Have you ever had a no spend weekend?
I have to admit, the whole idea of a no spend weekend makes me want to vomit. I mean, who, in their right minds would want to focus on NOT SPENDING for a minute, let alone a weekend. I know that there are people out there who love the whole idea of frugality and can go for weeks, months or even YEARS without spending any money.
I’m not one of them.
Let’s cut right to the chase here: I really, really enjoy spending money.
I also believe that the more you focus on NOT doing something, the more you want to do it. It’s basic human nature.
Okay, it’s basically my nature, but I suspect I’m not the only one.
So, I had to go about this in a different way: instead of focusing on NOT spending, I put my energy into finding really interesting and fun things to do that were FREE.
Although I like spending money, I also like getting stuff for free.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say I feel quite smug when I get something for free.
Fabulously Free Fun Days
While I’m going to keep the title of this post No Spend Weekend because it has quite a nice ring to it, as far as I’m concerned, this is really Fabulously Free Fun Days.
This is a brilliant reminder that you can actually have a lot of fun without spending a fortune. Remember those childhood days spent wandering in the woods or building cubby houses in the neighbours garden?
The big bonus of this is that a No Spend Weekend can have a huge positive impact on your finances.
So, here are my favourite ideas to kick start you, but put on your own thinking cap to see what ideas you can come up with for new activities.
35 things to do on a No Spend Weekend
1. Play board games
My family love board games but we rarely seem to play them. Mainly because we have several ultra-competitive children who don’t like losing! However, a no spend weekend is the perfect time to put a game night in the diary.
2. Have a home spa day
There are lots of frugal homemade beauty treatments you can make using ingredients you already have at home. Or just have a nice long soak in the bath with some candles lit, music playing and your favourite drink.
3. Watch a TED talk
TEDTalks are among some of the most inspiring and educational videos available and it’s completely free.
4. Visit your local botanic gardens
Most Australian towns have a local botanic gardens. Find out about the local flora, bush tucker and the non-native trees and plants in the area.
5. Try out your local bike trail
More and more of these are cropping up around the country. They mainly follow the old railways lines, so the trails are fairly flat and easy to cycle. Many of them go through beautiful countryside and national parks, too.
6. Get creative in the kitchen
Try your own version of Ready Steady Cook and invent a new dish with whatever you’ve got in the cupboards. Buying extra ingredients is cheating!
7. Go to the library
I’m a huge reader but for some reason I rarely go to the library any more. Till recently. Our local library not only has the most amazing range of books, they also have regular free special events such as craft workshops, writers workshops, children’s storytelling, and school holiday activities.
8. Give yourself a reflexology session
This is a lovely thing to do and it’s a great skill to learn. Reflexology can not only help you relax but it’s amazingly beneficial for your overall health & wellbeing. There are heaps of free how-to videos on YouTube.
9. Invite some friends round for a Fire Pit & BBQ
Dig a small pit in the backyard and have a little bonfire. Get everyone to bring some marshmallows and toast them as you chat.
10. Go for a bushwalk
Out in the countryside if you can, or just explore a new part of town. Maybe try to find a new park or new favourite neighbourhood in your city,
11. Have a sleepover
Why should it only be kids who do this? Invite some friends round and have a sleepover. Play games, give each other massages & facials, eat popcorn and watch movies.
12. Start a blog!
Blogging is fun, creative and could even make you money further down the line!
There are lots of free sites that will help you get your very own website up and running in a day.
Whether you want to blog for money or just find a platform to express yourself and share your knowledge of a hobby, blogging is a top activity that you can start with no money.
13. Go to a museum
Visiting a museum or art gallery is definitely one of the best things to do with no money. While some of the bigger museums may charge entry fees, there are heaps of smaller & local museums and historic villages that are either free or entry by donation.
We’re just so lucky to have free museum entry so make the most of it
14. Have a doona day
It’s so much fun to stay in bed all day every now and then. Not to mention cheap! Watch Netflix, read a book, take lots of naps. Wear your cosiest pyjamas and try one of those homemade face masks I mentioned above.
If you’re usually a very busy person, giving yourself permission to stay in bed can be one of the nicest and thriftiest forms of self care.
15. Start learning a language
Try a free app like Duolingo.
16. Plan your dream holiday
It’s fun to have a dream trip planned, even if you can’t afford it right now. It might even motivate you to start that side hustle and save up for it!
17. Do a free yoga video on YouTube
A good channel is Yoga With Adriene. Her videos are very accessible for beginners. You don’t need a yoga mat or fancy yoga clothes – just dive in!
18. Call someone for a chat
I bet you have a relative or friend who would love to hear from you.
19. Attend a free local event
There are always events happening somewhere close for most of us. Check the local paper or online to find out what’s happening.
20. Write a letter to a friend who lives far away
Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the post?
21. Make a vision board
This is really motivational, especially if you’re working on a side project (or two or three…) like me. Write down your goals, then make make a dream board on Pinterest, or the old fashioned way, cutting pictures out of magazines to hang over your desk! You get to spend a quiet weekend daydreaming and then the next few months making your dream reality
22. Go for a picnic or a BBQ
If it’s raining, have it on the floor at home. Don’t buy anything though – you’ll have to use what you’ve got at home!
23. People watch
Find a nice bench somewhere busy and watch the world go by.
24. Visit an elderly relative or neighbour
They’ll be happy, you’ll be happy, and you might even get a free meal out of it
25. Learn to meditate
Scientists are clear about the benefits of meditation for our health, mood and relationships. A no-spend challenge is the perfect time to learn – especially if you’re looking for things to do on your own on the weekend.
Again, YouTube to the rescue with plenty of guided mediation videos for beginners. There are also free apps like Insight Timer that have ambient sounds to help you focus.
26. Bake a cake
If you already have some basic ingredients in, simple cakes are really cheap to make.
This might take some organising, but it’ll be worth it. See if there’s a local one-off event that needs some help, or maybe there’s an animal shelter near you that needs dog walkers?
28. Film night at home
Pop your own popcorn – it’s super cheap!
29. Do some photography
Go down to your local park and get some close ups of the flowers and plants or go round the city and take some interesting shots of the local buildings. You’ll find plenty of ideas for photos on the internet.
30. Clear out your wardrobe, a cupboard or a room
It feels fantastic to clear things out and tidy them up. I’m a huge fan of decluttering, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy moving house so often: it’s the perfect opportunity to declutter.
You can even sell what you decide to get rid of to earn some extra cash!
31. Have a garage sale
Once you’ve got that wardrobe/cupboard/room tidy, hold a garage sale to earn some cash from your castoffs.
32. Home karaoke
You don’t need fancy mics or software, just have a good old singsong at home! There are loads of karaoke videos on YouTube or you can get the old Sing Star out and warble along to that.
33. Make some artwork
This could be a good group activity with your family or friends.
34. Listen to podcasts
I’ve only started getting into podcasts recently, but they are great for staying entertained and/or educating while doing less fun things (housework/driving).
35. Learn some constellations, then go out and stargaze
Go out at night and see what you can spot. There are some great apps that show you what to look for or you could borrow a book from the library!
How about you? Do you have any favourite free things to do? Can you recommend any activities to do with no money? Let me know in the comments!
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