When closed doors
open new ones

Staying home used to mean boredom, but not anymore. Never have so many brilliant ideas been shared, opening up new worlds and ways to pass the time.

Remember all those things you put off until you had time? Well, now you do. Here are some of our tips to help make the most of the extra time you have at home.

  1. Do something for yourself and something for your home/family. Think about all those maintenance or home improvement projects on your to do list. They don’t need to be big projects, it could be as simple as planting some herbs or simply cleaning out your junk draw (or room).

  2. Take up a course. It’s a good time to reflect and improve your current skills or learn new ones. NSW TAFE are offering 21 excellent short online courses for free that will help you improve your administration, digital, leadership and computer skills. Many universities are now offering heavily discounted online courses as well. From writing skills to astrophysics – there’s bound to be something for everyone!

  3. Foster a dog. The RSPCA has a program where you can be a foster parent for a dog until a permanent home is found. Pets are great company and research has shown they help increase your life expectancy. If you’re not into dogs, you can foster cats, ducklings, goats and lambs instead. You can find details at rspcansw.org.au.

  4. Find a new hobby. Learn an instrument, write a book, become a gardener or a master chef. There are so many online tutorials (many at discounted or no cost) to help you learn that fun thing you always wanted to do.

  5. Create a budget. You didn’t think we were going to skip your finances? The best way to take control during these out-of-control times is to know where your money is at, and how long it will last. If you don’t know where to start, there are budgeting tips on our free e-learning platform Money Matters under Managing Your Money. If you want something to help you track your spending, there’s an app for that! Check out your bank’s app or Money Brilliant, PocketBook, Pocket Smith and Frollo or Money Smart’s online planner.

  6. Share your skills with the next generation. Whether it’s your kids, grandkids or nieces and nephews, now’s a great time to teach them something new. Maybe it’s a new instrument (but please not the recorder), how to cook or even fix things. It’s a great distraction from their homework and will help you fill in some of your free time too.

  7. Kiss some clothes goodbye. Marie Kondo’s tips on cleaning out the old have been sweeping the world. Part of her method involves thanking unused items for the memories before throwing them out. It’s time to farewell those paisley pyjamas. Visit konmari.com for more ideas on how to declutter.

  8. Introduce yourself to a neighbour, particularly an older one who might need help with some shopping. Or join your community online through the NextDoor app.

  9. Stick a teddy bear in your window. It’s like a treasure hunt for the kiddies that everyone has joined in on. Be part of the fun.

  10. Listen to some concerts. Everyone from Chris Martin to Miley Cyrus to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra are streaming online through FaceBook, Instagram or YouTube, where you can also find some quality full length concerts. Take a look, there’s bound to be one to suit your tastes.

  11. Go on a virtual museum tour. Google Arts & Culture takes you inside many of the world’s top museums, such as the British Museum, New York’s Guggenheim, Paris’ Musee d’Orsay, Berlin’s Pergamon, Amsterdam’s Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum Museums amongst others. This is an art lover’s smorgasbord.

  12. Get a bit of culture into ya. If you enjoy theatre, National Theatre London are featuring a new play every fortnight on YouTube for free. These are quality productions. For a subscription fee you can also see some excellent actors such as Jason Alexander, Alfred Molina and Carol Burnett in Broadway productions. And Patrick Stewart is reading Shakespeare sonnets daily on Twitter!

  13. Be free! There are lots of free offers out there to take advantage of. For instance, Optus are offering six months of free Apple music. Foxtel is offering free movies until the end of July. Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime all offer their first month for free.

  14. See the Northern Lights. You can travel the world with some amazing webcams. At explore.org/livecams you can watch the Northern Lights, bears hunting salmon, horses wandering around a paddock, gorillas in the jungle and so many others. There’s something meditative about them and they’re a lot more interesting than the Abbey Road cam.

  15. Learn a bit about your money. It’s a mystery to many but you can learn more about how to manage your finances through our Money Matters modules. They’re short, snappy, interactive ways to understand more about your hard-earned dollars.