How we do our favorite activity for free.

With Winter Storm “Hercules” dissipating, the temperatures are dropping… just in time for me to start my volunteer job at the Museum of Science in Boston. Bundling up is a necessity, of course, but I couldn’t be happier about this job! (Okay, maybe if it were paid… but still! Yay!) So, as you read this pre-written, scheduled post, I’m working my first day as a volunteer! [insert girly squeal here]

MOSMy fiance and I love museums, especially those of science, nature or natural history.  Sure, we’ve gone to an art museum or two in the past, but our heart lies in science, as we’re both huge, proud nerds. Throughout the first five years of our relationship, we used our college discount and went to the Museum of Science (MoS) so, so many times. We happily became annual members after we moved back to Boston, which cost about $80-ish per year. For this, we get admission for each of us for the entire year, discounted parking, plus a few guest passes and IMAX/Planetarium passes. In two trips, it payed for itself. But, it’s not free.

Yes, we will always be members, despite the cost to do so. When we have kids, it’ll increase our membership fees, but we don’t care – it supports the community and shows our love for the place. That’s what’s important. But, right now with my little allowance, I had a huge incentive to become a volunteer at the museum (aside from the fact that it’s an awesome gig, and I get to have fun): free parking.

Parking costs us at least $8 per visit, depending on the length of time we spend there. Now that I’m a volunteer, we get all of the perks of our current membership plus free parking and discounts at the museum shop (although I’ve never bought anything there before, nor do I think I will do so during this “money jar” challenge).

So, here are my money-saving tips on how to do your favorite things for free (or on the cheap):

  1. Become a member, frequent user, etc. If you go to an amusement park many times per year, get an annual pass. If you go to your local museum frequently, become a member. Not only are you showing how much you love the place, you will save yourself some money (and usually get some additional perks and discounts on other things).
  2. Take it another step and become a volunteer. At the MoS, I will be getting lots of perks for doing something I already love at one of my favorite places in the entire world. Sure, I may not get paid money to do it, but it’s fun and has so many little bonuses, and is saving me money on our usual visits by giving me free parking. Look into volunteering at your local museum, aquarium, or wherever else you want. If you love going there, you’ll love working there… and you could get nice little bonuses, too.

So, tomorrow I will post how my week ended (since I’ll probably have to spend money on lunch at the museum while I’m out there). But for now…

Weekly Allowance: $34.00

Weekly Allowance Remaining: $34.00

J

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