Improve Your Day for Free (or almost!)

Image by flickrsven

Image by flickrsven

Apparently unemployment in the UK is at it’s highest level in 11 years, so many people are having to get by on a lot less money than they’re used to. It’s not all doom and gloom though – there seems to be a growing trend, fostered by necessity, for creative money-saving where staying in is the new going out and Primark is the new Prada! These are certainly not times for comfort-shopping so here are a few of my favourite suggestions to brighten your mood without spending a penny!

* Go through your kitchen cupboards, pick a few totally random items that you’ll probably never use and cook something amazing with them! Some of my favourites include canned soup potato bakes, fried rice with made-up mixtures of seasonings, and smoothies made out of canned fruit sweetened with icing sugar!

* Go online and find free samples! If you’re in the uk then Bob’s Free Stuff Forum is an excellent resource. Getting freebies through the post can be just as satisfying as receiving eBay purchases and most of them won’t cost you anything! (Some require you to pay forย postage and packing)

* It’s probably obvious, but join your local library! Even if there’s nothing you particularly want to read at the moment, borrowing books free of charge means you can browse, pick up titles that look interesting, even if it’s just because the cover art appeals, and if you read the first few pages and realise they’re rubbish it doesn’t matter!

* Look at the bottom of drawers and the back of your wardrobe to find the pieces you haven’t worn in years. Incorporate them into outfits and it’s almost as good as having new clothes!

* Prance around the house in your favourite finery, dress up in the outfit you wore to your school ball / prom and dance around your living room to the hits of the time, experiment with your makeup and create outlandish new looks, practice walking in heels whilst you cook dinner, it’s all great fun!

* Play free online games at sites like MiniClip, preferably on a laptop whilst curled up on the sofa, or download your favourite old games that are now out of copyright and classed as abandonware, there’s a good selection at XTC Abandonware.

* Re-watch old movies you haven’t watched in years because you over-watched them at the time, then laugh at yourself for remembering every word.

* Go for a walk, exploring parts of your hometown you’ve never really bothered looking at before, take photos of monuments, pretty plants you see on the way, other peoples’ cats or artsy photos of crumbling brickwork and rusty fences.

Saving money doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it can be a really good opportunity to spend time with the most important person in your life – you. Get re-acquainted with the person behind the hectic social life and punishing work schedule, make plans for the future, for things you’ll do once you have spare funds again, or get on with all the little tasks you’ve been putting off for so long.

Most of these things can be done with friends just as well as they can be done alone, so if there are a few of you in the same situation, get together and share resources!

What do you like to do when you’re in need of a little sparkle but funds are limited?

14 Responses to “Improve Your Day for Free (or almost!)”

  1. Great post, Vixel! I like to go to free days at museums, volunteer at the pound, go on a photo scavenger hunt or read magazines at the book store.

  2. Vixel, have I told you recently how much I adore you?! ๐Ÿ˜€ With every post, your blog just seems to get better and better! I couldn’t agree more – I’m embarking on a trip to Europe in six weeks time, and while I am super duper excited (I could explode with glee, haha!), I am also very, very terrified, because I have so much saving to do before the big event rolls around! Thanks for giving me some more excellent ideas to enjoy living thriftily – you’re magnificent! xx

  3. Thank you so much for these suggestions – they are just what I need at the moment!

  4. great tips! I just went to the library on my way home from uni, actually. I love having new books to read ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Hi there… third time I’m attempting to leave a comment ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Previous ones have vanished into the never never much like my virtual stock portfolio…

    As well as the UK, your all your suggestions work down under too. Loved this post, so much so that I stole it for my self help ‘finance’ blog… Proper acknowledgments and source have of course been been included. Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. @ Sarah Von – Fabulous suggestions!
    @ x Miss Corrine x – Aww thank you, I totally adore you and your blog too, it’s definitely one of my favourites! xx
    @ Werther – It’s because the blog is quite new, the spam filter’s still “training” so to speak and because they had links in them it caught them. I approved them both (so it knows they weren’t spam and hopefully won’t do it again) then deleted the duplicates. Sorry about that! Your finance blog looks great, thanks for the link, I’ll have to give it a read ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Awesome post Vixel! I loved the library one…! And I adore you too hehe ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I totally agree with the ‘go for a walk’ tip! In university whenever I had a break inbetween lectures and nothing to do I would go shopping and just buy things because I was bored. BAD habit. So now I take my camera with me wherever I go and it turns into a little photography expedition and I discover lovely places around Liverpool!

  9. Saving $$ is hard for me. I love to shop! But I am going to have to be better with my $$ with my upcoming move.

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