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42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

“The best things in life are free” is an oft-quote term, but is it true? We certainly think so, especially if you consider the 42 amazingly simple, beautiful, and absolutely free things below. Each one of them will definitely bring a smile to your face and those around you. After all, what’s better than improving your day and making someone else’s day while you’re at it? Not much! The best part is, they won’t cost you a dime.

1. Calling up an old friend. You know you’ve been meaning to, and they’d love to hear from you.

2. Finally going for that run you’ve been promising yourself. It’s going to feel so good afterward, even if the process is a little painful.

3. Hand-writing a note to someone you love. Snail mail is a dying art, and they’ll love receiving it!

4. Making cookies from ingredients you already have in the pantry. It’s fun to get creative. Why not throw a few extra spices in there?

5. Finally hanging up those pictures in your house. It always makes me happy to cross something off the “to do” list.

6. Reading a good book. Because life’s too short not to.

7. Hugging your kids. They won’t be kids forever, and once they turn into teenagers, they might not be the hugging type.

8. Finding a pen in the house that actually works well. And perhaps throwing out the ones that don’t.

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9. Taking your dog on a walk. They deserve your love and attention and will be exhausted afterward!

10. Helping someone less fortunate than you. We’re so much luckier than we realize.

11. Allowing yourself to browse Pinterest for an hour. Yes that’s right—guilt free.

12. Organizing your desk so it looks beautiful again. It’s so much easier to work and pay the bills when everything is neat.

13. Watching a funny movie that you’ve seen a million times. Laughter is good for the soul.

14. Wishing your friends Happy Birthday on Facebook. Because it makes them feel special.

15. Doing a cartwheel. Because it reminds you of your younger days.

16. Daydreaming about vacations you want to take someday. Having goals makes working hard worthwhile.

17. Taking the day off from work. You’ve earned it.

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18. Taking a walk in the park. Try to notice the beauty around you.

19. Going for a long drive with the one you love. It’s nice just to get out of the house!

20. Looking at old pictures from when you were a kid. Remember when life was simpler?

21. Seeing a rainbow. It’s such a fun and unique treat.

22. Taking your time when making dinner. We’re always so rushed.

23. Sending your mom a text that says, “I love you.” She’ll love the unexpected gesture.

24. Throwing a baseball with your kids. They’ll remember it forever.

25. Taking a hot bubble bath. Because you work too hard not to.

26. Telling one other person of your big goal. We need accountability in order to make our dreams come true.

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27. Kissing your significant other. Does this really need an explanation?

28. Spending an hour painting your nails. Because you’ll feel so beautiful when they’re all done!

29. Eating lunch outside on the porch. It’s more enjoyable than sitting at the kitchen table.

30. Getting rid of clutter that’s weighing you down. Take it further and donate it to a good cause.

31. Doing 5 real pushups. Because you totally know you can.

32. Playing dress up with your daughter. It’s fun to be a princess for an hour.

33. Walk around the mall. Not to shopjust to get out the house and check out new trends.

34. Watching your wedding video. Because it’s beautiful to remember how your story started.

35. Fill up a few water balloons. And throw them at your kids when they’re not looking.

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36. Jump rope. Because you haven’t done it since grade school, and it’s awesome exercise.

37. Take a nap. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes.

38. Pick flowers from the yard. They are just as beautiful as expensive creations from the florist.

39. Recycle. It’s a gift to the Earth and will make you feel good too.

40. Dress up and take silly pictures with your friends. Why not?

41. Eat a piece of your favorite candy without counting the calories. It can’t be that bad, right?

42. Write down what you’re grateful for. After all, you’ve been granted another day to live.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there and start smiling. Now that you know it’s free, nothing should hold you back.

More by this author

Catherine Alford

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

11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams How to Make Money Right Now How to Have a Successful Garage Sale 30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage 42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

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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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