I’d like to welcome Sheila Roberts, author of Small Change, her newest novel to Peeking Between the Pages today. I hope to read Small Change soon and Sheila is also the author of Love in Bloom which I do have on my bedside table to be read. Sheila joins us today with a guest post entitled Fun on a Budget…
Yes, I know, the words fun and budget don’t always go together in our minds. Life doesn’t always feel so fun when times are tight. But, let me assure you, a girl doesn’t have to let a little thing like a lack of money stop her from enjoying life. Really. We just have to redefine fun. Fun doesn’t have to be a trip to Italy, a Caribbean cruise, an evening at the theater or even a fancy dinner out (although I wouldn’t pass up the chance to do any of those things). Fun really has more to do with our attitudes than our pocketbooks.
I had a confirming ah-ha moment when I was watching one of my favorite TV shows: House Hunters International. I love that show. I drool over all the exotic locations and amazing homes, and of course, I say to myself, “Oh, yes. I would like to live there.” But one day I was watching and drooling and I realized that, although those houses were in a lovely locale, I’d still be me, doing the things I do normally: hanging out with my family and friends, playing cards or yakking. And I remembered something someone once said: “Wherever you go, you’re still there.” My enjoyment of life doesn’t depend on where I am or how much money I make; it depends on who I am and how I spend my time. Ha! Knew it all along.
So, what can we do to have fun when money is tight? Start thinking outside the box. Can’t afford the theater? Check out a DVD of your favorite musical from your local library and invite friends over for a dress-up theater night. Have everyone bring appetizers and during admission you can share a bottle of inexpensive champagne. Heck, with what you save on theater tickets you can probably afford a fairly nice bottle of champagne. And no lines for the bathroom! Live near a public beach? Take advantage of it. (Okay, so you won’t be on the Riviera. Think of the crowds you’ll avoid.) Also take advantage of public parks. Let me tell you, I spent many happy hours over the years playing tennis on my local public tennis courts. And my family enjoyed many a picnic at those same courts.
When was the last time you went on a picnic? Summer (and picnic weather) is right around the corner. Don’t worry about packing an elaborate meal. A picnic can be made from almost anything you have in your cupboard.
Speaking of food, scrounging for edibles can be an adventure. My neighbors and I pick berries during the summer and make jam together. In fall, my husband and I go mushrooming with friends. (Now, that is a good time, let me tell you – it’s the grown-up version of an Easter egg hunt!)
Looking for fun with the girls? It’s spring. Consider hosting a plant exchange. Have your friends bring those perennials they’re thinning out of the garden and let everyone dig through the goodies. I went to an herb party last month. We all had so much fun we’re going to make a tradition of it. Everyone brought enough herb starts for each guest, along with a dish using that herb and a recipe. I had a great time and got some fabulous new recipes. Or maybe you’d like to try a chick poker night. No money involved other than the cost of a bag of Hershey’s kisses. Cuz, of course, being chicks, we’re gambling for chocolate. Poker rules can be downloaded from the Internet. Have everyone bring a bottle of her favorite drink and you’re good for an evening of cheap thrills. If you don’t feel like gambling, borrow a chick flick from the library and enjoy a chick flick night. Or have a clothes swap. You may be tired of that blouse or purse, but someone else might love it.
As you can see, the possibilities for fun on a budget are almost endless. We can all learn to live large on little, which is what the characters in my new book SMALL CHANGE learn to do. I loved writing that book and was excited to include money tips and some great recipes for gifts to make using little money and lots of love. It was a real labor of love, because learning to live well and happily within our means is something I want to see every woman able to do. I firmly believe a girl should never let a little thing like a tight budget stand in the way of a great life. Cyndi Lauper knew what she was talking about. Girls just wanna have fun!
What a terrific guest post Sheila! I agree you can have a lot of fun and not spend a ton of money. It’s all in how you look at it. Small Change sounds like such a wonderful book! Thanks again for stopping in to visit Peeking Between the Pages!
About the Book (from Sheila Robert’s website):
Take a trip to the charming little town of Heart Lake, and meet three best friends who you’ll never forget . . .
Rachel, Jessica and Tiffany have money problems – major money problems. Tiffany’s whipped out the plastic one too many times, and now a mountain of debt is about to come crashing down on her. Jessica’s husband lost his job – thrusting this longtime stay-athome mom out into the cold, cruel workforce. And Rachel’s divorce has transformed her from an upper-middle-class mom to a strapped-for-cash divorcee. What are three best friends to do?
Get financially fit, that’s what! Together, they start a financial support group called The Small Change Club – challenging each other to bring balance back to their checkbooks, and their lives. Even though frugality is a lot harder than they ever imagined, these women are about to learn some very important lessons: that making a series of small changes in their spending habits can make a world of difference . . . and some things in life, like good friends, are truly priceless.
With money tips, recipes, and a great story, Sheila Roberts walks the average woman through today’s rocky financial landscape.
About the Author (from Sheila’s website):
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Her band days are over, but she still enjoys writing songs. When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences or hanging out with her girlfriends she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.
I have 1 copy of Small Change by Sheila Roberts courtesy of the author to share with one of my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
- For 2 entries tell me what you like to do with your friends that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
- For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway.
This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only. The book will be sent to you by the author. I will draw for the winner on Saturday, May 8, 2010. Good luck everyone!