Fun on a budget

Put Your Passion To Work: How To Have (Actual) Fun On A Budget

Monday, October 27, 2014

Well, that sounds obscure, doesn’t it?

Don’t worry. I’ll explain. Is there something you know and love like nobody else? Something you bore your friends and family about senselessly? Something silly and pointless that nobody seems to care about? You can probably use that to save some money. And, have some budget fun that doesn’t feel like budget fun.

I’ll give you a few examples. In the past eighteen months, I’ve attended shows by Cirque Du Soleil, Empire Circus and the Bolshoi Ballet. If you know any of the names, you would know that I probably should have spent roughly a grand on tickets. Double that, if I went with people (which I did).

I didn’t pay a cent. How did I do that? I work as a reviewer. Now, I rarely get paid. Still, I’ve attended some of the most popular shows to tour Queensland for free. All I’ve had to do is write a short review at the end of it. Right now, some of you are probably thinking you either can’t do anything like that or you’re not good enough to do anything like that - but that’s not true at all. I started reviewing when I was 19. I wrote to a free local magazine and asked if I could try writing. A month later, I was at Ozzy Osbourne.

That’s just one example, though. My partner is a singer-songwriter. When we travelled to Sydney for a trip recently, she booked a small gig to perform before we left. She made a little over $50 and that paid for her transport around Sydney for the weekend. I actually have another friend who needed to get to Tasmania for a wedding and couldn’t afford the airfares. So, he booked a gig down there at a local bar. It paid for his airfares and he just crashed with friends. 

Again, there’s a temptation to think that none of this applies to you. You’re not a musician or a writer. How does it work for you? Honestly, if you have a passion, there’s a way to make it work. When I was talking to a friend about this topic, he told me of a friend who loved typewriters. His friend actually goes to auctions and second-hand stores and buys old typewriters, restores them and sells them for a small profit. Makes a couple of grand a year. From typewriters.

So, where do you start? If you can’t come up with an idea as to how to use your passion, I’d suggest simply making sure your passion is visible by starting a blog. Platforms like and are free and easy to use. Lifehacker have a nice article on how beginners can build a successful blog. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a writer. People don’t want to see a good writer. They want to see you and your passion.

You may not make a lot of money - but this isn’t about making money. It’s about having fun, saving money, and making sure your budget doesn’t turn you into a dullard.