13 Birthday Ideas For Adults That Are More Fun Than Going Out To Dinner

Looking for birthday ideas for adults? Want to celebrate your birthday in a way that's more fun than a dinner out? Click through for meaningful birthday tips for grownups!

Birthday ideas for adults are often …. lacking, aren’t they?

It seems like our options are often limited to:

  • Corralling friends into a dinner out (but trying to do it on your Actual Birthday is nearly impossible plus budgets and traffic and dietary restrictions?)
  • Traveling (Which is awesome! But not always financially or logistically feasible)
  • Scrolling through all the Facebook birthday notifications and eating cake in the break room at work (When you’re really more of a pie person, anyhow.)

Today is my 39th birthday. We spent the last five days celebrating my birthday/our anniversary with a trip to Massachusetts and Vermont, but my thirst for celebration has yet to be quenched! I’m still going! If you’re looking for ways to celebrate your birthday, keeping reading.

13 Birthday Ideas For Adults That Are More Fun Than Going Out To Dinner


Web Time Wasters

What’d you get up to this week, friends? I workedworkedworked because on Thursday we left for five days in Vermont to celebrate my birthday/our anniversary. OBVIOUSLY we’re doing the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour!

Links for you!

When I showed off our incredibly cute Vermont Airbnb on IG stories, a lot of you wanted to know the listing. It’s The Benthill Schoolhouse and it is a-dor-a-ble. We pretty much exclusively use Airbnb when we travel and can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’ve never used it before, here’s a $40 credit towards your first booking!

I’ve spent the last week and a half NOT grocery shopping, to empty our fridge for our trip to Vermont. I turned it into a #nogrocerychallenge and documented all the meals I made on IG stories. AND IT WAS SO FUN! You can see all the before-and-afters of my meals here.

Related: Constraint breeds creativity.

This profile of former president Jimmy Carter was so lovely and inspiring. It sort of made me weepy?
Carter is the only president in the modern era to return full-time to the house he lived in before he entered politics — a two-bedroom rancher assessed at $167,000, less than the value of the armored Secret Service vehicles parked outside.

Ex-presidents often fly on private jets, sometimes lent by wealthy friends, but the Carters fly commercial. Stuckey says that on a recent flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Carter walked up and down the aisle greeting other passengers and taking selfies.

We’ve been talking about the financial realities of divorce and splitting up over in my More Money, More Happy Facebook group. This article is important and terrifying: My Divorce Cost Me $250,000.

I was on the Pimp Your Brilliance podcast this week talking about building habits that will support your business! Listen here.

I loved Laura’s article on consciously building yourself and drawing a map of the person you want to be.
Actively searching out influences for my fashion, my career, my choices of pasta – it doesn’t dilute who I am. In seeking out inspiration from others I’m not a sell-out or shallow. I’d argue the opposite. I find pieces of myself in others, and in making them a part of my family tree, they are, indeed, a map. They are a map towards my truest and most best self. Being inspired by others makes me more… me.

Made me laugh!

Annnnd this did, too. (And he has a point!)

I’m leading 250 people through my live course Bank Boost and as we talking about how they’ll bring in extra money, I feel it’s worth reminding all of us: 99% of MLM business lose money.

If you’ve ever been told that you’re lazy or beaten yourself up because you keep missing deadlines, you need to read this: Laziness Does Not Exist.
For decades, psychological research has been able to explain procrastination as a functioning problem, not a consequence of laziness. When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being “good enough” or b) confusion about what the first steps of the task are. Not laziness. In fact, procrastination is more likely when the task is meaningful and the individual cares about doing it well.

Looooool. Does Stephan Miller Have Any Friends? An Investigation.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

How I Furnished My Living Room + Landscaped My Yard For $0

Looking for free decorating ideas? Want to decorate on a budget? I bet FREE furniture would help! Click through for the surprising trick I used to decorate my adorable living room for free!

This title seems like clickbait, doesn’t it?

And it seems like this would be the part where I say something about a pyramid scheme or transferring credit card balances, right?

The truth is both more (and less) exciting than that.


Web Time Wasters

What’s you get up to this week, friends? It was sweltering here in Minneapolis, so I drank lots of iced coffee with friends, sat in a dark, air conditioned theater to see The Rider, and on Saturday we went to a wedding at the Science Museum that united a North Dakotan and a Cajun in matrimony and the the food was as great as you’re imagining!

Links for you

I’m reading this novel set in Wisconsin and Vermont in preparation for our upcoming trip to Vermont and it’s lovely. I guess there’s a reason it’s “one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century”!

A list of apps, plugins, and ideas that are saving one woman’s digital life right now.

This woman is living her best life! (And my dream life in 20+ years!)

An interview with a (non-violent) psychopath. Fascinating!
Do you ever feel afraid?

We don’t feel fear. We get adrenal responses. When you have adrenaline responses to a car accident, or bungee jumping, or what have you, we’ll still get that, but for us, we don’t feel the fear, which can be obviously dangerous if you’re a little kid, and you don’t know you’re supposed to be afraid of stuff. We don’t process the emotion of fear. It doesn’t occur to us. And we can’t understand it, either. I mean, we get that you feel something, but we don’t get it.

21 simple things to try when you’re bored (instead of surfing the internet) 

New Zealand wants to treat domestic violence like a contagious disease

How to tell if you’re mansplaining

Proud of you, Minneapolis!

You read Beyonce’s interview in Vogue, right?
It’s important to me that I help open doors for younger artists. There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter.

Related: You can pull people up the ladder behind you

A reminder to my fellow Nice Midwestern Women: You don’t own anyone an interaction.
Will some people have hurt feelings if you decline their invitations and delete their messages? Probably. That’s tough to accept, but the alternative is worse. Trying to manage other people’s emotions while tuning out your own is exhausting. It harms your health and your relationships.

We’ve been conditioned to believe that being kind means being available 24/7. But if we don’t guard our time, our ability to be kind erodes.

Related: Are you wasting your likable  on the wrong people?

If there are children in your life: are you a ‘carpenter’ or a ‘gardener’?

Hope you had a great weekend, friends!

You’re Totally Allowed To Buy That Latte (And Other Shocking Money Insights)

Is that latte personal finance advice air tight? If you're looking for budgeting tips or money advice, click through for some you've never heard before (but totally works!)

I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

It’s practically a pillar of the personal finance advice industry: Stop buying $5 lattes.

“The average latte costs five dollars. If you buy one every work day, that’s $25 a week, $100 month. That’s $1,200 a year! You could be putting that towards credit card debt or a house down payment or a vacation!”

Now, this is true. These numbers add up. Five multiplied by five does, indeed, equal twenty-five. And if you really do buy a $5 latte every workday, 52 weeks a year, those purchases will add up.

But not all lattes are created equal.

I learned this from one of student in my Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is course.

Natalie had one of those daily latte habits that every personal finance expert rails against.

Every day on her way to work, Natalie would buy a latte at Starbucks. She’d sit in her car in the drive through, checking email on her phone while she waited her turn to shout her order into the speaker.

She’d pick her coffee up at the window and then drive to her job at an office park in the suburbs, usually finishing the last sip as she pulled into her parking space.

The purchase of her daily latte was a habit. It was almost-mindless and not even particularly happy-making. It was just something she did every day, like brushing her teeth or checking Instagram while she stood in line.


Once a month, Natalie would drive into the city, heading towards her favorite neighborhood: parks, boutiques, bookstores that invite lingering.

Natalie would, again, buy a latte. But this time she’d sip it on a bench in the park, people watching and warming her hands. She’d finish it as she windowshopped and stooped to smell the flowers in the planter outside the antique store.

These lattes all cost five dollars. The one that made her Saturday feel special cost $5 and the ones she drank mindlessly on her way to work cost $5. 

But her weekday, much-less-enjoyable lattes affected her finances a lot more than her Saturday, seems-like-a-scene-in-a-rom-com latte.

Here’s the truth:

It’s not the Sunday morning latte we drink as we walk along the river with our best friend, catching up, and watching the ducks along the shore.

It’s the four lattes we buy during the workweek, because it’s 3:30, we’re sick of working, and we need to get out of the office.

It’s not the $200 boots that look good with everything, make us feel amazing, and get worn three times a week.

It’s 11 pairs of $17 shoes we never wear, bought on sale because we wandered into Target tired, hungry, and grumpy. 

It’s not the $100 anniversary meal, eaten on a gorgeous patio, under bobbing lanterns.

It’s the three-times-a-week $12 takeout we don’t even really like but it’s easier than figuring out what to make for dinner.

I guess what I’m saying is:
If something makes you happy, if it truly adds to your life, if you can afford it: OMG BUY IT. If if it doesn’t or if you can’t: Don’t. Click To Tweet

Traditional personal finance advice – and most budgeting tools! – treat all purchases equally.

They don’t take into consideration how we felt in those jeans or what we were celebrating when we bought that bottle of wine.

They don’t point out that those $150+ Target trips seem to happen after bad conference calls or a night of sub-par sleep.

If we can figure out what makes us happy, we can point more money, time, and energy in that direction.

(And less money, time, and energy in the direction of lattes consumed in thework  parking lot.)

I want to hear from you! Do you have your own version of this story? How do you track your spending? 

P.S. If you want to break your not-that-happy-making daily latte habit (or any other habit) this will help. And it’s free!

Photos by Charisse Kenion and Marion Michele on Unsplash