Skip the Holiday Hype: 10 Non-Shopping Activities
Forget the holiday hype and just have fun. Here are 10 frugal activities that don’t involve shopping and could save money.
1. Get more rest.
Sleep is a good investment. With more rest, I work smarter, think clearer and save more. Costly financial errors develop when I become a sleep-deprived, whirlwind of nervous energy. When frazzled, I’m more likely to spend money on take-out food and other costly conveniences.
Jogging with a shopping cart is not the best form of exercise. Hiking with my kids, washing the car, or kick-boxing will burn calories without burning bucks.
Upgrade the intellectual software in your brain. Books about finance, frugal living, career development, spirituality, and creative thinking can provide bankable mental assets. Instead of spending money, learn how to make more money.
4. Write letters.
For less than a dollar, you can write and mail a priceless letter to friends, siblings, parents and other loved ones. Stationary and stamps are frugal luxuries that deliver value to those that send and receive letters.
Spend a day at a nursing home, a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Plan a party for underprivileged children. Acts of kindness create packages of goodwill during the holidays and year-round. Recreational shopping is fun, but there are better uses of our time and money.
6. Clear space.
Convert clutter into cash. Tax receipts, rebate offers and useful documents are lurking in our paper piles: I'm a clutter queen, for sure. I could save money and earn more if I were better organized.
It’s easy to spin wheels and get nowhere. I could do more if I spent more time breathing and acting mindfully. Shopping does not put me in a Zen space.
8. Get crafty.
Make a gift for someone. Frame a photograph, write a poem or knit a scarf. One year, my mom created pottery pieces for everyone on her holiday gift list. It was great therapy for her hands; she really enjoyed the process and everyone appreciated the handmade gifts.
9. Face the mirror.
Step into a DIY day spa with the materials from your kitchen cabinet. Honey, olive oil, oranges, and other ingredients can be used to create homemade facials. Light a candle, fill the tub with lavender oil and hot water, and create a luxurious bath. Don’t forget the DIY manicure and pedicure.
10. Relax at the mall.
Go to the mall and listen to the music. Splurge on a cup of gourmet coffee or tea, people-watch, and check out art exhibits, which are tucked into random corners of many malls. Take a free class at a specialty store. Just have a good time without the extra weight of packages. You can always shop during the January or August clearance sales.