particular destination, and explore. Something fascinates me about the "wild" spots in a city. The overgrown parks, the people pretending they are the only ones there, the weeds peeping out of the sidewalk. I saw a quote on Facebook the other day that really struck true.

"I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic." -George Carlin. 

So, back to the title of this post, because I seem to have gone off on a tangent. How do you have fun when you're broke? Here's what I did the other day in Boston.
  • Meditate
  • Walk around and take pictures
  • People watch/eavesdrop/draw pictures of strangers (this is especially fun if you, like me, have no artistic talent)
  • Journal and write poetry
  • Window shop

Some other ideas that I've had fun doing in the past include:

  • Go see local music - coffee shops etc often have open mic nights and local bands playing. I love going to Union Coffee Co. and Coffee and Cotton, but if you look around I'm sure you can find some places near you.
  • Find new music. Ask your friends, family, or Instagram followers what they've been listening to lately. People love to share their music taste, and it's fun hearing new stuff and learning more about people. Feel free to drop your summer tunes in the comments!
  • Watch documentaries on Netflix. Whether it's Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, the Sriracha documentary, or anything in between, it's fun to learn something new. Plus you get that feeling of superiority when you say you watch documentaries. (Same with podcasts... my all-time faves are This American Life, 2 Dope Queens, and True Story.) 
  • Check out your local library! There are often free events, flyers for outside events, and perks like free museum passes. Oh, and books too. 

So, when you're feeling bored this summer, just remember how many beautiful things to see and fun things to do are right within your grasp. 

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  1. Such a great post and pictures!! Thanks for sharing!
    Mónica Sors

  2. Yep I always do that when I'm broke. But usually I just stay at home and watch a couple of series or read blogs to make my day :D Nice post Fiona!

    Homed: Life in Sugar & Spice

  3. I also love to explore and window shop, 100% true that it works only if I have no money with me ahaha.


  4. I'm all about the window shopping! Although I usually end up buying something :)

    xx Yasmin

  5. I was just in Boston last weekend and totally agree that just walking around and acutally looking at whats around you can be fun!

    xx Pia

  6. I love walking streets and taking picture of the street art - also most galleries/museums are free entry :-) Might learn something.

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.

  7. These are all fun things to do on a budget! It would be fun to spend hours to a library!


  8. This was seriously a fun post to read. I guess leaving your wallet and going window shopping can totally be a thing to save money. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Great affordable things to do! Thanks for sharing. Xo, Ellese


  10. These are great tips! When I'm broke I do love spending time in my couch binge watching in Netflix of Viu :D

    xx Alyssa // STYLE VANITY

  11. these are all great tips, people watching is one of my favourite things to do! xx
    Coco Bella Blog


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