Boredom. While must of us wouldn’t state we are bored (most of us immediately turn to our phones when experiencing boredom, feeling uncomfortable, or when we have to wait.) However, what happens when the nights grow long, our Netflix queue is empty, and we find ourselves still and longing for something to do? We go and spend money. Coffee shops, restaurants, drinks, and movie theaters fill the void. But what happens when budget living is the name of the game? Can fun, connection, and amazing things happen if you choose to spend a little (or no money)?
Make a cupboard challenge.
Did you know that about 40% of our food goes to waste? I think we all know of times where cleaning the refrigerator is beyond painful. Rather than going and buying additional ingredients, choose to eat down your pantry, fridge, and freezer. We call it the Cupboard Challenge and won the challenge every time. You can have a phenomenal meal with food that’s on hand. Take an hour to head into the kitchen and create something amazing. Open up a cookbook and create an amazing meal with a book you love as a guide. It’s a practice all about embracing slow and simplicity.
Dive head first into a hobby.
Many of us have hobbies, but rarely make time for them. Remember as a kid you could live in the year playing baseball, on a swing set, or playing with crafts. When was the last time you sat down with something you loved and didn’t think about spending a dime? What if it looked like sketching and illustration without the pressure of production for a client? What if you spent time outside and in the outdoors doing what you loved? Whatever the hobby is, make time for it and build your life around these moments.
Prime memberships = a free library of e-books and magazines
Did you know your prime memberships offer more than free shipping? That’s right. By using a Kindle app on any device, you have access to a variety of titles including New York Times best sellers and magazines. You can borrow up to ten titles. Consider your reading needs covered without additional cost. There’s loads of other perks with your Prime membership that you can read here. Most likely you had no idea they exist. Say hello to discounts at Whole Foods, free music (goodbye to paying for a Spotify subscription), and Amazon First Reads (another free e-book platform).
Invite friends over for a potluck, taco night, etc. Meet dinner night in. Totally better than nights out. Promise.
We love having friends over, but know that there’s an implicit cost that comes with the territory. Lighten the load, by offering your space and stretching a simple ingredient. Things like pasta, pizza, and taco bars are great options for people to bring their favorite ingredient and topping rather than the host having to foot the whole bill. Choose to offer sparkling water or wine spritzers/sangria with two buck chuck to stretch a budget when serving alcohol (let’s be honest this can tank a budget fast). Read all about our un-dinner party here.
Get a library card. *and a free Lynda.com membership.
When was the last time you explored your library? Say goodbye to library memories of the past. Most libraries now function as stunning reading rooms, offer ebooks, DVDs, and get this access to online training. This is probably one of the best kept secrets regarding library cards. With them you have complete and unlimited access to Lynda.com, a phenomenal software training platform. If you want tutorials on popular software and are tired of through YouTube tutorials, this platform will provide a necessary road map. Learning takes us from boredom and invites us into something new and different. Around every corner there’s excitement and fresh possibility.
Choose adventure and active rest.
Go for a drive. Go for a hike. Use your National Parks Pass and go camping. Our hearts crave adventure. Find a trail, go for a run, drive to a visit and pack a lunch. Adventure often checks all the boxes for active rest and self-care. Not only this, but you will find there’s something ridiculously healing about being out of cell phone service. It’s an implicit detox without much effort and brings a fresh moment of silence to the soul. Many parks have camping permits that are either included with a parks pass or are under $10 each.