So I grew up BROKE. As in, far below the poverty line. I cursed that alot of my life. But as I get older, with kids of my own to support and hopefully provide opportunities to that I didn't have, it has paid off to be experienced at extreme budgetting. Not to mention, being broke can stress me out (if im FLAT broke) but I'm pretty good at coping with lean times so long as the money DOES stretch to next pay. I just can't handle it if we don't have a few emergency bucks. And I'm a stickler for bills paid on time and having plenty of groceries etc. In other words, I can be frugal and have no "fun money" or "extras" but I can't live feeling despondent. Know what I mean?? Anyhow. Years of experience have paid off for us given this economy, S/O's long lay off period, switching careers and facing 3 years of training for his air force position. This weekend easy child went camping with her bio dad and step mom. difficult child was either in his room video gaming online with friends or at his best friends house. S/O and I had little expendable cash. We had a delightful weekend. We slept late, cooked homey meals together (chicken stew one night and homemade bread, homemade toffee cookies etc). We bought budget movies at Blockbuster. My big screen t.v. died a death last week. SNIFF SNIFF. We moved the 32" from the bedroom out to the living room and watched our cheapo previously owned movies. (4 for $20) We pushed the matching sofas together to make like a big bed and brought out our favorite pillows, flaked out with our cozy pjs and ate air popped popcorn. We took several walks to a few grocery stores to buy the sales for the week to save some money. The fall air was great, bright sun but nice breeze. We lounged outside at warmer parts of the day and helped aneighbour with some new furniture she bought. I had forgotten how much fun you can have broke. You kind of try harder I think to find things to do that are fun to take your mind of it. If I was any more content tonight, I'd develop a purr! What are you all doing in these lean times to entertain yourselves??