International Frugal Fun Day was created by Shel Horowitz, author of ‘The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant’s Pocketbook’, and encourages participants to “do at least one really fun thing that costs under $5 per person–fun things with zero cost are especially appropriate.” The first International Frugal Fun Day was celebrated on October 2, 1999, and the holiday has been observed on the first Saturday in October every year since. Horowitz suggests that Frugal Fun plays an important role in the voluntary simplicity movement, stating that “once poeple realize they can still have a fabulous time without spending very much money, it opens up enormous possibilities for living more lightly while enjoying a better quality of life.” Communities across the world have started to embrace these same ideas, with may offering free public events in honor of Interntional Frugal Fun Day.
For years I’ve perpetuated a running joke about how I’m the perfect cheap date: back when I drank I preferred cheap beer over expensive wine; I’m not a fan of fish or seafood, so you’d be more likely to see me eating a cheap salad or chicken plate than a lobster tail; and although I think flowers and nice jewelry can be beautiful, my idea of a really good gift is a shopping trip at The Home Depot. It’s not really that I’m cheap or frugal, it’s just that I have simple taste and I find a lot more satisfaction in productivity than I do in indulgence. I’m sure this can be frustrating for Chris in a lot of ways. Not only does he have to deal with honey-do lists and sometimes austere practicality — he also has a wife who lacks a certain “girly-girl” quality. He’s often more concerned with his appearance than I am, and we make an interesting pair when we go out: Chris in his khakis and button-up shirt, and me in my jeans and hoodie.
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that we’re wonderful at budgeting. Chris and I have our weaknesses when it comes to penny-pinching (mmm…no, you can’t have Chik-fil-A too many time in one week), so International Frugal Fun Day offered us a chance to practice a little discretion with our spending. Luckily, we already had a frugally fun day planned!