For about a year now, I’ve been on a quest for simplicity – decluttering our home and our lives. A part of this includes spending and money management. When we purchase something, it’s of high quality (so it will last) and it’s necessary and/or improves our life in some way. It isn’t a meaningless purchase.
Are there things you can do … without breaking the bank or spending needlessly? of course!
Sometimes experiences cost money (I’m saving for a trip to Ireland!), but there are many, many things you can do that don’t cost a dime…or maybe just a few dimes. 🙂
I wanted to think of some things that are meaningful experiences. Things that improve life. Things that can be looked back on later in life with a smile. Things that make us better humans.
here’s my brainstorm of 30 things you can do for free (or pretty close to it!):
- go to a park that you’ve never been to and walk the dog or just enjoy the new/different scenery
- take a trip to a local greenhouse and take note of the plants you like (see #3)
- in your journal, plan a small garden – perennial, annual, or vegetable
- choose one room in your house to simplify/declutter. get a box for ‘donate’ and another for ‘trash’, and then be ruthless!
- pick up a book! I often feel like reading is a ‘waste of time’ because I could be doing something else ‘productive’. Psychology Today says that reading improves brain function and connectivity. There are so many studies out there that sing the praises of reading. One of my goals of 2017 is to read at least 5 books.
- go on a hike. I love to see and hear nature!
- ride your bike. The benefits to exercise are endless for both body and mind. Harvard Medical School says regular exercise can help reduce the odds of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as helping to maintain a desirable weight. It also lowers blood pressure, helps prevent depression and even boosts memory!
- play a board game. One of my favorites is Kermit Yahtzee. long story…
- write a letter (pen and paper) to a friend and snail mail it to him/her.
- bake cookies for someone
- learn a new skill. There are so many online learning courses – many of which are free! I’m currently taking a couple free hand lettering courses (HERE and HERE).
- start a bullet journal. there is so much information online now about bullet journaling. you can start HERE for some basics.
- check out Pinterest and find a new recipe you’d like to try.
- take some time to go through the photos on your phone – delete the ones you really don’t want and back up those that you want to keep
- organize and clean off your desk. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to concentrate when there is stuff piled all over my desk!
- have a fire pit or a fireplace? build a fire and toast marshmallows or just sit and enjoy!
- grab your camera (or phone!) and head outside (or stay inside if it’s cold/raining). try a new skill. practice shooting with a lower f/stop (otherwise known as ‘blurring the background’). I wrote a blogpost on that HERE.
- I’m not a huge meal planner since it’s only Brent and I at home now, but you could sit down and plan out a week of meals and the grocery list that goes with it.
- create a Bucket List. HERE is mine, but I see that I need to update it!
- clean out your refrigerator. This isn’t super fun job (and how in the world does Max’s hair get in there?!)
- have you made your 2017 (or yearly) goals yet? Live an intentional life!
- Watch some TED talks. I haven’t watched a ton, but I have a list of the ones that I do want to watch. I hear they’re very good!
- make a budget. Dave Ramsey has some great information.
- bookmark some great blogs about simplifying your life. My feedly is HERE if you need a place to start.
- have a conversation. we’re so distracted by technology, that sometimes I think we’ve lost the art of conversation.
- and along those lines…become a very good listener. that happens to be a pet peeve of mine – there are so many poor listeners out there. how many times have you heard “well, if you think that’s bad, let me tell you when…” ugh. I shutter. HERE are some good tips 🙂
- hold hands. this is a favorite of mine…but then again my Love Language is physical touch. yours might not be and that’s totally fine!! Learn what your language is, and then learn the languages of those closest to you. and then practice their Language!
- start a basic exercise routine at home. this can include a routine of stretching, sit ups, core exercises, etc. I’ve seen some pretty good free exercise classes on You Tube.
- start journaling. 10 benefits from the Huffington Post 🙂
- do something for someone else. that could be cooking a meal, calling them on the phone, going for a walk with them, walking their dog, writing them a letter, shoveling their snow, etc. Doing things for others takes the emphasis off ourselves. It invests in the lives of others.
Enjoy not spending money while making your life more rewarding and fun! I’d love to hear other great ideas that you have – just leave them in the comments section below!