A gratifying bucket list doesn’t have to break the bank…
Health & Happiness
Plenty of studies have indicated that learning new things and staying active can greatly improve the health and longevity of our bodies and brains over time.
Keep experiences and learning new things in the forefront of the mind when choosing bucket list items and you’ll have more time to tick off more things!
Here are some budget friendly items to consider adding to your bucket list that will pay great dividends for health and happiness:
- Start a Journal
To begin you should start a journal. At some point every day, fill a page with thoughts, whatever comes to your mind. Note the day, time, and location of each entry if you like.
- Tour your Town
Depending on its size there could be a lot you don’t know about your town. Commit some spare time to exploring places in your town that you have never been to. They could be museums, conservatories, galleries, historical monuments, live-music venues, walking/hiking trails etc.
- Volunteer your Time!
Get some spontaneity out of this one by picking 12 ways to volunteer your time. Write them down on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl. When you have some spare time each month, pick one and commit to it. This could be anything from helping a friend or family member with a project, helping a neighbor, or lending your time to a local charity.
- Plan and Execute one Trip you have Always Wanted to take
To keep it budget friendly this one might take some careful planning and preparation depending on what your goal is for a trip. But slowly start putting it together. Dedicate some time to research and planning then set a realistic launch date for your trip.
- …after this quick tip:
Keep your Bucket List Evergreen!
Creating a bucket list doesn’t have to be the “be all end all” of what you’ll do with your life. It can be an evergreen document that is consistently updated.
You don’t need to be aged to start one! Perhaps you begin one now, whatever your age is. Choose one thing that you would like to accomplish over a year and work towards that.
Pick just a few things to get started. Then as years pass you can add new items or remove old ones as your goals and philosophies change. Now moving on with our list:
- Learn to Play
Probably one of the more difficult ones in terms of commitment and discipline. But the reward is that much greater as well! Choose an instrument that you love to listen to, and learn how to play it yourself. Don’t think you are bound to expensive lessons either you’ll be surprised what you can teach yourself with Youtube videos and such. Join a local club of artists if there is one to help you learn.
- Off-Grid Weekend
This is where the strong are separated from the weak. Commit to a whole weekend where you turn off all of your electronic devices. You could rent a small cabin on a beach somewhere. Even better, rent an airstream in California! Use this off-grid time to read or write, do some hiking and enjoy nature, practice meditation, whatever you can do to occupy your time without being connected. *Obviously tell some family or friends where you are going and have some way of being reached in case of an emergency.
- Give Blood
This is a great one for the bucket list. For you needle squeamish people, face your fears and just do it! You’ll be able to scratch it off your list, and knowing you helped someone else in need will feel good.
- Physical Goal
Include a physical goal of some kind in your bucket list if you wish. Maybe you’d like to do more yoga, run a 5K marathon, do 100 push ups, do spin classes, rowing classes, fitness based boxing. Whatever the case may be, commit some time throughout the year to achieving your fitness goal.
- …one last food for thought:
Get more than just Room Service
Your list doesn’t just have to comprise of lavish travel in exotic locations. Granted, everyone probably has some destinations they would like to tick off the list.
“Your travel list items don’t have to be expensive. They should be experience driven.”
Thankfully, most exotic, sunny/jungle locations can be affordable to visit. Tight budgeting might come into play for European destinations. Check out this guide for budget hacking trips to Europe.
If you are in the market for the experience driven trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to check out the adventurists HQ.
They don’t have to run you broke either! (unless you are considering that “the kids aren’t getting anything” type retirement-bucket-list-extravaganza, in which case more power to you!)
Now the last few items on our list:
- Learn a Language
Learning a new language can be hard, but an awesome experience! Maybe pick learning the local language of one of your destinations. There is plenty of apps that can assist with learning a new language. Another good hack if they are available is grabbing a ton of movies that are filmed in the language you are wanting to learn. Watch them with subtitles as you are learning. Then slowly start to turn off the subtitles. You can watch movies in your first language with subtitles in the language you are learning too. These practices will help your brain make some more connections faster.
- Read a Book you have Always Wanted to Read
Pick up that book you have always been promising yourself you’ll read, and do it! Commit just a few hours throughout each week if needed. This is a good evergreen item too, as you can simply add a new book once you have finished the previous one.
- Lastly: Learn something New
I believe this is the most important thing to do with a bucket list. Find something you are passionate about and commit some spare time to studying it in-depth. It can be anything. Maybe you are interested in Ancient Chinese history and influential Dynasties. Learn how to grow a garden. Study an endangered animal. Dive into the history of jazz or punk-rock music. How about astrology and exploring the reaches of our galaxy and beyond. Study the greatest impressionist artists of all time. Learn how to code a website. Become a marine biology enthusiast. The possibilities are literally endless and the more you can learn the better. Allocate some spare time each year studying something new and keep ticking them off the list and adding new subjects or activities.
Using experience and learning new things as drivers behind our bucket list, it is possible to complete one without spending a boat-load of money.
Most of these items are free, or don’t cost much. For travel plans, hit the web and find out how to save money on every corner of your trip, there is tons of valuable resources online that cover how to get the most bang for your buck when travelling.
First critical step in creating a budget friendly bucket list, is creating it!
Grab a notebook or open an electronic document today and start to populate it with some of the things that you would like to do from now, until then. You’ll be glad you started it sooner rather than later!
Good luck on your adventures.