Kick recessionary groin: have fun

While brainstorming ideas for fun things to do while broke (ok, or unemployed), I came across THIS magic bit o’ internet that I think everyone can find some interest in. 100 Things to Do During a Money Free Weekend. The further you go down the list, the more options you realize you really have. Not only are there fun things to do (hello blanket fort! okay maybe it’s meant for a family with kids, but whatever… i’ll do it), but there are ideas for just getting yourself organized and thereby giving yourself more peace of mind.

A quick sampling of some of my personal favorites:

#5: Check out some podcasts. I did this the other day while cleaning and sorting piles of papers and crap in my office and got a little caught up with my beloved This American Life.

#6: Play board games. A couple Fridays ago my boyfriend and I dragged out the game of Life, made some drinks with booze we already had, and had a grand ol’ time. I plan on playing Scattergories next.

#23: Learn the basics of a new topic. A few jobs ago I had absolutely nothing to do. I would finish my work quickly and then be straight out bored for hours. I reached the depths of the internet. StumbleUpon saved my life. One morning I decided to take an online course on the Civil War, seeing as I received almost all of my pre-collegiate education in Canada, where the topic is mighty different. I’m happy to say that I passed the class with a 98% and got paid for it.

#45: Start a compost bin. Oh, how I’ve been meaning to do this for ages. In fact I have the sad beginnings of a compost “area” outside my house, but once I started reading up on the optimal green-to-brown ratio for compost content, nitrogen levels, and sage gardeners’ advice, I got way too lost and just dumped any and all yard trimmings there. One day!

#72: Plan next year’s summer vacation. Obviously this is a little different for someone who doesn’t have kids. However I love, love, love planning trips. Right before I decided to chain myself down by buying a house I was planning an elaborate backpacking trip through South America. When I could find no available travel companion (and didn’t dare to be a young, blonde American with little-to-no Spanish speaking skills traveling alone down there), I was literally days away from buying a ticket to Australia before fate changed my course.

#76. Go on a wandering walk. Lately I’ve been all about discovering new places in my hometown(s). A friend and I spent her lunch hour on a sunny day the other week speed walking all over our small town in random directions. We discovered historic buildings we never knew existed, houses I’ve always wanted to look at more closely, unknown vistas and new routes to get from here to there. The Portland-abiding boyfriend and I have tried to devote a free day or afternoon on weekends to discovering new areas and places in Portland that we’ve never been as well, all on foot or with public transport. Tons of fun!

#92: Attend a free community class. Only after receiving my college diploma did I really, truly become excited about learning new things. I have no idea what’s available in this category in my fair hamlet, but I will be looking this up in the near future.

Actually the rest of that blog is chock-full of pretty damn useful and helpful information, especially regarding finances in these tough times. I suggest you take some time out this weekend, give your wallet a break, and do something NEW. You have no excuse not to make your life exciting.

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