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2. Build a fort
Even if you have no kids (and don’t know any) you can throw some sheets over a few chairs and a table, toss in some blankets and pillows and pretend like you’re a kid again. Who doesn’t have memories of building forts or of playing in boxes as a kid? Get goofy and let yourself have fun with it.
If you’re one of the 104.4 million Pinterest users then this one is for you. You know all those pins that you have on your boards? This is the perfect time to make some of them. The challenge: only tackle the projects that you can do with supplies you already own.
4. Get creative with your meals
Break out of any food rut that might be building and come up with some new meal ideas using only the foods that you already own. Tap into your inner Top Chef and see what unique and tasty meals you can come up with. Think outside of your normal “go-to” foods, and you just mind create a whole new favorite.
5. Mend those clothes that need mending
That hem that’s come loose, the hole that needs patching, the button that’s hanging on my literally 2 thin threads; nows the time to get that pile of To-Do’s taken care of.
Have old gift certificates that have sat around since the last holiday season or from your last birthday? Some gift certificates expire, some charge activation fees (gasp- the nerve!) and you’ll never believe this- some companies will take a percentage off the card for each month it hasn’t been used (double gasp!). Don’t let those gift certificates go to waste! Still can’t find anything you like at the store? This could be a great re-gift opportunity (as long as the gift certificate is not going to expire super soon, and as long as in it’s original wrapper still looking crisp and brand new). Also, consider listing the card on Craigslist, Facebook,Plastic Jungle, Card Pool, Gift Card Rescue or Card Woo. Likely you’ll only be able to get a percentage of the card’s original value but it’s better than nothing since letting it sit in your junk drawers will do you no good at all.
8. Get organized
Go through all those old papers, clean-up your computer’s hard-drive, and find a place for all the errant items in your house.
9. Cut your own hair
It’s only scary the first time (really!); after that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been cutting your hair this whole time! How to cut your own hair tutorial. And while we’re on the subject of hair…
10. New hairstyles
A whole new look for you could be as simple as parting your hair on the opposite side, busting out the old LA Looks to slick your hair back, conquer that fishtail braid you’ve always wanted to try, or simply pulling your hair up into just a slightly higher ponytail for an instantly perkier look.
11. Spa day at home
Use your cooled morning coffee grounds as a full body exfoliator, soak your feet, put a warm washcloth over your face, turn on your favorite relaxing free radio stations (Songza andPandora for excellent free radio), and use your imagination to pretend you’re in a luxury resort laying by the poolside as a tan pool-boy serves you free! (Hey, let’s go for it) ice-cold drinks.
12. Take a picture an hour
Ever wonder what your life looks like to others? Find out by snapping a picture an hour for the entire day. From the seemingly common to the obviously exciting your life will look different through the lens of a camera. No need to worry if you don’t have a fancy camera, a cell phone camera works perfectly for this.
13. Write letters
How long has it been since you’ve written a real pen and paper letter? I don’t even remember the last time. Send your grandma a note, and tell her what you’re up to. It just might make her day!
14. Make gifts!
It doesn’t matter if it’s right around the holidays or if they just passed. Someone’s birthday is probably coming up so get a head start, and squirrel away your creations for when they are needed. Check out the DIY Gift Guide.
15. Tackle a nagging task
This is one of Gretchen Rubin’s (author of The Happiness Project) super tips for happiness. The shower needs caulking, the windows need sealing so scratch those pesky tasks off the To-Do list once and for all.
Sort through everything in the closets, the basement, under the beds, and in the dressers.
17. Clean your house from top to bottom
Really scrub the tub, toilet, floors, window sills, everything. Put your back into it.
18. Clean your car
No more fast-food bags, stray gum wrappers or dirty windshields.
There are lots of different potluck options: breakfast, dessert, appetizers. When everyone brings something the burden for one person to pay for everything is lifted. I recently went to a themed potluck where everyone brought something related to pumpkins! It was awesome! I brought pumpkin spice cupcakes with brown butter cinnamon buttercream frosting (so good! recipe coming soon!).
21. Rearrange your house
Maybe the couch would look better over by the window.
Make a large deposit in your karma bank and help a person or group that needs assistance.
23. Free Library and community events
Pick up a community paper or look online for your cities free event listings.
Why not cuddle up a little longer.
Relax. Hey, why not?
26. Catch up on your reading
That stack of books and magazines by your bed is begging for your attention.
27. Go for a run
Try a new route, explore a different neighborhood, burn up some calories, tone those legs.
28. Go to the book store and peruse the magazines
This falls into the kind of “shamelessly frugal” category but sometimes frugal living calls for it. This is what you do:bring a tea bag with you to the book store then ask the coffee shop barista for a cup of hot water, pick up a stack of the newest magazines and enjoy! Be sure to leave the magazines in pristine shape.
Get that story written and those memories jotted down
36. Start a happy book
Compile all of your good memories in one place. When you’re feeling crappy open it up to a random page for an instant boost. Include those silly things that happen in life that crack you up and make you really to-the-gut happy.
37. Go on a bike ride
See your city in a new way. Breathe in the fresh-air that is all around you.
Get out in nature and take in all that natural beauty.
39. See if you can return anything you’ve bought
Are you guilty of keeping tags on clothes (or other items) and never wearing them? If you’re not getting use out of it, take it back.
If you don’t have a plan or an end goal in mind it makes it harder to achieve what you want, partly because what you want isn’t clear in your own mind. I like to do a “day-dream best-case scenario dream-goal” list. I figure if you put it out there and work hard it just might happen; it’s worked for me more than once.
Channel your childhood, grab your sleeping bags, and stay up late telling ghost stories.
45. Make meaningful contact
Tell everyone in your life why you love them (or like them) and what you appreciate most about them. Don’t miss the chance to get goodness out into the world and don’t miss the chance to make someone feel great and appreciated.
46. Have your friends over
Just hang out. Easy!
47. Bus it
Hop on a route you don’t normally take.
48. Open Mic night
There are a ton of talented people out there in your very city just waiting for an audience to entertain.
Used to be really close friends in high-school and have you got disconnected? Re-connect to see what your old bud is up to these days.
56. Be anonymously nice
Leave random nice notes all around town. Some ideas for your notes: “You can do it!” or “You’ve got this!”; it just might be the sign someone has been looking for to take the next leap in their life. Hang the notes on light posts, tuck them into car doors and windshields, leave them on community cork-boards. Spread around kindness and awesomeness and it will come right back to you. It’s the craziest thing but goodness boomerangs!
A couple more things to think about when not spending money:
Don’t feel sorry for yourself; this is good for you!
Don’t ask your friends to pay for you; mooching isn’t cool and get’s old faster than you’d like it to. (Trust me, Confessions of a Mooch)