Aly’s husband has recently placed me on a budget because of how much of a disarray my finances are in. This causes a problem in my social life. Sure, guys pay on dates, but I don’t assume they will and I don’t like going into the date with, “I don’t have any money.” I actually like paying for myself. That means I owe them nothing and I don’t have to worry about what I buy myself and how much it costs (reasonably, of course). I also don’t want to be the friend who people constantly have to pay for in order to hang out with them. The other option is to just lock myself away in my apartment all weekend and play video games, because the electricity may not be free, but that’s not due for another week.
All of these options suck. So what do you do when you don’t have money but still want to experience life? Volunteer. (or get a second job, but this is only about volunteering right now, so please save your comments until the end).
Volunteering is rewarding is various ways. It gets you out of the apartment and doing something, which is always great. For some opportunities, you get free stuff. It gives you a place to network and make new connections and friends. Best of all, it can be fun and you come home, tired but satisfied, feeling like you spent money but didn’t, not to mention it’ll look great on your resume (your interviewers don’t need to know about the free stuff)!
Another awesome thing about volunteering: It gets you into something for free that other people have to pay money for. A friend volunteered at the Color Run last year, normally $45, and since he was only at the first station, they let him go through afterward! Brew At The Zoo offers that you work one night, and can have a free ticket for you and a friend the next night!
So, how do you begin to start volunteering? Well, this is the right season for it! I recommend starting with the marathons, because they’re the most fun! Most sites will have a section for volunteers to click on. There are also sites such as VolunteerMatch. And if come across an event and think you want to volunteer for it, but can’t seem to find a place that has information about volunteering, go to the “Contact” section and message someone with a quick, “Hi, I’m interested in volunteering!”
A few do’s and don’ts for volunteering: Come on time. Don’t flake out, and if you absolutely need to, call the person who scheduled you and let them know as soon as you can. Make sure you choose something that interests you, because otherwise, you won’t have fun and won’t be as into it. Stay for your whole shift. Don’t overbook yourself! (Possibly keep a planner with each event scheduled in). And if you are doing this because you’re trying not to spend money, STAY AWAY FROM THE MERCH TABLES. 😀
If you’re in Baltimore and interested in signing up for some events, but don’t know where to start, here are some of the programs I’ll be doing in the next couple of weeks:
- The Color Run,
- The Zombie Run
- ROC 5K
- Brew At The Zoo
- Maryland Film Festival