In the spirit of “staycationing” in our new home, I’m writing a new series of posts about ways to save money and live frugally without being extreme or insane. I used these methods to save for my down payment, and I continue to use them to survive being a new, yet thrifty, homeowner.
Let’s embark on the House Poor Summer Tour 2013!
I worked at a public library for two summers during college.
Hands down, it was the best summer job ever. Granted I made minimum wage, so I wasn’t hauling in the big bucks, but it was easy, fun, money. I promoted the summer reading program, helped patrons with computers, and performed the typical public library activities- checking out books, collecting fines, mailing out overdue notices, shelf stocking, all that good stuff.
Here I am with my library coworkers, Wanda and Patricia, back in 2006. This picture officially qualifies this blog as a “Throwback Thursday” now, right?
The best thing about working at the public library? My hours were from 10-6, and every day, I walked over to Subway and a local convenience store for lunch and snacks. The workers knew me and my order as soon as I walked in. Sometimes I surprised the workers, when my minimum-wage making, thrifty self upgraded to a chips-and-drink combo instead of “just the sandwich”. “The sandwich” was a veggie delight with all veggies, add spinach, melted cheese, on honey oat bread. I still get this combo when I go to Subway.
The next best thing about working at the public library was seeing new books come in and getting first access to whatever I wanted. It was a small branch library, but seeing what people read and what movies they watched was fun. I even considered going into the library science field as a career, but it requires three years of grad school after college.
Not that writers make a ton, but with student loans and the low pay rate, librarians are justified in sticking with “just the sandwich” at Subway.
Recently, I spent an afternoon on my front porch swing reading this and sipping on this. The milkshake was free with a coupon I received in the mail- double score for us bargain hunters.
One of the first thing I did when I moved to Charleston was sign up for a library card. Not only has this saved me money from buying books I’ll only read once (or may not or even finish), it’s also kept me from accumulating more stuff to move. Not that we plan to move anytime soon, but if we must, I won’t have quite as many books. You can also order books from your public library- this is called “inter library loan”- so if they don’t have what you’re looking for, just ask. Librarians are there to help.
Another big library advantage- movies. Netflix and hulu are great but don’t always have everything, and you’re luck to find a Blockbuster– ours here in West Ashley recently went out of business. Even then, Blockbuster costs- and we’re house poor. You can get many of those movies at the public library completely free, and if you think the only movies at the library are documentaries and scholarly films, think again. Ours has recent movies as well as some out-of-production ones.
If you have kids or have to take care of kids during the summer, check out the summer reading programs. Even the small town library I worked at had weekly programs for children- it’s a great way to get out of the house without spending money, beat the heat, and break up the day. The Charleston County Public Library even has a summer reading program for adults. Working adults have to miss out on the puppet shows and magic acts, but we can enter for a chance to win gift cards for each book we read over the summer. Hey, you never know unless you try!
So, on the hot steamy days of summer, check out your local library for some inexpensive fun. Free reading while laying out is always good!