It’s that time of year again: after the joy and festivities of Christmas and New Year’s, we’re all trying to be frugal because we spent our wages on party shoes and cocktails.
It seemed like a good thing to do at the time but now you’re left with a Black Hole-sized dent in your bank account.
So, what can you actually do for fun without spending a fortune?
The short answer is: lots.
Here are 16 things to do in January when you’ve spent all your cash:
Reading is such an important pleasure and yet so often it’s something we don’t find the time for.
There are few greater pleasures than kicking back in a warm room with cosy socks, a cup of tea and a good book.
The best ones can change your life.
2. Binge on those box sets
How many times have you thought about getting into that show everybody loves but can’t imagine committing so much time to it?
Get comfy, fire up Netflix and binge away.
Could be Peaky Blinders. Could be The Punisher. Could be Hey Duggee (which is awesome).
Could be your new favourite thing.
3. Make art
Sing. Paint. Sketch. Write. Draw faces on potatoes.
It’s all good.
4. Learn a thing
It could be any thing. Mandarin Chinese. Krav Maga. Knitting. Guitar.
In most cases, the kit is either unnecessary or pretty cheap: it’s time they need, not money.
5. Look up at old stuff
If you’re blessed with the presence of museums that don’t charge for admission then go there.
They’re a wonderful way to spend a day without reaching into your pocket or purse too much.
Great for the mind, too.
6. Visit places you’d normally pass through or that you keep meaning to visit
I’m in Glasgow and I’ve never been to the Necropolis, the famous City of the Dead.
There’s bound to be somewhere equally interesting nearby that you’ve never been to. Go.
7. Get on your bike
You see a completely different side to familiar streets and places when you’re on two wheels, and of course it’ll help you burn off a few mince pies, too.
8. Update those playlists
I’ve been meaning to update the Dinner Party playlist for about three years now.
Playlist picking is no dull chore: it’s a day lost in music, rediscovering the songs you used to love or discovering new fast favourites.
9. Feed the ducks
This is a great one if you have kids.
We mean to throw bread, not to be thrown in as food.
10. Do that DIY
Go on. Go on. Go on, go on, go on. Fix that door. Paint that wall.
Make your place a little closer to perfection.
11. Digitally declutter
Your phone’s full of apps you don’t use, your PC or Mac full of files you no longer need, photos you should have deleted long ago and novels you’re never going to finish.
Spring-clean your tech and it’ll be faster, less likely to fall over and much less likely to frustrate you in future.
12. Give your wardrobe a workout
If you didn’t need it over the last few months you probably don’t need it now.
Free up space for some new looks and donate the cool stuff to charity shops and the warm stuff to homeless shelters.
13. Call your mum, or a friend
Costs nothing if you’re on a contract. Means everything.
If you have time to spare, volunteering can help make the world a better place and give you all kinds of positive benefits, not least the feeling that the world’s a little bit better for having you in it.
15. Hit the charity shops, markets or car boot sales
You don’t necessarily need to buy anything, but the things you do won’t cost the Earth and you’re helping real people, not faraway shareholders.
16. Fix your finances
Are you skint because you overspent, or because you’re wasting money?
Switch energy suppliers, credit cards and insurers to cut your outgoings, pay off high-interest debts with low-interest savings and see if you can live life just as happily but not quite so expensively.