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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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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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