Folks in the South and East Coast are still digging out from a monster winter storm, and winter has already unleashed itself on many other parts of the country. Even if you are fortunate to live in an area that doesn’t get snow, there are always weather systems with potential to keep everyone cooped up indoors. Instead of letting cabin fever take over, here are some great ways to take advantage of a snow day.
1.Enjoy Family or Neighbors
We’ve had a couple of big storms here in Southwest Colorado this winter. While we don’t usually have CNN reporting our snow totals, weather can still keep us inside, at least for a day or two, sort of.
Since Jim started teaching in 2000, we’ve had a handful of snow days. This year we broke a record with two in a row during the first week of the year. If I’d been scheduled, I would have had to go in to work, but somehow everyone ended up at home. We went cross country skiing around the neighborhood, watched movies, and made soup. Being snowed in is great way to reconnect with family. Why do you think so many babies are born nine months after weather disasters?
I also got took time to have conversations with my neighbors. Those who had plows were helping those who didn’t. Why does it take two feet of snow to make everyone feel more neighborly!
2.Spend Some Time on Your Finances
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this tidbit. While working on finances might not sound like the most exciting way to take advantage of a snow day, at least you can’t argue that you don’t have time.
- Set up a free account with Personal Capital and link all of your accounts to get an idea of how you’re spending money.
- Organize tax documents so you’ll be ready to file on time.
- Review investment options and get an IRA set up. If that still seems too hard, consider using Betterment. They will choose investments based on your answers to a few simple questions.
- For those who are already investing, spend some time rebalancing your portfolio.
- Plug some numbers into a debt repayment calculator or retirement calculator to see if your progress toward goals is going as planned.
- Set up a 529 college savings plan for your kids so you can invest holiday or birthday money toward their future education.
A snow day is a great time to get organized. Again, can’t use the time excuse if you end up with a unexpected day off.
- Take stock of the pantry and make meals with what you have on hand.
- Clean out the junk drawer.
- Gather outgrown or unwanted clothes to sell or donate.
- Organize digital photos and delete ones you don’t need.
Whatever organization task you’ve been avoiding, spend a couple of hours getting it finished. You’ll feel much more productive once it’s done.
4.Try Out a Free Streaming Subscription
If you’re considering cutting the cord on expensive cable, a snow day is perfect for a free trial with one of the more popular TV alternatives. From Netfilx, Hulu, Sling, Showtime or HBO on demand; almost all of the streaming options offer a seven day free trial. Amazon Prime actually offers a 30 day trial for new members, which includes TV, movies, Kindle books, music, and free two day shipping on Prime eligible purchases.
We’ve been satellite TV free for a few years now and don’t miss it at all. We actually enjoy TV more now because it’s a conscious choice instead of background noise.
5.Take a Nap
I think many of us agree that when times get busy, sleep is the first thing to go on the chopping block. While I agree that getting up early or staying up late is often a necessary evil, that doesn’t mean lack of sleep is a great long term option. At least take advantage of found time to catch up on some ZZZ’s. No, napping does not replace a solid night of sleep, but it might be just what you need to recharge the batteries.
Of course you can take advantage of your snow day with more traditional activities like sledding, making a snow man, and having hot chocolate. Time is such a limited commodity. However you decide to spend unexpected time off, make sure to do something that feels like a day well spent.
Have you had any snow days this year? How do you spend unplanned days off?