20 fun free things to do

This post is inspired by this post from the blog, And Then We Saved.  You don’t have to spend money to have fun.  Here are some ideas free of charge.

1.  Bake.  Particularly cookies.  You’ll be glad you did.

cookie

2.  Do a DIY project from Pinterest.

DIY

3.  Hike/Go on a walk.  Your view may not be as good as this one, but still!

hike

4.  Call a friend.

phone

5.  Read.  Always underrated.

read

6.  Clean out your closet.  Get rid of old clothes.

closet

7.  Organize your drawers.

drawer

8.  Sell stuff on Craigslist.

craigslist2

9.  Plan a dinner party.

dinner party

10.  Board games!  Another underrated option.

checkers

11.  Go to Barnes & Noble.  Look through books and magazines.

b&n

12.  Or check out the Library.

library

13.  Update your planner.

planner

14.  Look over your finances.  Set new $ goals.

finances

15.  Start a blog!

blog

16.  Record your memories.  Smash book, scrapbook, yearbook, Project Life, etc.

project life

17.  Download new music.  This may cost a little money, but it’s minimal.

itunes

18.  Clean your house &/or car.

clean

19.  Learn something new.  Photography, gardening, an instrument.

photography

20.  Do something nice for someone else.  Send a card or small gift.

card

You won’t have to worry about wasting any money with these ideas.  Have a fun, $ free day!

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budgeting 101

Budgeting is one of those things nobody wants to do, but it actually ends up making life much easier.  Here are the things we do to budget.

1.  Excel Spreadsheet – we have a line for all of our expenses (mortgage, insurance, groceries, gas, savings, utility bills, fun money).  We divide out our entire take home pay into one of these categories (every dollar is accounted for).  Then each month we fill in the actual cost of each item.  The idea is to keep everything consistent and to know if we’re over spending.

2.  Balance your check book

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All money coming in and all money going out we record in one of these registers.  That way we know exactly how much we have and can check later to make sure everything goes through our account correctly.

3.  File Receipts for the month

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We use this LBF (little blue file) to keep all of our receipts for the month.  That way at the end of the month we can fill in our excel spreadsheet to see how we did.  We have tabs for groceries, gas, and other.  After we add them up for the excel spreadsheet we trash them and use it again for the next month.

It’s hard to stay accountable with finances, but we’ve found that these 3 things help us a lot.  It also diminishes a lot of stress from not knowing where all your money goes.  Definitely worth the time.