Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Broke and the Restless: 50 things you can do instead of spend (a lot of) money

Guten tag!
I don't know about y'all, but it could be useful to me to curb some spending, know what I mean?
So anyway, I'm writing this list mostly for myself.
But you can use it as a reference as well. All rights reserved. Kidding.
Get out there and do something for cheap!
1. Go outside for five minutes and let the sunshine warm your nose that has been nipped by the air conditioning all summer.
2. Find an old collection of printed out photographs. Look at them and enjoy. If you feel like going the extra mile, select a few and mail them to friends with a quick note. I guarantee it will make them smile (I mean, assuming they're in the picture and you shared that memory together).
3. Play Words with Friends (if you must, pay the price to get rid of those pesky ads. Because really. I can't with those, and I'm not sure who can).
4. Make a meal for someone you love. Or someone you hate. That would be the more bold version, as most of us would choose to avoid our enemies (no poisoning the person you hate!! You must make them something delicious).
5. Cross stitch, knit, paint, draw. Color in a coloring book.
6. Pop in a DVD you already own. Dig out the microwave popcorn from your cabinet and enjoy. Quote any and all lines you have memorized.
7. Vacuum. It's satisfying, right?
8. Wash the dishes. Also sort of satisfying, and you'll feel a tiny bit better about yourself when you're finished.
9. Prowl the Internet for inspiration for your next Halloween costume.
10. Plan a party. Buy paper lunch sacks and cheap dollar store candy; draw on the bags or glue on cut-out magazine pictures -- ta dah! Party favors! Invite three friends, invite all your friends! Pick a theme if you're up to it. Dust off your board games and pick a Pandora station to set the mood. And go! Enjoy an evening with those pals you love! You never know who might show up -- someone you haven't seen in years? Old high school crush? Bill Murray???? It could happen.
11. Find your local pool. If there isn't one in your neighborhood or apartment complex, find a friend who has a pool pass and have them take you. Jump off the high dive (even though it's scary). Get fully under water and hold your breath for 10 seconds. Notice the womblike quiet.
12. Rummage through that wallet/purse for a gift card. We ALL have one hanging around from the holidays or our birthday. Whatever it is for -- go use it. Buy some earrings at Target. A latte at Starbucks. Revel in the free-ness of it.
13. Call your Grams. If your grams is no longer living, call someone else who could use a little cheer over the phone lines.
14. Ask someone how you can help them. It doesn't matter if they need the help, just see if they'll take some. Organize her bookshelf, wash his dishes, clean her windows. Then sit and have a drink (whatever's in the fridge) and talk.
15. Clean one corner of your room. Refold the leaning tower of t-shirts in your closet. Make your bed. Sort through one itty bitty stack of paperwork.
16. Start a jigsaw puzzle. Give it five minutes, and you'll be absorbed for the rest of the afternoon.
17. Skype with a niece, nephew, or grandkid. Ask him or her what their favorite subject in school is, what kind of animal they would like to be, and what they want to be when they grow up.
18. Give yourself a mani-pedi. Pull out all the stops. Exfoliate, trim, file, buff, paint, and lotion those phalanges.
19. Finish a book of which you are 10 pages from the end.
20. Go to the library and browse. Check out at least one book.
21. Pack your lunch for work tomorrow.
22. Don't have a job to take your lunch to? Apply to one job. Give yourself one hour to find a posting, create a cover letter, and upload your resume. Reward yourself with a beer.
23. Find something nostalgic in your home. Take a picture of it and post it to social media. Write 50 words or less on why it's important to you. The more people who cry or laugh in response, the more points you get.
24. Determine one friend who you really like and haven't seen in a while. Call, email or text them right now and set up a date. On the calendar. Time and place. In writing.
25. Clean ONE SHELF of your fridge. Throw out the food that's gone bad, wipe down the shelf, and put everything back in so it looks semi-nice.
26. Do a load of laundry. Dance during the spin cycle. If you have kids, have them join in. (Make this a tradition if you desire).
27. Send a tweet to one of your favorite entertainers or artists, offering them a genuine, unique compliment. Go for the gold and write a blog post about how they've influenced or affected you, then tag them on social media.
28. Brew a pot of coffee. Take your time doctoring it up just right. Freshly grind the beans. Eyeball the perfect amount of cream. Take it to the porch and sip slowly. (If you live outside of Los Angeles and it's December when you read this, substitute a fireplace (or space heater -- I know we're not all rich) for the porch).
29. Find a free museum and explore. Bored after five minutes? Feel free to leave. Because hey. It was free.
30. Find a new recipe to try this week. Reach out on Facebook, or scour the Interwebs for inspiration.
31. Decorate a shoebox. Store receipts or your deep dark secrets inside. Your pick.
32. Video record yourself talking off the cuff about something for five minutes. Don't rehearse. Tell the world about your favorite childhood book, a way in which your sibling makes you laugh, or what you would do full time if you didn't have to worry about money or impressing anyone.
(Full disclosure: this video was edited, but was not rehearsed)
33. Make a Valentine. Cheesy poems not required but highly encouraged. Send to someone no matter the month.
34. Depending on your trust levels, ask a friend to cut or dye your hair.
35. Depending on your trust levels, tell a friend about something that's been bothering you in life. Asking for a hug not required but highly encouraged.
36. If you're into this, email someone(s) and share something you'd like him (them) to pray for. Ask if you can pray for him (them).
37. Refill your prescription. Buy a pair of cheap sunglasses when you go to pick it up. Or a crazy colored lipstick. Or a snack.  
38. Scrub and spray down your toilet.
39. Offer someone a shoulder or foot massage. DON'T BE CREEPY ABOUT THIS. Offer only to people you know WELL and who you know like to be touched.
40. Go outside and walk around until you see an animal or bug. Follow it for a minute. If someone watches you and ask what you're doing, act like you have no idea what they're talking about.
41. Find a friend with a trampoline and invite yourself over. Jump for joy, y'all.
42. Make s'mores on the stove.
43. Get the stuff out of your car that's been sitting there all week (or year).
44. Create a killer workout playlist. Don't worry, I'm not pressuring you to actually work out. Just pick out your tunes for when you do eventually hit the gym.
45. Snuggle a fluffy friend.
46. Knot some string into a friendship bracelet. Personally tie it to the wrist of someone special.
47. Start writing a holiday letter. You could email it if you don't want to bother with stamps and envelopes, or you don't have to send it at all. Review all the things you've done this year. Accomplishments, trips, concerts. What's changed? Did you get a pet? A new job? A new pair of jeans that you love? Name the people (people you know, or people of influence) who died. Name the people who were born. Write it out.
48. Go into your closet. Find 10 pieces of clothing you can part with. Put them in a bag and put them in your car. If you're less lazy than me, go ahead and actually drive to Goodwill or one of those drop off boxes.
49. Schedule a doctor's appointment you've been putting off.
50. Get your car washed. Drive thru variety if you're lazy like me, or one of those scrub yourself types if you're cooler than I am.
All right, that's all I've got! That should keep you busy for a while!

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