Community groups offer inexpensive recreation(Read article summary)
Community groups are a big win for a frugal person, Hamm writes.
Robert Harrison/The Christian Science Monitor
After discussing relationships the last few weeks in this series, weâre going to shift gears and look at ways to spend your free time without spending money â often in ways with a secondary benefit as well.
Almost every town or city you visit has quite a few social organizations of various kinds.
In our town, for instance, thereâs a book club, a thriving parks and rec department with tons of athletic programs, several churches, and a food pantry, just to name a few.
Go to the nearest city of any size and the options explode. Thereâs a community theatre, a community band, a Lionâs Club, the Knights of Columbus, a Toastmasters group, computer clubs, book clubs, gaming clubs âŚ the list is almost endless.
If you go to Des Moines, the nearestÂ largeÂ city, the river of options becomes an absolute flood. You can find some sort of group for almost any interest or passion you might have.
Most of these groups have a few things in common. They collect together people with a common interest. They provide a group setting for activities that are difficult to do alone. They cost very little (often nothing) to participate in.
Community groups are a big win for a frugal person.
How do you find these organizations?
The best place to start is theÂ website for your local community. Many such sites will provide a partial listing of the community groups available in your town (depending on how well the community is organized, the list is often quite complete, but itâs never perfect). You might also want to check the sites of nearby cities and towns.
When you find a group youâre interested in,Â look for a point of contact. Many groups have a website that you can find or, at the very least, have contact information on your cityâs website. Start there.
Donât be afraid to ask for more information.Â It does not mean youÂ haveÂ to join. It simply means that youâre interested in the group and want to know more.
Donât be afraid to give it a whirl, either.Â Find out when the next activity is and simply go. Tell the person who seems to be in charge that youâre new and that person will likely explain whatâs going on and will probably introduce you to others in the group.
Community organizations can be a great source of social enjoyment, self-improvement, and entertainment, and they often cost nothing to participate in. Itâs something well worth taking advantage of.
This post is part of a yearlong series called â365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),â in which Iâm revisiting the entries from my book â365 Ways to Live Cheap,â which is availableÂ at AmazonÂ and at bookstores everywhere.Â