5 Ways to Live Well and Spend Less in 2019
New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on areas we want to improve: losing weight, paying off debt or spending more time with family. But what about a more important resolution – to live intentionally. Phrases like carpe diem, YOLO (you only live once) and “be in the moment” capture the spirit of living intentionally yet, years have a way of passing us by.
So how do you live with intention when funds are tight? Here are 5 ways to live well in 2019 (on a budget):
- Enjoy the outdoors intentionally. It will get warmer. Days will last longer. Spring is coming and flowers will bloom. Take advantage and spend an afternoon at the park during the first warm weekend. Take a friend, spouse, cousin, neighbor, child and your dog. Pack your picnic, feel the sun and enjoy the day.
Estimated cost: $0–25
Time: 3 hours
- Play intentionally. Enjoy some of your favorite board games. To start, choose a game and ask other to join in. Games like Monopoly, Sequence and Scrabble bring friends and family physically together. Online games, such as Words with Friends and Minecraft, allow you to connect virtually. Games like chess allow you play over time. And puzzles allow you to build together. If your first idea doesn’t work, try another game. Play intentionally and others will join.
Expected cost: $30
Time: 1–3 hours
- Build community intentionally. Organize a neighborhood potluck. Find one or two neighbors to help with the planning. Use evite, Nextdoor or simple word-of-mouth to send invites and get people involved. Distribute flyers a few days before. Be the first person there. Recruit a few teens to clean up afterwards. Be deliberate about meeting as many people as you can. Build community with food.
Expected cost: $30
Time: 4–8 hours (including planning)
- Travel intentionally. You can do this on $200 for a staycation or under $1,000 for places within a drive. Start with a budget. Then, make tradeoffs on the three areas that make up 80% of travel expenses: transportation, lodging and food. Find all the places within a 6 hour drive. If you must fly, use Kayak, Southwest and Google Flights to compare options and save. For lodging, consider naming your price on Priceline or finding an Airbnb with a kitchen. Go for three days instead of four. Pack snacks throughout the day. The trip does not need to be your dream trip. Traveling intentionally is taking time for the smaller excursions as you build to larger adventures.
Estimated cost: $200–1,000
Time: 1–4 days
- Love intentionally. Spend time with an elder in your life. It could be a parent, uncle, aunt or simply a friend in your community. Pick them up, grab coffee, take a walk and listen. Be intentional about how you make them feel. We rarely say “I spent too much time with them” when a loved one passes. Instead, it’s the opposite. We wish we had one more day. We wish we could have one more conversation. Often, elders battle social isolation and lack of meaning. You can help by loving intentionally. Make it happen.
Expected cost: $0–20
Time: 2–4 hours
Living intentionally is less about what you do and more about simply doing. All of these have different costs. Some will work for you and some won’t. We’re constantly telling clients that their financial situation is temporary. Live intentionally given your situation today. Graduate to more options in 2020.
This year take time to live, breath and be present.
Happy New Year from SmartPath.