October is Here!
I just lit my Yankee Candle and opened a window to set the blogging mood. I love Fall and everything that goes along with it. I grew up, and still live in central Pennsylvania. We get four seasons around these parts and I enjoy Fall more than any other. October holds a very special place in my heart. It reminds me of jumping in leaves and sipping hot chocolate. The school year is in full swing, there’s a crisp bite in the air, and the leaves are starting their colorful, whimsical descent to the Earth. Hearing the crunch under each footstep I take fills me with excitement for the season. And, Halloween! Did I mention Halloween?
This October is only slightly different. I have committed to changing my financial future through #frugality. I will enjoy this October just as much, if not more than Octobers of Fall past, and I will spend less money to do it. You just wait and see. Read on.
October Activities That Require Little Or No Cash
Below is a list of activities that I plan on engaging in to fulfill my love of October, without breaking my fragile piggybank. Will you join me?
- Cooking & Baking – Call me crazy, but I suddenly have a hankering for some baked macaroni & cheese and a homemade chocolate cake. Yum. Aside from having to purchase ingredients, this is next to free. And, in my emerging #frugal opinion, if you are buying food at the store, it’s a need and not a want 😛 This is a total NEED for my October to be complete!
Cemeteries – Our family started this tradition last year. There is an old, huge cemetery 2 miles from our house. We venture into the creepy cemetery the week before Halloween, armed with flashlights and our imagination. From there, a hearty game of hide-and-seek ensues. A family photo next to a century-old tombstone is a MUST. This is a picture of the actual cemetery we visit! Isn’t it cool and creepy?
- Roasting Marshmallows – We’re not a camping family (but we probably should be) but we do have a fire pit in our backyard, and the last time I checked, that was all that was needed to roast a marshmallow. We plan to find sticks on our hike and roast some marshmallows around the campfire. Throw in a few ghost stories for the kid and some beers for mom and dad and we’ll have the perfect Fall evening.
Trick-or-Treating – Rounding out our ultra-frugal October will be pumpkin carving and Halloween. Both are free and create memories that last a lifetime. I can still remember dashing to the store to pick up the new E.T. costume I wore in elementary school, complete with the plastic mask and elastic strap. Remember when they used to come in the cardboard box with the clear plastic window? I couldn’t wait to get out of school that day. In fact, I could never understand why we had to go to school on Halloween. I still think it should be a recognized holiday. No mail. Now I get to watch my little girl be just as excited on October 31st. It truly doesn’t get any better than this. Ding-dong
*There are a ton more options that I didn’t even touch on! What about decorating for Fall and Halloween? What about bobbing for apples? What about attending a local Fall festival? My family and I plan to attend the Lancaster Fall ArtWalk this weekend. There is wonderful eye candy from local artists and always something at each gallery for the kids! Cost: FREE. You don’t need anything fancy to do this! What’s stopping you? Have fun and SAVE your money!*
This October I’m getting married! Obviously, this little event won’t be free or inside our monthly budget. But, we are celebrating with a small, friends and family ceremony in a cavern surrounded by stalactites (grows from the ceiling) and stalagmites (grows from the ground). Wow, I can’t believe I actually remember stuff I learned in school! Did you know that if they grow together it’s called a column? Anyway, I’ve been single for quite a few years and this is something I’m really excited about. So far we are staying within our wedding budget. Keep your eyes peeled for some spectacular wedding photos 🙂
PREVIEW: Here is a picture of the actual cavern where we will be married. We try to march to the beat of a different drummer. Hence, our adopting a frugal lifestyle and having a goal to retire early. Really early! Want to know HOW early? It still needs to be determined. Remember, we are not financial wizards, and we certainly don’t have it all figured out. Unfortunately, we have not been doing this for years like Mr. Money Mustache or Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods. If we had their insight, I’d be sipping a margarita and sitting on a beach as I type this. This is a new-found quest to get us where we want to be. We could kick ourselves for not starting this sooner, but, we can’t do anything about the financial missteps of the past. We can only move forward from here. We’re going to sit down this weekend and map out our life goals. We have already armed ourselves with a fantastic financial app called Mint (free, of course). This little app and our own persistence to live frugally, will, hopefully, get us to a very early retirement. I hope you join us. We’ll leave the light on for you.
Hot Chocolate, Pumpkins, & Sweats. Oh My!
These are a few of my favorite things…oops, wrong season, sorry. But, these truly are some of my favorite things about Fall. I absolutely love transitioning from the sweltering, lazy days of summer to the holiday season with breathtaking foliage and crisp autumn breezes. A scary movie here or there doesn’t hurt, either. Who can resist watching some maniac in a jumpsuit wield a butcher knife in a seemingly idyllic residential neighborhood? Aside from that last sentence, I hope this post was helpful in pulling you away from your routine tasks to focus on enjoying the moment and the season. Now, go grab your sweats and a cup of hot chocolate, because Fall is beckoning!
What Are A Few Of Your Favorite Fall Traditions?