Free ways to entertain yourself and grow at the same time.

At 5 foot something you should know that I don’t mean “grow” in the literal and physical sense because I have not figured out how to make that happen yet, if I had I’d be financially independent already. With that being said, this post won’t disappoint because it will help you grow your inner self instead, expanding your mind, your self-control, self-confidence and abilities. You know, the real ways that count… or so I tell myself.

One of the biggest challenges I faced when I started being frugal was the change in my entertainment sources. In a recent post, TFS talked about the positive aspects of watching television and how it often gets a bad rap in the financial community. I completely agree, the first couple months of being frugal for me was binge watching How I Met Your Mother every night and I don’t regret it one bit! As I’ve gotten older and started to value my time on Earth and doing things more slowly however I have become more interested in hobbies that are less about being entertained and more about entertaining yourself… I don’t mean in the, you know, sensual way.

ALTHOUGH, that can be number one!

Because that’s hella important too and a great way to get to know and love thyself! Spend some time just treating yourself, light some candles, play some music and just do you. We all have to learn what we want in life and learning what you like in the bedroom will help you relieve stress, reduce illness and have better encounters with lovers in the future because you’ll know what to ask for.

Watch it Differentli.. This is a FINANCIAL blog. You’ll need a whole ‘nother space for that kind of talk! I got it. Onto number two…

Everybody knows how important it is to exercise and I was so freaking bored of hearing it a few years ago that the message completely lost it’s power. This year however, I started to look after myself a lot more and began to exercise more regularly. I think this happens quite often when you improve one aspect of your life- you realise how much better life will be overall when you improve another! Health, Finances, Skills, Diet, Relationships they all bounce off of one another and are constantly offering chances to improve your quality of life. I’ve found so much happiness by going cycling, out on walks and running to name a few of the free things. I enjoy stretching at home whilst watching TV as I’m trying to conquer the splits. I follow exercise tutorials on YouTube- Even in our tiny space. I was really inspired by a speech Will Smith made about how Self-Discipline is really Self-Love and have been working on making the future brighter for me by making good decisions in the present.

The perfect thing to do whilst running and walking and cycling if you’re alone is to listen to a podcast! If you’re going to be spending more than 15 minutes alone then you may want to be entertained and what better way than to pick an educational Podcast? I’ve been loving “Martinis and Your Money” for over a year now and there’s a daily TEDTalks podcasts with tonnes of topics to help expand your knowledge of the world whilst your ears are otherwise unoccupied. I find doubling up on time for exercise AND education to be especially satisfying for my frugal efficient brain.

Something I’ve recently discovered in my quest to be constantly learning is that there is SO MUCH free information available to us that people have designed into complete courses! I’m learning Spanish and am learning the skills it would take to manage a team well for future promotion opportunities and Three great tools that I’ve been using are OpenLearn, EDX and Duolingo. The former two being university standard learning courses with interactive content and the latter being a game style app that centres around learning a new language. As they’re all completely free websites it’s an amazing opportunity to spend your time educating yourself.

I, myself made the decision long ago not to go to university due to sky-rocketting costs and studies showing very little benefit to those costs. I still love to learn however and having these courses available gives me the ability to do so! I’m not into buying online courses just yet- maybe one day- because as of yet, I’ve not struggled to learn the information I need for free.

As a frugal person, naturally I am parasite #3 on my friend’s Netflix account and share the account with a couple of other people to save money. I am not ashamed. I’ve found that there’s a incredible number of documentaries on there that are both informative and engrossing! Being able to sit in my pyjamas in bed whilst learning new things is great for me so the doubling up effect of documentaries makes them the perfect mid-way point between entertainment and education. I would highly recommend taking a look at the documentary section in Netflix and trying a week of watching only documentaries!

Join the conversations on Twitter by following me at @li_different let me know what things you’d like to hear more about.

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