How to Make January Fun and Healthy on a Budget

Mom and daughter doing a puzzle indoors

January can feel dull with its long winter days and early evenings. After the fun and sparkle of the holiday season is over, it can be a struggle to keep things fun and exciting.

Additionally, January is often a time when many people tighten their spending to make up for the holidays and start on their financial goals for the new year. Setting restrictions on your wallet can leave you looking for something to do to fill those longer days.

Volunteer Your Time

There is a lot to be said about giving back to others. We know it’s is a good idea, but it can be hard to find the time. Make time for volunteering this winter and put some thought into it. Research charities and causes that are important to you and find an opportunity that matches your skills, passions and interests.

  • Are you passionate about helping animals? Try volunteering at an animal shelter or rescue clinic on the weekends.
  • Do you enjoy working with kids? Visit your local elementary school and see what they need help with. The opportunities are endless.

You and your family will reap the rewards in more ways than just one. Volunteering has been shown to reduce depression, improve self-confidence and make you happy!

Get Cooking

Families spend big bucks eating out. Both fast food and sit-down restaurants can put a dent in your weekly food budget. Shopping and cooking at home can save you money and provide great entertainment to pass the time.

  • Challenge your family to find a recipe online they like and take turns preparing meals.
  • Expand your horizons. Try one new recipe each week and have your family decide if it’s a keeper.
  • Have a weekend meal prep session. Spend an afternoon preparing quick and easy breakfasts and lunches.

Move More

The winter months can be cold, but that’s not an excuse to stop moving. Instead of sitting down, find ways to get active. Physical activity will increase your energy and boost your mood!

  • Bundle up and take a walk outside.
  • Work a puzzle. Challenge your mind and do a jigsaw puzzle with a couple hundred (or more!) pieces. Trade with friends to keep it interesting.
  • Join or start a book club. Gather a group of neighbors, friends or co-workers and start reading. Challenge yourself by choosing books outside your comfort zone.
  • Look for indoor activities and locations. Visit a museum on a free day, take a walk around the local shopping mall looking for January deals, or attend a local sporting event.

Make your winter what you want it to be and spend your days doing what you enjoy, but don’t forget to shake things up a bit! Make a plan to incorporate some of the above activities into the long winter months to keep spirits high without breaking the bank.

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