I have written about getting out of debt for more than three years. When I started writing, I was $20,000 in debt and was deferring $75 student loan payments because I wasn’t making enough to pay them. Fourteen months after this awakening moment, I was completely debt free. Life was great for a while, and then it took another sharp turn (or maybe I should say U-turn). Instead of continuing my role as “husband”, single life was suddenly forced on me along with a $22,000 expense owed to my ex. It was time to dig myself out of debt again. This time I was able to do it in six months, but it sure wasn’t easy!
Throughout these difficult times, I often had to have head-down focus and concentrated on nothing other than paying off that debt. With these times of great stress, I am now beginning to understand that life is not all about paying off debts and investing for the future. No, there needs to be a little fun planned along the way (that is, unless you are in a dire situation and need to pay those bills).
So what kind of fun am I talking about? Well, basically whatever you can come up with! Here are my top five forms of entertainment:
1) Camping – This is really a super cheap form of entertainment, but can be extremely fun! My girlfriend and I went up to the top of Michigan this past Labor Day and had a blast. From a campground near the bridge, we spent less than $300 for 3 full nights of activities and that included heading over to Mackinac Island for a day!
2) Hikes – This could really go along with camping, but I like to keep it separate because you can hike at anytime. I just found two new hiking trails this past weekend and the only cost to me was a couple of gallons of gas to get there.
3) Blackjack – I know this might seem completely random, but I don’t mind heading to the casino once in a while. If there happens to be a casino near my area (typically during a vacation), I just take $20 or so and see how long I can make it last. is often pretty cheap entertainment. You just need to be sure that you don’t lose control in there. The best way to gamble is by taking in only the amount you are willing to lose.
4) Kayaking – Yes, there is the initial expense of the kayaks, but once you have one, you can explore all over the place for countless hours, and it’s free! I definitely need to do some more kayaking next year.
5) Marathons/Triathlons – I just participated in my first triathlon this past year and it was a blast! I was always outside running, swimming, or biking at little to no expense. It kept me in great shape and I had a great time at the competition.
What do you like to do for your entertainment?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.