The No Money Weekend Part 3
The No Money Weekend is a challenge suggested by Trent Hamm of thesimpledollar.com. Today I'm posting a final 20 ideas.
36. Swap entertainment.
Increase your entertainment options without shopping. Invite a friend to bring over some books, DVDs, CDs, or video games they think you'd like. Provide a pile of your own and agree on a timetable for a temporary swap.
37. Shrink your "to do" list.
Everyone has a list of household projects waiting for free time. Declutter a closet, wash the windows, install that ceiling fan, or sand and paint that old dresser.
38. Start a gratitude journal.
It's easy to focus on the problems and disappointments in life. Change that with a notebook, a pen, and some quiet time. Think about people who have helped you, an opportunity before you, a specific comfort or beauty that you appreciate. Make it a habit to jot some of these down every morning and evening. The practice of gratitude will change your life. (You might enjoy my book Maximum Gratitude: Find Happiness and Contentment through the Habit of Giving Thanks.)
39. Write a letter to your future children or grandchildren.
We all have stories or words of advice we'd like to share, so why not take the time to write them down? Your feelings and memories in your own handwriting will be valuable to your descendants, and the process of thinking them through and expressing them will be powerful for you too.
40. Plan a trip.
Think of some options and start researching online. Comparison shop for airfare, lodging, or vacation packages, and set up alerts for cheap deals and tickets. Gather information, then have a family meeting to make final decisions. Not only can advance planning save money, it's fun to do the research, and anticipation increases enjoyment.
41. Hold a baby.
Feeding and comforting a very young baby can be wonderful when you're not sleep-deprived. Imagine sitting comfortably in a chair with a soft, sleeping newborn in your arms. If there's a new parent in your circle of friends or family, why not offer a few hours of free babysitting?
42. Start a fantasy sports league.
Whether it's baseball, football, soccer, basketball, or hockey, there's always a pro sport in season. If you're a fan, go to espn.com or cbssports.com and start a free fantasy league for you and your friends. You don't have to place bets; you can just enjoy the competitive banter and discussion that will ensue as the season unfolds.
43. Knit or crochet a gift.
If you do either of these crafts, you probably have some unused yarn, at least enough for a scarf or even a baby blanket.
44. Start a blog on a topic that interests you.
You can start a blog for free using WordPress or Blogger. It's fun to write about something you love, and it will improve your communication skills, put you in touch with others who share your interest, and maybe even generate a bit of income down the road.
45. Help an elderly or disabled friend.
They may be too proud to ask, but make a short visit, pay attention, and you may find out about something they need that you can do. It might be as simple as cleaning cobwebs from the ceiling, or a bit more complex, such as fixing a leaky faucet. A little time and effort can make a big difference, and you'll feel great about it.
46. Learn something new.
Check out the thousands of TED Talks online. These short, dynamic lectures feature an incredible range of interesting subjects, including minimalism!
47. Take a bath.
When did you last take time to soak in the tub? Relax with your favorite music, a glass of wine, or even a book, and let hot water work its magic.
48. Binge watch TV.
If you have a streaming subscription, you have access to tons of great TV – without commercials! This is the only way to watch TV, in my opinion, and the occasional binge is great on a stormy weekend. Try Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, 24, Sherlock, or old favorites like M.A.S.H. or Frasier.
49. Explore a blog you like.
If you're reading this, you have at least a casual interest in this blog. But you may not have explored everything I've written here. The Start Here page has links to some of my most popular posts. Click a label "button" at the bottom of any post to read other posts in that category, or use the search bar at the top of the page to look for posts on downsizing, gratitude, family life, shopping or other minimalist topics. You can do this kind of deep dive with any blog you enjoy.
50. Attend a car show.
Local car clubs often sponsor shows that are free to the public. In my town we've seen restored Model T Fords, Woodie station wagons, and customized 50s and 60s convertibles. Owners are always happy to talk about their auto and the restoration process, which is how my husband vicariously enjoys this extremely expensive hobby.
51. Discover new music.
Try a free music service like Pandora or Spotify. Pandora lets you enter a musical "seed" (a favorite band, song, or album) and generates a personalized radio station based on that information. It's a great way to hear new music you'll love.
52. Place a call.
In the Facebook Era, it's possible to go quite a long time without actually speaking to a loved one who lives in a distant city. Unlike old-time landlines, a long distance cell call will strengthen your relationship at no extra cost.
53. Attend a free class.
Some stores attract customers with free classes, such as a cooking demo at a kitchen store. Home Depot workshops for kids and adults are excellent for increasing DIY know-how.
54. Take a nap.
Seriously. Most people are sleep-deprived, so why not snooze for an hour or two?
55. Watch a sunset.
Find a comfortable spot to sit, and soak in all of the changing colors, especially if there are clouds in the sky or reflections on a river or lake.
Hopefully, you're inspired to enjoy many No Money Weekends this summer and in the future. Have a great time!
Don't miss The No Money Weekend Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
Photo by Gary Sandoz on Unsplash