Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get on Your (Cheap) Hobby Horse...humor column about saving money...

April 14, 2010

Get on Your (Cheap) Hobby Horse

I made an offhand remark to someone yesterday, which is how I often remark; offhand, off the cuff, a bubble off level. You get the picture. It was a cute little interchange about hair and I made a joke that I’m growing out my hair because I need a cheap hobby and then I thought, hey, what other cheap (preferably humorous) hobbies could there be?

That inspired the list that follows which I call:

Hobbies That Cost Nothing
(I must qualify this list…first of all, it’s mostly humorous, but secondly, this doesn’t mean that engaging in the following activities doesn’t lead to future expenditures in the form of money or trouble but, technically, there is no money involved.)

1. Growing out your hair
(This is a goal you can really wrap your head around…or is it the other way around?)

2. Grass Clipping Collecting
(This provides the added bonus of accumulating items that are nature’s air freshener.)

3. Rock Collecting
(This provides the added bonus of creating a sub-collection of paper weights.)

4. Collecting anything that is not purchased and for which you will not be arrested.
(Note that last part, you permanent sign borrowers, you!)

5. Skipping
(As in “skip to my Lou,” skipping along the sidewalk. If you haven’t tried this lately, see how long it takes before you have to stop, bend over and exclaim, “My Gawd! And I used to do this every day when I was a kid?!)

6. Jumping
(As in “Van Halen might as well jump” jumping, anywhere you won’t hit your head. See #5 for same exclamation.)

7. Complimenting people
(Turn this into an art form and watch the look on folks’ faces when they realize you’re not making fun of them, but that you’re actually simply complimenting them, sans motivation.)

8. People watching
(This has launched many a writing career, this people watching thing. A word of caution, though. Don’t be too overt or creepy about it because it can get you on the police’s “people to watch” list, then you become THEIR hobby.)

9. Bird watching
(You’ll notice that cute little easy-to-love birds abound and there aren't just those squawky bluejays or disturbingly shifty-eyed, large crow-ish beasts that hover nearby as though they’re part vulture. I must insert some words of caution here too. Once you engage in this birdwatching activity you may become enthralled by all things hummingbird and be tempted to purchase a feeder for them, so this is one of those things that can lead to further expenditures.)

10. Any type of watching
(Let’s face it, given time, a piping hot cup of coffee and no money, looking at anything that doesn't equate to work becomes entertainment.)

11. Neighborhood sightseeing
(Have you been out there lately? Hoof it around and see what the neighbors are up to because maybe they've put out some of those free items that you didn't know you needed.)

12. Making lists
(I just realized I need to pick-up a few things at the store. Now where is that grocery list? Oh, well, I’ll just make a new one, which will be the second list of the day. And number 12 is now, officially, another one of my hobbies.)

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