Five Affordable Activities to Beat the Winter Blues
Written by Megan Cunningham

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Something I struggle with every winter is filling my calendar with things that will make me happy throughout the dark and dreary months. Here are five activities I'm looking forward to doing without breaking the bank.

1. Board Game Cafes

This has become one of my favourite things to do on a weekend afternoon. If you've never been to a board game cafe before, check to see if there's one near where you live. They'll often have plenty of games to choose from, and you'll either pay a set fee to play, or have to buy food and drink.

When you compare this to buying one board game, it's an affordable way to spend your afternoons playing old favourites or discover new games you've never played before.

2. Free Events in Your Neighborhood

I like to set aside a couple of minutes every day to scour local websites for upcoming free events around the city. You can find everything: from keynote speakers to open houses and low-key music festivals.

Just last week, my friend and I attended a photography launch event to test out new cameras and we got the chance to chat with local photographers. When you're trying to plan an outing with friends, this is a great way to try something new without spending any money.

3. Cooking with Friends

I'm a huge fan of large family-style potluck meals with my friends and colleagues. You can take turns hosting – just decide ahead of time who'll be responsible for what. Each person can bring their own dish, or even just a couple key ingredients for a part of the meal. It's a ton of fun, and you'll spend a fraction of the cost of going out to eat.

4. Try Something New

One of the best ways to shake the winter blues is to check off the items on your to-do list that you've been meaning to do but haven't quite gotten around to yet. Whether it's taking a class at a new yoga studio, or checking out an art gallery that you keep passing by on your way home from work. I set aside a small part of my monthly budget for these kinds of activities so that they're a planned expense.

Ticking something off of your to-do list will make you feel a sense of accomplishment, while you change up your surroundings.

5. Getting Cozy at Home

A major chunk of my time is spent at my office or in my apartment. If you find yourself in a similar situation, then you may find that it's nice to spice up your space a little bit. As the seasons change, I like to put new photos on my desk, buy a new plant, or move the furniture around. Although these low-cost changes are subtle, they give you something new to look forward to everyday.

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