Author Topic: Alternatives to being a homebody?  (Read 7315 times)

DebtFreeBy25

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Alternatives to being a homebody?
« on: January 17, 2016, 09:06:04 AM »
One of the first things we discover as Mustachians is that in order to reach impressive levels of savings, we first need to part ways with many typical American past-times like dining out, going to bars, attending expensive concerts/sporting events, shopping, etc. Many of us cite staying home as a top way to save money.

While this is all well and good, what if you're not someone who is comfortable being a homebody? For example, I work primarily from home. This is great in that I save money on several nonproductive expenses like gas, parking, wear and tear on my car, food purchased specifically to take to work, etc. Of course, it also means that I spend a ton of time at home. When I'm not working I really like to get out of the house, but obviously I'm very conscious that getting out of the house typically involves spending money.

Here are some low cost activities my husband and I have done. For reference, we are 30ish, childfree, lifelong Mustachians in a relatively rural area for LCOL/housing reasons.

1. Go to the library. Totally free minus transportation costs, highly recommend.
2. Take a walk, hike, bike, etc. We do this a lot when the weather is decent. Unfortunately, these are rarely viable options in the winter.
3. Visit a state park or other nature area. Again, great option but not in the winter
4. Go to the Sportsman's Club ($160/year for access to hundreds of acres of land, 4 stocked lakes, rifle range, clubhouse, etc.) Again, outdoor activities are very limited in the winter.
5. Thrift shop. I love to browse thrift stores and approximately 50% of my wardrobe and ~80% of our furniture is second hand. Obviously this is not a good option for a shopaholic or anyone with a stuff problem.
6. Visit friends or family at their homes. A good option but you're still technically at home, the home just belongs to someone else.
7. Run errands. Sadly for some of us who work from home, any excuse to leave the house is a good one. Obviously this isn't really enjoyable but helps me keep from developing serious cabin fever.
8. Visit free days at museums, zoos, etc. There are a lot fewer options in this category for those of us outside of the major cities.

Is being home a lot something that bothers you? What do you do when you need to get out of the house?

samburger

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 09:44:56 AM »
I'm kinda stuck in a rut of walking/hiking, library, and museums on free day. All good things, but it's not enough!

I'm waiting for a heinous cold air mass to pass before I dive into more outdoor activities (-35 windchill today! uck!), but I have my eye on cross country skiing and birding. I'm also toying with joining a gym or doing drop-in fitnesses classes, just to see how it feels.

It sounds like you put your outdoor activities on hold in the winter. I'd encourage you to try getting out in the cold! This is the first winter I'm holding myself to getting outside if the temps are above 0, and it's made the winter so much more bearable. The trick for me was getting the right gear: long underwear, a neck gaiter, and boots rated for serious cold have made the cold downright pleasant.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2016, 10:01:14 AM »
We had a discussion about this in my old journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/new-york-money-jenga/msg787635/#msg787635

If I remember correctly, people in more rural areas chimed in with their own ideas.

Some options: go outside in the winter, meet friends at bars but don't drink, go to a restaurant but order appetizers, host potlucks, arrange for a friend to host movie night/board game night/sports watching, seek out every free activity possible. Get creative. If there's nothing free available, try to arrange something yourself! Ask if a local coffee shop can host movie nights or something (and you might get free coffee out of it).

Yes, other people's houses are still "home." To them. I think on that score you're going to have to get over it. Unless the issue is you want to be outside, which goes back to "go outside." Get snow boots, or snowshoes, or cc skis, and get that sunshine!

horsepoor

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2016, 10:36:49 AM »
I'm kinda stuck in a rut of walking/hiking, library, and museums on free day. All good things, but it's not enough!

I'm waiting for a heinous cold air mass to pass before I dive into more outdoor activities (-35 windchill today! uck!), but I have my eye on cross country skiing and birding. I'm also toying with joining a gym or doing drop-in fitnesses classes, just to see how it feels.

It sounds like you put your outdoor activities on hold in the winter. I'd encourage you to try getting out in the cold! This is the first winter I'm holding myself to getting outside if the temps are above 0, and it's made the winter so much more bearable. The trick for me was getting the right gear: long underwear, a neck gaiter, and boots rated for serious cold have made the cold downright pleasant.

I'll echo this.  Not sure how cold/snowy it is in your location, but outdoors in winter is actually pretty nice.  My cutoff for enjoying it is around 15F, but others are more badass, and I think how low you can go will depend on the weather where you live.  We rarely have days where the high is less than 20F, so with my cold tolerance, I miss very few opportunities to run due to cold. 

You might also find satisfaction in volunteering, if you're looking for something more social that gets you out of the house.  Someone I work with volunteers as an usher at cultural events, so she gets to see interesting lectures and also socialize with the volunteer group and attendees. 

music lover

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2016, 10:53:54 AM »
I play bass and guitar in 3 bands. An initial outlay of about $2000 for gear and ongoing costs of about $50 a year for strings/cables/maintenance provides several hundred of hours of enjoyment every single year, and has led to several new friends being made. If I go to my friend's place to jam on guitar for the evening, it costs me nothing other than the fuel to get there. When one of the bands I'm in gets together at my place for a rehearsal, it costs me nothing other than a few cents in electricity.

OctaviusIII

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 11:01:13 AM »
Might I recommend the super-nerdy Dungeons and Dragons (or other pen-and-paper RPG) option? Fairly cheap and engaging if you can get a group together. Note, though: avoid Warhammer, which is a damn money pit if I ever saw one.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 11:27:45 AM »
I'm kinda stuck in a rut of walking/hiking, library, and museums on free day. All good things, but it's not enough!

I'm glad that I'm not the only one struggling with too much at home time. Soon the modern homesteaders will arrive and tell us how much they LOVE staying at home (which is great for them but in no way great for me).

I do still get outside some in the winter. My dog is not going to accept 3-4+ months of no walks, and I still walk for health/ being a cheapass reasons if I'm out of town for work. But extreme cold is not for me. My husband and I have discussed moving somewhere where the  winter is less winter like but would almost certainly have to take a financial hit to do it.

We had a discussion about this in my old journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/new-york-money-jenga/msg787635/#msg787635

Interesting thread with plenty of good discussion. Thanks for sharing!

You might also find satisfaction in volunteering, if you're looking for something more social that gets you out of the house.  Someone I work with volunteers as an usher at cultural events, so she gets to see interesting lectures and also socialize with the volunteer group and attendees. 
[/quote]

Excellent point! I forgot to include volunteering in my list. I used to volunteer quite a bit before relocating and getting drug down by a job that takes up a lot of my time and most of my energy. For others' reference, I was on the board of my local Planned Parenthood chapter (lots of fun, negotiable level of financial commitment), did a lot of political volunteering and helped out some community organizations with their social media accounts (connected with them through work but offered additional services outside of that former job). Need to find some options that I would consider fun/worthwhile and can do on my schedule (evenings and weekends without a ton of advance notice). 

I play bass and guitar in 3 bands. An initial outlay of about $2000 for gear and ongoing costs of about $50 a year for strings/cables/maintenance provides several hundred of hours of enjoyment every single year, and has led to several new friends being made. If I go to my friend's place to jam on guitar for the evening, it costs me nothing other than the fuel to get there. When one of the bands I'm in gets together at my place for a rehearsal, it costs me nothing other than a few cents in electricity.


Good suggestion for the musically inclined. I tried playing guitar briefly in high school but it didn't stick for me.

Might I recommend the super-nerdy Dungeons and Dragons (or other pen-and-paper RPG) option? Fairly cheap and engaging if you can get a group together. Note, though: avoid Warhammer, which is a damn money pit if I ever saw one.

I have some friends who are into RPG but have never been inspired to try it. Unfortunately all of those friends now live an hour plus away from me.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 11:31:22 AM by DebtFreeBy25 »

tobitonic

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2016, 11:30:06 AM »
We have two young children and spend a lot of time with them. And yes, we keep going out in the winter, though not as often. Lately we've been sledding.

DragonSlayer

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 11:34:45 AM »
Might I recommend the super-nerdy Dungeons and Dragons (or other pen-and-paper RPG) option? Fairly cheap and engaging if you can get a group together. Note, though: avoid Warhammer, which is a damn money pit if I ever saw one.

I was going to say something similar. I'm a huge board gamer, so I go to the local board game shop and play on their open gaming nights. It's free (unless you want to put money into the pot which is given to the winner(s) in the form of store credit at the end of the night) and you can meet some new people. Alternatively, I have some friends I play with and we go to each other's houses and do pizza and game nights.

purplepear

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 12:20:18 PM »
Something that's big in our city is trivia nights at bars (http://www.geekswhodrink.com/). Not sure if this is an option where you live, but it's a pretty cheap night out for us (depending on if you drink/eat).

Most of the bars have drink specials during trivia, so we just share a pitcher of beer with few friends and get our competitive trivia on. Also, if you win, you get a gift card! :)

LeRainDrop

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2016, 12:29:31 PM »
Volunteering is an excellent idea.  How about visiting your local animal shelter?  Even if you're not an official "volunteer" there, you can still spend a good deal of time playing with the puppies or the cats.  Those interactions are mutually beneficial :-)

icemodeled

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2016, 12:37:15 PM »
This is a great topic as we are not homebodies and both struggle to stay home to avoid spending money.. its very tough. Moreso at this time of year. We are in a small town, fairly rural and little to do. Even worse when its freezing out and snow covered. You had some good suggestions but most would not apply well to us. Neither of us are big into reading so aside from when we rent DVDs we never go to the library. During summer we LOVE to be outside. Hiking is a passion and we love going to the lake. Winter eliminates these options. We are also not very close to any major city (1.5 hours) so finding things to do is tough. We like being home sometimes but always are getting an itch to get out.

at home we have a few video games and board games. No cable/netflix but have a few DVDs and TV seasons we watch occasionally.  Neither of us are TV watchers except right before bed. Its just my husband and I, 20s. This is partly why were considering a move to a more mild climate so we can be active more.

lbmustache

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 12:45:47 PM »
I think you can still go out and have fun with activities that require money, just be more conscious about where you are spending money. For example:

Pre-MMM: Buy expensive concert tickets, buy a ton of drinks, park close to the venue ($$$) / Go out to the bar every weekend, order 4-5 drinks, get food afterwards, etc.

Now it's like: Get reasonably priced tickets (don't have to be front and center!), NO drinks/food at the venue, park further away or even take public transportation. Go out to the bar 1-2x a month and maybe get 1-2 drinks, also saves money since you can be DD and don't have to Uber or anything.

I don't think you always need to stay at home or always have to do a free hike or museum visit.

ender

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 01:13:54 PM »
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/board-games-why-so-expensive-(/

Board games are a really solid investment if you play them (and even if you play only once, can still be cheaper than going to the movies!).

CanuckExpat

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 01:37:38 PM »
We had a discussion about this in my old journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/new-york-money-jenga/msg787635/#msg787635

I clicked through.. that is a really good description and writeup , one of those things I feel should be stickied.

Noodle

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2016, 01:39:25 PM »
Personally, I am one of those people perfectly happy to be at home with a book, but I do sympathize--I grew up in rural areas and lived in a fairly small town for a few years as an adult, so I know that a lot of the free/cheap social options city people (which I am now) take for granted just don't exist in rural areas, or are much more limited.

What I do recall as being possibilities--a lot of the social life in small towns is based around the churches. If you are religious at all, and can find a congregation that suits, you will probably find plenty to keep you out and about. Even if you don't care to be a member, it is not uncommon for them to sponsor things for the community like pancake dinners or musical events at which the religious content is limited to perhaps a prayer at the beginning, if that.

Also, high school sports, or other school-based activities like concerts or plays. You don't have to have a kid in school to attend and it's fun to see the kids' hard work. If you are close to a college or university, they also have tons of activities, many of which are open to the public. Speaking of sports, going to watch the local favorite sports team on TV at the bar will cost a little something for the drinks, but is a common social outlet. In communities that don't have a museum, the library often sponsors various kinds of events, or the community center.

Not sure if geocaching is something that has reached your area, but it's fun and outdoors.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2016, 01:43:07 PM »
I have been home ft as a sahm for almost 4 months. Overall I really enjoy being at home, but I find that even a trip to Target is exciting for me. Yoga class once a week? Well that's absolutely luxurious!

Luckily we have alot of family nearby, so we have visitors usually once or twice a week. Sometimes they just stop by to see the baby and have tea, and other times they come for hours. There is a reason entertaining guests at home or visiting others used to be so big, it was a way for people to be social without buying anything. I really think having a close network of friends and/or family for visiting is critical for those of us who are at home most of the time.

+1 to visiting the animal shelter and walking the dogs or playing with the cats.  There are also alot of little farms around our area that sometimes hire seasonal help for a few hours a week, or CSAs that take volunteers in the spring, summer and fall.

To keep myself intellectually stimulated while at home, I spend alot of my downtime watching documentaries and ted talks on a host of subjects. It's not mindless watching, and in many ways I'm far more interesting and intellectually engaged now than when I used to work full time. When my husband arrives home, all he wants to do is chill out and I want to discuss global warming, big ag, obesity, addiction, the fed reserve, or whatever other topic I learned about that day. The baby isn't much of a conversationalist after all.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 01:46:59 PM by little_brown_dog »

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2016, 01:54:48 PM »
This is a great topic as we are not homebodies and both struggle to stay home to avoid spending money.. its very tough. Moreso at this time of year. We are in a small town, fairly rural and little to do. Even worse when its freezing out and snow covered. You had some good suggestions but most would not apply well to us. Neither of us are big into reading so aside from when we rent DVDs we never go to the library. During summer we LOVE to be outside. Hiking is a passion and we love going to the lake. Winter eliminates these options. We are also not very close to any major city (1.5 hours) so finding things to do is tough. We like being home sometimes but always are getting an itch to get out.

at home we have a few video games and board games. No cable/netflix but have a few DVDs and TV seasons we watch occasionally.  Neither of us are TV watchers except right before bed. Its just my husband and I, 20s. This is partly why were considering a move to a more mild climate so we can be active more.

Not to be a total weirdo but I'm in rural eastern Ohio (nearest city is Pittsburgh, PA), and your description in the first paragraph sounds eerily familiar. Is it possible that I may have found a local Mustachian?

abhe8

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2016, 02:19:26 PM »
How about a part-time job, at s coffee shop or restaurant or the like? Something with lots of social interaction?

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2016, 03:07:55 PM »
How about a part-time job, at s coffee shop or restaurant or the like? Something with lots of social interaction?

I've considered it. Couple of major challenges with this option: I'm still working a FT corporate job for the time being, so my work schedule allows little opportunity for regular outside employment.  Part-time options with locally owned business are scarce, and I have no interest in working for a chain.  I also have no experience in food service or the like. Someone is going to surely slam me for saying this, but in my area there's a stigma against people over 25 working these types of jobs, especially college graduates. I'm unfortunately from a town not far from where I currently live, so there would certainly be talk about why I'm working at X even though I have a graduate degree.

icemodeled

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2016, 05:20:23 PM »
This is a great topic as we are not homebodies and both struggle to stay home to avoid spending money.. its very tough. Moreso at this time of year. We are in a small town, fairly rural and little to do. Even worse when its freezing out and snow covered. You had some good suggestions but most would not apply well to us. Neither of us are big into reading so aside from when we rent DVDs we never go to the library. During summer we LOVE to be outside. Hiking is a passion and we love going to the lake. Winter eliminates these options. We are also not very close to any major city (1.5 hours) so finding things to do is tough. We like being home sometimes but always are getting an itch to get out.

at home we have a few video games and board games. No cable/netflix but have a few DVDs and TV seasons we watch occasionally.  Neither of us are TV watchers except right before bed. Its just my husband and I, 20s. This is partly why were considering a move to a more mild climate so we can be active more.

Not to be a total weirdo but I'm in rural eastern Ohio (nearest city is Pittsburgh, PA), and your description in the first paragraph sounds eerily familiar. Is it possible that I may have found a local Mustachian?

Same state but opposite sides. We are in NW Ohio area. Closest large city is columbus. We are planning a move further south, hopefully this year to escape the cold gloomy winters. Ohio and rural living does have some charms but at this time in our life it just isnt right for us. Who knows, theres no certainty we will move though. One of our favorite Ohio locations is amish country north of columbus. We try to go there once a year.

Stachetastic

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2016, 06:04:29 PM »
This is a great topic as we are not homebodies and both struggle to stay home to avoid spending money.. its very tough. Moreso at this time of year. We are in a small town, fairly rural and little to do. Even worse when its freezing out and snow covered. You had some good suggestions but most would not apply well to us. Neither of us are big into reading so aside from when we rent DVDs we never go to the library. During summer we LOVE to be outside. Hiking is a passion and we love going to the lake. Winter eliminates these options. We are also not very close to any major city (1.5 hours) so finding things to do is tough. We like being home sometimes but always are getting an itch to get out.

at home we have a few video games and board games. No cable/netflix but have a few DVDs and TV seasons we watch occasionally.  Neither of us are TV watchers except right before bed. Its just my husband and I, 20s. This is partly why were considering a move to a more mild climate so we can be active more.

Not to be a total weirdo but I'm in rural eastern Ohio (nearest city is Pittsburgh, PA), and your description in the first paragraph sounds eerily familiar. Is it possible that I may have found a local Mustachian?

Same state but opposite sides. We are in NW Ohio area. Closest large city is columbus. We are planning a move further south, hopefully this year to escape the cold gloomy winters. Ohio and rural living does have some charms but at this time in our life it just isnt right for us. Who knows, theres no certainty we will move though. One of our favorite Ohio locations is amish country north of columbus. We try to go there once a year.

Just to complete the Buckeye trifecta, I'll chime in from north central Ohio! I definitely feel your pain. I find I have to force myself to go out in this weather. I always feel good afterwards, but getting the motivation to bundle up is always a struggle.

RonMcCord

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2016, 06:51:05 PM »
Might I recommend the super-nerdy Dungeons and Dragons (or other pen-and-paper RPG) option? Fairly cheap and engaging if you can get a group together. Note, though: avoid Warhammer, which is a damn money pit if I ever saw one.

Ooh, what about Mafia?  You need at least 5 people, but it costs nothing to play and you get to find out which of your friends is a pathological liar.

csprof

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2016, 06:51:54 PM »
This is a great topic as we are not homebodies and both struggle to stay home to avoid spending money.. its very tough. Moreso at this time of year. We are in a small town, fairly rural and little to do. Even worse when its freezing out and snow covered. You had some good suggestions but most would not apply well to us. Neither of us are big into reading so aside from when we rent DVDs we never go to the library. During summer we LOVE to be outside. Hiking is a passion and we love going to the lake. Winter eliminates these options. We are also not very close to any major city (1.5 hours) so finding things to do is tough. We like being home sometimes but always are getting an itch to get out.

at home we have a few video games and board games. No cable/netflix but have a few DVDs and TV seasons we watch occasionally.  Neither of us are TV watchers except right before bed. Its just my husband and I, 20s. This is partly why were considering a move to a more mild climate so we can be active more.

Not to be a total weirdo but I'm in rural eastern Ohio (nearest city is Pittsburgh, PA), and your description in the first paragraph sounds eerily familiar. Is it possible that I may have found a local Mustachian?

And from your nearest city (when we're not living in the bay area this year): 

XC skiing in the local golf courses and/or parks!

Also - trail running in said parks, with yaktrax.

Ice skating can be pretty cheap if you own your own skates.

A local black iron gym if you're into weight lifting.  (I say black iron because they're usually cheaper than the big boxes.)  Social hour 3x/week, with squats thrown in for free! :-)  If you're not, try getting into weight lifting.  *grins* 

Dinner parties.  Game nights.  Bridge or poker... but for tokens or pennies.)  (These  take some management - incent your friends to host as well so you're really getting out. :)

I've never managed to be into book clubs, but several of my friends are.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2016, 09:08:04 PM »
This is a great topic as we are not homebodies and both struggle to stay home to avoid spending money.. its very tough. Moreso at this time of year. We are in a small town, fairly rural and little to do. Even worse when its freezing out and snow covered. You had some good suggestions but most would not apply well to us. Neither of us are big into reading so aside from when we rent DVDs we never go to the library. During summer we LOVE to be outside. Hiking is a passion and we love going to the lake. Winter eliminates these options. We are also not very close to any major city (1.5 hours) so finding things to do is tough. We like being home sometimes but always are getting an itch to get out.

at home we have a few video games and board games. No cable/netflix but have a few DVDs and TV seasons we watch occasionally.  Neither of us are TV watchers except right before bed. Its just my husband and I, 20s. This is partly why were considering a move to a more mild climate so we can be active more.

Not to be a total weirdo but I'm in rural eastern Ohio (nearest city is Pittsburgh, PA), and your description in the first paragraph sounds eerily familiar. Is it possible that I may have found a local Mustachian?

And from your nearest city (when we're not living in the bay area this year): 

XC skiing in the local golf courses and/or parks!

Also - trail running in said parks, with yaktrax.

Ice skating can be pretty cheap if you own your own skates.

A local black iron gym if you're into weight lifting.  (I say black iron because they're usually cheaper than the big boxes.)  Social hour 3x/week, with squats thrown in for free! :-)  If you're not, try getting into weight lifting.  *grins* 

Dinner parties.  Game nights.  Bridge or poker... but for tokens or pennies.)  (These  take some management - incent your friends to host as well so you're really getting out. :)

I've never managed to be into book clubs, but several of my friends are.
a

Not being a total car clown, Pittsburgh is too far for all but maybe a once a month visit. I mooch of my mom's YMCA membership so the gym is free. (A good 20+ minute drive away, but free presuming that the employees continue to ignore that I'm certainly not 21 or under). Used to have my own ice skates but sadly they're lost in my mother's hoarded mess of a house.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2016, 10:10:48 AM »
Is being home a lot something that bothers you? What do you do when you need to get out of the house?

I used to work from home and during a busy week it was quite possible for me not to go further than the end of my driveway for days at a time. It didn't bother me at all. My cat hung out with me all day and my GF came home in the evenings.

I would also have very light work weeks where I'd spend a lot of my "work time" riding my bike or one of my other sporty interests.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2016, 10:29:29 AM »
How about a part-time job, at s coffee shop or restaurant or the like? Something with lots of social interaction?

I've considered it. Couple of major challenges with this option: I'm still working a FT corporate job for the time being, so my work schedule allows little opportunity for regular outside employment.  Part-time options with locally owned business are scarce, and I have no interest in working for a chain.  I also have no experience in food service or the like. Someone is going to surely slam me for saying this, but in my area there's a stigma against people over 25 working these types of jobs, especially college graduates. I'm unfortunately from a town not far from where I currently live, so there would certainly be talk about why I'm working at X even though I have a graduate degree.

What about a part time job that teaches you a skill and is less likely to put you in contact with the public where you might be seen by coworkers? Sometimes cottage industries like woodworking, blacksmith, weaving,organic farming, etc hire extra help or apprentices. That way you are learning something new instead of just using the pt job to get out of the house, and you won't be in a public sphere where people might see you and gossip.  It would be more like a structured hobby than a job.  Trouble with this is that you would have to actively seek out these opportunities since they are often done at someone's home/personal property and rarely posted as jobs on job websites. You might have to go to local meetings or events related to the skill you are interested in to figure out if there are any opportunities.
 
« Last Edit: January 18, 2016, 10:31:57 AM by little_brown_dog »

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2016, 10:30:56 AM »
How about a part-time job, at s coffee shop or restaurant or the like? Something with lots of social interaction?

I've considered it. Couple of major challenges with this option: I'm still working a FT corporate job for the time being, so my work schedule allows little opportunity for regular outside employment.  Part-time options with locally owned business are scarce, and I have no interest in working for a chain.  I also have no experience in food service or the like. Someone is going to surely slam me for saying this, but in my area there's a stigma against people over 25 working these types of jobs, especially college graduates. I'm unfortunately from a town not far from where I currently live, so there would certainly be talk about why I'm working at X even though I have a graduate degree.

What about a part time job that teaches you a skill and is less likely to put you in contact with the public where you might be seen by coworkers? Sometimes cottage industries like woodworking, blacksmith, weaving,organic farming, etc hire extra help or apprentices. That way you are learning something new instead of just using the pt job to get out of the house, and you won't be in a public sphere where people might see you and gossip.  It would be more like a structured hobby than a job.  Trouble with this is that you would have to actively seek out these opportunities since they are often done at someone's home/personal property and rarely posted as jobs on job websites. You might have to go to local meetings or events related to the skill you are interested in to figure out if there are any opportunities.

This is a really interesting idea. Unfortunately, most of the local cottage industry type businesses struggle to or do not fully support their owners, so finding a cool place that is interested in taking on extra help is rare. There are sometimes opportunities to help a friend with their cottage industry/craft though. This spring my husband and I helped some friends fire their stone kiln, an endeavor that requires almost round-the-clock tending for a 72 hour period. Experiences like this are cool and free if you happen to know someone with a unique craft.

We do have local winery though, and my husband knows the owners. I've tried suggesting that he ask about helping out part-time, but now that I think about it, most of the work there would be a better fit for me than him (extrovert v. introvert). The thought of working at a winery doesn't cause me any professional reputation stress because I love the winery, which is the key difference when compared to food service or retail for me personally.

tobitonic

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Re: Alternatives to being a homebody?
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2016, 11:23:18 AM »
Is being home a lot something that bothers you? What do you do when you need to get out of the house?

Something to keep in mind is that this isn't a problem that goes away once you're FI. That's bad news and good news. The bad news is that if it bugs you now, it'll bug you then. The good news is that if you find solutions now, they'll work then.

The problem, as I see it, involves a desire to interact with the world (whether with other people or with your spouse outside the home) without spending money. The solution? Well, there are lots of them, but I think the most satisfying ones in the long term involve work that puts you in contact with others, such as volunteering, part time jobs, etc.