Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Guest Post: Cash Strapped Yet Seen

This is a guest post from my pal Kimber at No Limits Ladies:

"I can't go out," a buddy tells me, "I'm trying to save money."

Huh? What does going out have to do with spending money? Especially in a big city such as New York?

Sure, if your view of entertainment is very narrow, (i.e. you MUST see The Dark Knight on opening weekend, or you HAVE to be seen at Plumm on a Friday night), then it will expensive, but if you are flexible and open to new experiences, you can go out every night of the week for little to zero cash.

What to do?

Every single week during the summer, there is a festival in NYC ( ). There is always some sort of free entertainment at these festivals. There are certainly plenty of interesting people to meet and talk to. Since I often get the munchies and am trying to stay away from fried stuff, I bring my own snacks from home.

There are also free classifieds in student or street papers with listings of events (like book signings or mini-concerts). This search is even easier online. Because I'm into the artsy scene, my source for happenings is craigslist.

The problem with these options is that I discard some free experiences because I might not like it (I don't know but I MIGHT not). To keep myself truly spontaneous, I prefer contests. It takes the choice out of my hands.

I'm a contest hound. I enter every contest going, regardless of what it is for. Then if fate decides I should go by letting me win, I go. Warning: This could lead to interesting entertainment combinations like a Thursday at the Opera and a Friday front row at a competitive eating contest.

My aspiring screenwriter brother takes his freebie entertainment experience one step further. He enters so many advanced movie screening (see it first, see it free) contests that he sees at least one free movie a week. THEN he gets paid to write reviews on those free movies.

Are you thinking he's taking advantage of the system? Have you ever been to one of these free screenings? Because the movie is "free," most people don't value the ticket and don't bother showing up. Half the seats to even the most popular screenings are empty. It is sad really.

So if you want to stay home, fine, I understand. Sometimes I feel lazy too. Stay home but don't blame it on not having money.

Kimber Chin ( ) writes romance novels based in the business world. She also blogs at . She blames not going out on having to write her next novel.


Sam said...

Okay, a question, from a broke college student Upstate. How do you know about all those contests? How does your brother know about all the contests for tickets to free screenings?

Anonymous said...

I really like your site (and so do many other by the looks of it). You should really look at hosting a site yourself. It may cost you around $200 per year or more but you will easily make it back as you have more ways to show ur site and better places to put advertising. You could easily offer 125x125 ad spaces and reel in a great income each month.

Then you won't have to worry about having to go to free things, then you can afford to pay for things. Check out my site on wealth

Noel Larson said...

I dont think he is gaming the system at all. You are providing great ffedback that has high worth in the eyes of the studio. Seems like a great deal to them!

Anonymous said...

Even doing "free" things ends up costing me a little money. You have to get there (gas/transportatin) and if you don't pack snacks, you might be tempted to buy something. Free concert? I may want to bring my own wine (though I don't have to)

However, you are right, it doesn't cost MUCH money for a little entertainment. I take advantage of free stuff all the time. (Living in a big city helps)

Anonymous said...

Heh. I am all for doing free things whenever possible. Even when you don't live in NY, the park, and other things are always free.

We buy a zoo membership each year for one set price and then go as much as we want. This may not exactly be free, but we get so much use out of it, that it is a wonderful deal!

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica- I love staying home even if I'm not broke. Also I love entering contest and recently won a contest.

Kimber Chin said...


Papers are a great source of contests, especially those targeted to students. The best part is they are almost all online. No mailing required, a simple email.