The Best Things in Life are Free – Spring Break Edition

One of the perks of both being teachers, is that Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I have the same weeks off for vacation.  We love to travel, and usually try to plan a trip for Spring Break.  This year, however, we decided to stay home.

Did we have a boring week?  Absolutely not!

Here are some of the ways that we enjoyed ourselves last week without spending any money:

  1. Daily Walks – I went for a 2+ mile walk with my mom and my parents’ dog just about every day (with my binoculars, of course, to look for birds).  Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I also went for a couple lovely strolls.
  2. Running, biking, and cross training (oh my!) – We also took advantage of this week to work out outside in the daylight, which is hard for Mr. FF to do on workdays.
  3. Hiking – We hiked a local mountain and had a magical encounter with a ringed-neck pheasant.
  4. Visiting with Family – We celebrated Mr. Farmhouse Finance’s birthday again with his family, and made the rounds for Easter (brunch and dinner).
  5. Reading

Besides spending a little bit of money on a lunch out, and a couple bottles of wine, we did not have any vacation expenses this week.

Since we avoided miscellaneous spending this week AND received a sizable paycheck from my job (including the health insurance buyout), we were able to contribute extra to our house fund.  We are really trying to stay focused on saving 20% for a down payment and additional cash for closing costs on our house.

Ring-Necked Pheasant Strutting His Stuff– Image via National Geographic

Relaxation Without Spending Money

When you are in desperate need of a vacation (like I was!), it’s easy to get carried away spending money on things that you think will relax you.

A dinner out here, a massage there, a trip to a sandy beach resort (that you tell yourself is all inclusive), will really add up.

If your goal is to travel, then great, spend the money on a trip.  If you are just looking to relax, there are plenty of ways that you can spend a few days off from work and feel rejuvenated without spending much (or any) money.

Find Your Zen

When I get stressed out, I take a deep breath and say, “I need to find my Zen place.”  Sometimes this is said facetiously, and other times I am very serious. Either way, I am attempting to calm myself down and find peace.

The days leading up to a vacation from work always seem like the most stressful.  Most people count down the days to a vacation, and are ready for some intense relaxation the second they’re off.  If it is simply relaxation you are seeking, identify the things that do it for you, and incorporate those things into your vacation.  You may be surprised to find that the things you enjoy the most, do not cost much money.

Spending time in nature really makes me feel good, so if I want to relax, I go outside.

If you find ways to incorporate those things into your everyday life, you may not be so desperate for your next vacation.

How do you relax?


Illusion of Scarcity Worksheet (PDF)

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