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Tips to having fun on the cheap in the Bay Area

September 11, 2012 12:50:44 AM PDT
No one has to tell you the Bay Area is an expensive place to live. But there are tricks to make having fun in the city just a little more affordable.

"Oh, my goodness, I'm coming off of summer which like a lot of people, there's a bit of spending hangover," Smart Cookies author Katie Dunsworth said.

Dunsworth is the author of two Smart Cookies books offering financial advice. She says many have spent lots of money on back to school expenses and on summer trips and vacations.

"You're starting to add up the bills and realize how expensive things have been," Dunsworth said.

Dunsworth says she was drowning in debt until she figured it all out.

Here's her top 3 money saving tips:

No. 1: Know what you're spending.
No. 2: Set aside some money each month for savings or bringing down your debt.
No. 3: Get things for free and try to make things yourself.

"You can have a really rich life without spending any money at all," Dunsworth said.

One free week of yoga classes are being offered through October at 2,200 studios nationwide. It's a great chance to relax and perhaps try something new.

"So it's great for getting more grounded and more centered and I think that it really benefits your family and your boss and makes you more productive," Andrea Stern said.

It's all part of National Yoga Month.

"I had an awesome class, great workout and that would add up to probably over $100 in a week, so great to try out," Dunsworth said.

The annual dragon boat festival is this weekend at Treasure Island. The event includes free races, plus family activities for the kids.

And beginning Sept.28, San Francisco's Mint Plaza and United Nations Plaza will be buzzing with 24 days of free performances as part of 24 Days of Central Market Arts. Among the highlights will be performances from members of San Francisco's Flyaway Productions.

"They're an amazing company; they specialize in doing aerial work on the sides of buildings, so they're actually going to be doing a whole ballet on the front of the Renoir Hotel," Safehouse for the Performing Arts spokesperson Joseph Landini said.


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