A co-worker was just talking about how over the weekend, her neighborhood lost power for an entire day. Something about a line being cut. Living in the D.C. area, there are plenty of places to go for free when you need to get out of the house for entertainment, but she had a child under the weather, so they all had to stay inside. She was telling us about all the wonderful fun they had playing games and building forts and reading books, and how it was even an opportunity for a romantic, candlelit dinner with her husband (though they ordered in pizza since they couldn’t heat anything – not the most frugal option, of course).
It made me think what I would do with an entire day at home with no power. In my hypothetical situation, I decided there would have to be a torrential downpour outside to keep me from leaving. And even though I have no kids at home to entertain, and to entertain me, I realized that there are plenty of things that I could do. Things that wouldn’t even require me to use my laptop battery.
I have a small library of books, many of which I keep meaning to re-read and never seem to get to. I could spend a few hours reading.
I could catch up on correspondence and write a few real letters, something I’ve not done in years.
I could page through my cookbooks and plan out some nice meals to cook once I do get power back.
I could work on one of the many creative writing projects I always seem to be in the middle of.
Needlework! I have so many half finished projects that it’s a bit embarassing to admit.
I think I could come up with a huge list of things that I could do, all things that would successfully occupy a day or more and not cost a single cent (not even for power!).
Maybe we should all think of unplugging for a day every now and again, just to see what we’re missing out on.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.