Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Deliberately frugal...

...choosing to take pleasure in frugal activities.

There are all sorts of outdoor activities, like mountain biking, snow boarding, kayaking etc that sound like they might be a lot of fun, if you are into that sort of thing. The difficulty is, they are all pretty expensive. They require a lot of specialist equipment, and even just hiring it is costly. If I thought I would have the time, energy or enthusiasm to use it regularly, I might be tempted by a good bike, but I know that I wouldn't get my money's worth.

I do like to get outside when I can though, and I have a couple of dogs, so walking is a regular part of my life. And I have to say, you can't find a cheaper outdoor activity than walking! All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes, and unless you are intending to go on serious hikes, I'm not talking about any sort of specialist footwear, and you are set.

An important part of living a frugal life for me is intentionally choosing to enjoy simple, frugal pleasures, like walking. Taking the dogs out can seem like a bit of a chore, especially in the rain, but I make a conscious effort to make it a pleasure. I vary the routes that I take from my house, so that I am not always pounding the same streets. I might combine it with a little 'window shopping' along the Main Street. Yesterday evening snow had fallen quite quickly, and my daughter was keen to come with me when I walked the dogs, largely so that she could pelt me with snowballs, I suspect. It was a magical walk, with everything made beautiful by a covering of snow, and all the sounds so muffled that it felt as though we were alone in the world.

Sometimes I will put the dogs in the car and take them somewhere else for a walk, perhaps a park, or the beach, or the river bank. If I can persuade them to come along, my husband and daughter may join me. Sometimes we meet up with friends who join us on our walk. And the whole experience costs nothing more than a little petrol money.

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