There’s nothing quite like heading up to the cabin to enjoy the peace and quiet in the beautiful wilderness. It can be even better if you’re retired because you can really savor every moment for as long as you like. In addition to being a nice place to stay, time at the cabin can also provide you with opportunities for affordable fun. That fact can be especially satisfying if you were one of the 7 in 10 Americans who didn’t have a formal retirement plan or you’re part of the 71% who carry debt throughout retirement.
Even if you aren’t, it’s good to save money when you can, and luckily, there are many ways that you can stay entertained and keep your mind sharp while out at the cabin. Here are some fun ideas to consider.
Games For Fun and Mental Stimulation
One thing that many cabins seem to have in common is a corner filled with board and card games, puzzles and other fun activities. Start with those card games. Whether you're playing a game of Memory, Solitaire or Poker, you’ll find that playing card games can benefit your cognitive health and do wonders for your mental and physical well-being. Almost any card game requires some degree of memory and attention to detail, and being required to recall information repeatedly can keep your brain in good working order.
When it’s time to switch it up, consider a board game that can be fun for the whole family. Many of them are also great for keeping up cognitive functions, including Monopoly, which will help you maintain your money management skills, and Clue, which exercises the part of your brain specializing in deductive reasoning.
When you’re done there, pick up a puzzle and really put your mind to work. Puzzles are generally inexpensive, and they can keep you busy for hours, so you’ll get your money’s worth and have a blast as you piece it together by the fire.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
Be sure to take some time during each day to venture outside and enjoy the splendor of the forest around you. Nature provides endless opportunities for fun, relaxation and entertainment. Some activities, like hiking down new trails and swimming, don’t cost much or anything at all.
When the grandkids come to town, you can continue the affordable fun and beat cabin fever by making a fort out of sticks, leaves and other forest materials. When winter hits, bring the family outside for a snowball fight or try making a bowl of snow ice cream.
You’ll be amazed at the cabin activities you can enjoy for cheap. If you don’t have one, you can rent a canoe and go out on the water or rent bikes and take a family ride by the beach. You could even rent a boat for a day and go out tubing or water skiing.
The most important thing is that you enjoy quality time with your significant other or your family, and that’s often completely free. Sit around the campfire and reminisce about your many happy years together or go out at night and stargaze. When you’re looking for a mental boost to break up the day, sit down by the lake and read your favorite book.
Make Saving Money into A Game
While living in a cabin is typically more of a rustic, laid-back experience, you’re likely going to have repairs and utilities to pay. Many home expenses can add up, so you’ll want to have some money put aside. While it may be harder than it seems in retirement, you’ll be surprised at what you can save.
So, how can you have fun while saving money? One way to do so is to start your own 52-week savings challenge. The way it works is that during the first week, you save one dollar. The following week, you save two dollars and keep going from there. Keep it up, and at the end of the year, you’ll have $1,378. It won’t make you rich, but it can be so satisfying to have a savings plan, and it's incredibly enjoyable to see how easily it all adds up.
Another trend that’s been gaining steam is using apps to add a bit of excitement to your finances. For instance, Fudget is a great app that allows you to add your income and your expenses, and it tells you what you have left. Every time you spend, you add it to the app. The more you pay attention to your spending and watch the numbers change, the more inclined you’ll be to save money.
Retirement is a great time to explore your passions but remember that you don’t need to fly through your life savings to enjoy your golden years. There are many ways to savor your time at the cabin and make it a special place to spend time with your family, and you can do it all without breaking the bank.