It's easy to spend money when you have some time to yourself. You open the old laptop, browse for a bit, and suddenly, a box of Amazon goodies should be here by tomorrow. To combat boredom spending, keep yourself busy with an ongoing list of fun projects.
Trent Hamm of the Simple Dollar suggests keeping a big list of all the small, fun things you've been meaning to do. Remember when you wanted to try making creme brûlée? Put it on the list. And what about your goal to learn Japanese? Add that too. I'm betting you have a handful of books that need to be cracked open. Onto the list they go.
It's easy to forget about these things — out of sight; out of mind. But when all of your small projects are on one list, you can just refer to that whenever you're feeling bored. Hamm suggests creating the list while you spring clean, because you'll probably come across all of your forgotten projects and activities.
And why, exactly, is this list useful? Here's how Hamm says it helps him:
First, all of these projects rely almost entirely on stuff I already have. Very few of them require any sort of additional purchase and the ones that do only require basic food ingredients.
This means that all of these projects have very little cost. Most of them are essentially free. The needed items are all already on hand for most of them, and for the remainder, the items are found on grocery store shelves.
If the project makes it on the list, it's something I'm excited about doing. The reason I haven't done all of these things is because there are lots of things in my life that I enjoy doing and sometimes other things find their way to the front of my mind, whether I plan on it or not.
I like it because it's sort of like a bucket list for boredom. There might not be anything groundbreaking on the list, but there doesn't need to be. It's filled with all the small stuff we say we'll do when we have free time.
Hamm has a lot more insight on the matter — be sure to check out his full post below.
The Giant Free Project List [The Simple Dollar]