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30 Absolutely Free Activities That Can Make You Happy Today

30 Absolutely Free Activities That Can Make You Happy Today

The best things in life really are free. Spending time with your family, enjoying a good book, or simply pursuing a hobby you enjoy are all great, absolutely free things that can make you happy today. Check out more ideas below.

1. Throw A Ball Outside. Turn the TV off, call a friend, and grab your glove. Throwing a ball outside is a time-honored tradition that’s great for exercise, and even better for your psyche.

2. Go For A Run. Lace up your shoes and start jogging. The wind in your face and the awesome feeling that being healthy brings will make you perk up in no time.

3. Snuggle With Your Dog. There’s nothing better than having a four legged friend. Dogs are proven to add joy to your life!

4. Read A Good Book. When was the last time that you actually sat down to read a good book? Pick one up off the shelf and get lost in an imaginary world.

5. Watch Your Favorite Movie. It doesn’t matter that you’ve seen the movie 50 times already. Go ahead and watch it again.

6. Watch A Silly Video. It’s so easy to get lost in YouTube videos. Start by checking out what’s popular today—I guarantee you that you’ll let out a few laughs.

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7. Appreciate the Blue Sky. Is it a pretty day? If so, head outside and enjoy the pretty blue sky. Allow yourself to give thanks for the beautiful day.

8. Light a Candle. If you have scented candles in your home, go ahead and light one of them; the sweet smell will instantly add happiness to your day.

9. Donate Something. When you donate something, whether it’s clothes, money, or other belongings, you can feel great knowing it’s going to a good cause.

10. Jump Rope. You probably jumped rope when you were a kid. It’s great exercise, and it’s fun too!

11. Call An Old Friend. Think of someone who you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe it’s a good friend or an elderly relative. Give them a call—you’ll make their day, and they’ll make yours.

12. Send Snail Mail. Sit down and write a note to send to your sister, your nephew, or your mother. It’s such an easy thing to do, and you know everyone loves receiving mail.

13. Volunteer Your Time. Volunteering your time is a great way to help others and get enjoyment at the same time. Whether it’s a soup kitchen or an animal shelter, there are many places that could benefit from a helping hand.

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14. Go To Your Local Library. Public libraries are dramatically under-utilized. Go to yours today and enjoy reading a magazine or checking out a new book for free.

15. Take a Free Online Course. Use a website like Alison.com to learn a brand new skill for absolutely free.

16. Garden Outside. Pull some weeds or plant a few seeds to help make your garden grow this spring.

17. Paint Something. Grab some finger paint or watercolors that you have on hand and just have fun painting something new. You don’t have to be good at it to have fun.

18. Take a Nap. How often do you actually get to take a nap? It’s glorious! Do it today!

19. Research Vacation Sites. Nothing is more fun than looking up tons of new places in the world that you can go see.

20. Do a Random Act of Kindness. Pay for someone’s lunch at the drive through,, or buy someone’s gas or groceries. You’ll feel amazing, and it will help them so much.

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21. Meditate. Take some time to rest, relax, and center your mind to find happiness.

22. Write In A Journal. Writing is great way to relieve stress and remember your day-to-day adventures.

23. Play A Board Game. Seriously, Monopoly never gets old! Scrabble and Cranium are really fun too.

24. Listen to A Favorite Song. Put on your favorite song! It doesn’t have to be recent. Blasts from the past are also acceptable.

25. Spend Time With Family. Turn off your cell phones and power down your computer. Just enjoy time being with those you love most.

26. Sing In The Shower. Who cares if your roommates can hear you? Belt it out!

27. Paint Your Nails. This one is mostly for the ladies—have fun paining your nails a color you wouldn’t normally consider.

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28. Take a Picture. Make the moment last. Take a picture, and share it with friends on your social media channels.

29. Make A Grateful List. Writing down the things that you are grateful for can instantly make you happy.

30. Read A Great Blog. Check out our other posts on LifeHack to find out ways to increase your happiness and productivity.

Now that you have 30 great ways to make yourself happy today, go out and enjoy!

What are some other free ways to make yourself happy that aren’t mentioned here?

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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