Sometimes as much as I don't want to admit it, it's expensive to have fun! San Diego is a great city for those who are budget-conscious because there are a ton of free things to do. However, there's always a need (or want) to try something different; a new restaurant, a new event, a new adventure.
First off, one of my favorite free fun things is visiting the library. Yes, I realize that this does not fall in a lot of people's category as far as things to do that are entertaining. But, you can borrow DVDs, magazines and newly-released books just by LIVING somewhere.
However, if it's always nice not to be a complete hermit and try to get out and about. My advice: sign up for everything! Businesses are dying to give things away right now. To boost sales, good reviews, etc. With Yelp!, Twitter and Facebook giving us the power of voicing an opinion within minutes of time, every business wants to make sure their customers are satisfied. Also, no matter where you are, sign up through your city's papers and local websites for their free deals and contests.
This week I received: access to the Hornblower for a free evening concert (102.1 KPRi), two tickets to La Jolla's Wine Walk and Taste (San Diego Reader), and was able to spend a Girl's Night Out complete with dinner, dancing and late-night tacos for under $20. (Thank you, Buca di Beppo coupon and my slick budgeting skills). Also, I won tickets to a free screening of Martha May Marcy Marlene next week (San Diego Union Tribune).
My point being that there are always people who are going to say they can't afford to go out or have fun and I think they're just not trying hard enough. Many cities have free street festivals, museums offering free admissions, zoos. You can sign up to win tickets for anything: theatre tickets, concert tickets, restaurants. Also, I've used Twitter to win contests. Follow your favorites and take advantage of promos they run and contests they have.
It doesn't matter what your bank account numbers say, the feeling of saving money feels pretty nice. And if you don't want your email inbox filled with deals and coupons, set up another account to use just for those times you want that free deal. You'd be surprised at how many wealthy people who have relayed their misery to me. Money or not, they forgot to have fun. Money can't buy happiness, haven't you heard? Quality time with people you love is priceless.
Saving a buck while doing so is just the icing on the cake.