Finding free (or cheap), fun activities

kidstrailI’ve been focused on saving money the past few weeks. I recently started paying attention to all the random or little things that we spend money on – Starbucks, Dr. Pepper at 7-11, new nail polish, dinner and drinks at a restaurant – and realize how quickly those add up . So I’m focused on saving rather than spending.

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I took this week off from work, planning a combination of stay at home fun and travel In planning my days at home, I started thinking of free or low-cost activities I could participate in by myself or with others. Here are a few random ideas:

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While I love these buildings for the thousands of books they offer, libraries often also host free classes and programs for residents. These might include computer classes, business tips, children-friendly and local history programs

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Many yoga studios and fitness studios offer the first class free to new clients. Most gyms, such as LA Fitness, offer the first workout or a free weekly pass for new clients. My sister is a big fan of the new TwyFit in Clawson, which offers a variety of classes from kickboxing to Zumba to yoga to strength training. First class is free for new people.

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Nature centers and parks often have walking trails, as well as other activities. Many of the local parks in southeast Michigan have children’s play areas, basketball and tennis courts, skateboard parks and more. Some parks offer public programs. While some parks do charge small fees for vehicle entries, it’s usually free if you walk or bike in. Spencer Park in Rochester Hills and Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township are two examples of this benefit.

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MeetupImageThere are numerous Meetup groups that don’t charge for participation in their activities, or charge a nominal fee ($10) for the year to help cover the Meetup hosting fee. Think of an activity that you’re interested in and I bet it exists – Board games, reading, photography, beer tasting, exercise, outdoor, theater and more!

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I love playing games – yard games, cards, board games, pool, ping-pong and more! Don’t own a board game? No need to buy one. Play charades, Simon Says or, even better, make up a fun game to play with family and friends!

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I don’t love living in a short-term apartment while we house hunt, but the amenities of a pool and gym are nice. The pool has been especially nice in the hot summer weather. We’ve hosted our family a few times, and I enjoyed a beautiful evening sitting in a lounge chair reading by the water. Love Michigan summers!

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What are some activities you enjoy for free or low-cost?

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