The Daily Knight #9 – Star Wars Happy With Little or No Money

The Daily Knight #9 – Star Wars Happy With Little or No Money

I have a confession to make….

I created this meme a month ago:

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And since then, thousands of people have seen it, hundreds have liked it, and dozens have shared it. It’s been all over the United States, and I’ve even seen it shared in Singapore.

But the truth is, I haven’t spent any money on Star Wars toys in years. Not because I have no money, but simply because I choose not to. I already have closets full of Star Wars toys from my childhood, most still in their mint condition boxes, some that I’ve taken out and played with when I was a kid. Nowadays, I get my Star Wars kicks from watching the movies, talking with other geeks about Star Wars, and reading, watching, and listening to what’s posted on the Internet.

I did wind up buying some toys during Force Friday, on September 4 of this year. This is a picture I took while waiting at 8am at Target:

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This is my Force Friday “haul”:

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This is the receipt that I used to RETURN every single item a couple days later.

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Long story short, I felt guilty about buying all this stuff for myself (I’m Catholic, it’s what we do), and instead donated the money to a nonprofit that I’ve worked with for years.

But I had a choice. I had the money to make that choice. Other people aren’t so lucky.

Some of you who are reading this or listening to the podcast don’t have disposable income, or maybe you just have enough money to see the movie when it comes out next week, and that’s it.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Since I’ve been posting memes on Facebook, I’ve gotten comments from people who wished they could have participated in Force Friday, but instead just watched as others posted pictures of what they bought. There’s nothing wrong with buying something that makes you happy, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not buying anything at all. I think it’s fun to see what people bought, but also fun to see how others enjoy Star Wars, how Star Wars makes them HAPPY, even when they have very little money to spend on this thing that we’ve all loved since 1977.

I’m going to list some ways that you can be Star Wars Happy with little or no money. Those of you reading this, please feel free to post your own tips, and use #starwarshappynomoney so we can easily find your tips on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Maybe we can start something good.

Some tips to spend little and save money:

Join a Star Wars /Geek Group

I am a member of 2 geek groups, and I can tell you that talking with other geeks about Star Wars and any other geek things costs nothing—maybe a bottle of water that you need to drink so you can keep talking/geeking out for 2-3 hours at a time. If you have potluck parties, you can make your own dish, even just bring some chips and dip, and celebrate Star Wars and eat other food for less than $10, even less than $5. Speaking for the groups that I am a part of, we RARELY talk about buying toys or collectibles—we focus on the idea of Star Wars, that usual (fun?) debate of Star Wars vs. Star Trek, and speculating on the upcoming movie, The Force Awakens. Being with people and talking doesn’t have to cost a dime.

Free Contests

Another confession—I got lucky and won free passes to last April’s Star Wars Celebration 7 in Anaheim, California. Rebelscum.com held a contest on Facebook and gave away a couple dozen 4-day passes, and I was one of the winners. Here’s a screencap of the email that almost made me faint:

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Hey, if I can win, YOU can win also.

Other online companies are constantly having contests and giveaways, including Sideshow Collectibles, ThinkGeek, Omaze, even your local theaters. One theater in my area just had a grand opening and gave away free Star Wars tickets to the first handful of people who commented on their Facebook post. Just sign up for different social media groups and keep your eye out for their promotional events and giveaways.

Join Star Wars Fan Pages

In my opinion, the best thing about Star Wars isn’t about the feeling you get when you buy something. The best thing about Star Wars is about the FEELS you get when you are able to hear others positively talking about it, and you can chime in with your own opinion. There are a ton of social media fan clubs online—just do a Facebook search for “star wars fan page” and you’ll get dozens of results. And you can literally spend hours just reading what people have to say that have nothing to do with purchased items. My favorites include Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Star Wars: Geeks of the World Unite!, Comic Book Resources, Comicbook.com, Nerdist, and Star Wars Underworld.

Trailers, YouTube podcasts, and Fan-Made Movies

Chances are you already use YouTube—do a search for “Star Wars” and you’ll get hundreds of cool results, including the latest trailers, TV spots, and video commentaries. Depending on your style and taste, subscribe to those good people who make videos and podcasts that speak to you, that give you additional “feels” for Star Wars. My personal favorites to watch are Collider’s Jedi Council, Popcorn Talk’s Jedi Alliance, and Superhero News. To listen to, I subscribe to Far, Far Away, Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman (he cusses but is an uber Star Wars fanboy), Jenny Busch’s Legion of Leia, Coffee With Kenobi, Star Wars Underground, and Rebel Force Radio. Lastly, download the Haystack TV app and search for “Star Wars” and you’ll get an endless stream of the latest news and reports on the movies, including talk show interviews and press conferences, like the Jimmy Kimmell Star Wars Special, Comic-Con conferences, and Disney Channel TV spots.

Whew, that was a lot! And that’s just the tip of the Star Wars fanboy/fangirl iceberg!

I hope you’re happier now than when you first started reading this article (and if you’ve actually read up to this point, bless your heart:)

And if you do have some disposable income, do something good for somebody else—the next time you’re at a store that has one of those donation toy bins, buy a little Star Wars toy and drop it in there. Somewhere out there, you’ll make a little boy or girl very happy this Christmas.

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Always have Hope, be Star Wars Happy, and May the Force Be With You!

 

#starwarshappynomoney

 

Credits

The toy drive picture above is from the Garrison Garida Toy Drive to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia:
http://screamer.alt-world.com/?p=4047

Intro and outro song is “The Little Drummer Boy” by Harry the Cap, through the Free Music Archive:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Harry_the_Cap/A_Very_Badgerland_Christmas_2011/Harry_the_Cap_-_A_Very_Badgerland_Christmas_2011_-_10_The_Little_Drummer_Boy
Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/