There are plenty of ways to have fun while still managing to save money. But then again, there are also a lot of things you can do if you want to spend money – go to the movies, go out to eat or drink, go to a concert, or find an event around town. We often forget about all the fun things to do that are absolutely FREE. If you are craving something fun or different to do, but also trying to save money at the same time, take a peek at my list below to find some good ideas to have fun without spending a lot.
I’ve put together a list of random things that you can do for free (or at a very low cost). There are things you can do by yourself or things you can do with friends and family or even things you can do with people you don’t know. There are so many options out there, this list is definitely not all-inclusive.
If you have ideas of things you like to do for free, please share them in the comments below.
Spark Your Creativity
- Make a vision board. Scavenge around your house to find: a piece of cardboard (this will be your ‘board’ to attach things to), scissors, glue or tape, old magazines and newspapers, junk mail, and various other things you can cut out. Go through what you’ve gathered to find pictures, words, and phrases of things that truly inspire you. Here’s a good site that takes you step by step through creating your own vision board.
- Identify personal and professional goals for the short and long term. Write them down!
- Think of where you want to be in 5 years and write down intentional steps on getting there.
- Write your dream bio. Write about yourself in the third-person including everything that you want to be known for. It’s a neat way to organize your aspirations.
- Switch up decorations in your house. It’s a great way to “redecorate” on the cheap and can give your home a new feel.
- Find DIY (do-it-yourself) projects on YouTube or Pinterest. Pinterest can be a great resource for finding inexpensive things you can do yourself like crafting, making furniture or decorations, or even making gifts for others.
- Draw, paint, or discover a new craft. Find you inner creative self.
- E-mail old friends, roommates, classmates, family members, and acquaintances to catch up.
- Sit and talk with your spouse, roommate, friend, or kid.
- Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in awhile.
- Ask a friend over for drinks or to watch a movie. It’s definitely cheaper than going out for drinks and a movie, and a lot more comfortable too!
- Search on meetup.com for groups in your local area that share your interests. You can find anything from active groups like hiking and running to book clubs, quilting, and games, as well as very socially dynamic groups.
- Find a community sports league to join. If you can’t find the exercise group you are interested in on meetup.com, try your local community to see if there are any rec leagues you can join.
- Do a puzzle. I love doing jigsaw puzzles, they provide hours of entertainment and I can pick them up at my local thrift shop for 1 or 2 bucks. I also enjoy re-doing some of the ones I already have.
- Go for a walk or run. If you have a 4-legged companion, grab their leash and head out the door for a quick walk around the block.
- Try yoga. If you have a gym membership, you may find a class or two. Otherwise, check out some YouTube videos and find your nirvana. Namaste!
- If yoga isn’t your thing, find a free fitness workout on YouTube.
- Meditate. Enjoy the silence and do nothing. It helps clear your mind and will help make you more productive.
- Give yourself a manicure or pedicure. Every other week, I like to take the time to trim, cut and paint my toenails. It’s how I pamper myself without spending any money.
- Practice a new hairdo or make-up look. You can find lots of tutorials on YouTube!
- Take a power nap. Research shows that a 10 minute nap can increase your energy and make you more productive.
- Give your dog a bath. There’s nothing better than snuggling with your clean best friend.
- Teach your pet a new trick. This can be fun and rewarding for both of you – it’s also a great way to bond with your pet. (And yes, cats can learn tricks too!)
- Go to a free museum, art show, or art festival. Every First Friday in Phoenix, all the art museums stay open late and offer free admission.
- Read. Books are my passion, so curling up with a good book is my idea of a fun afternoon.
- Watch a documentary to increase your knowledge and possibly gain a new perspective. Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube all have great documentaries.
- Write in a journal. Write a song or poem. You can be creative or just take some time to write down your thoughts and feelings.
- Count your blessings. Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
- Do a crossword puzzle. You can find lots of free puzzles online like the ones at Dictionary.com.
- Listen to your favorite music. While you’re at it, get a little exercise and dance around. You will be surprised at how much it increases your energy and happiness.
- Color in a coloring book. Get out your crayons or colored pencils and find a fun coloring book from the dollar store. Coloring has been found to be therapeutic and relaxing.
- Go hiking, biking, or outdoor exploring. In Phoenix, there is an abundance of hiking trails, some within easy walking distance of your house so you don’t even have to get out of your car.
Explore Your Community
- Visit your local library. Most people don’t realize how much the library has to offer. They obviously have lots and lots of books, but you can also find DVD’s, CD’s audio books, events and classes. Phoenix’s library website also has ebooks you can borrow, music you can download, as well as many different resources.
- Go to a book signing or book reading. A lot of local bookstores have free events every week. In Phoenix, The Poisoned Pen is famous for hosting bestselling authors. If you love to read and want to meet your favorite author, this is a great opportunity. Obviously they want you to buy their book, but for us frugal folks, you can just go to meet them and hear them talk about their book.
- Go to a farmer’s market. You don’t have to buy anything, but you can often find the prices on local, seasonal produce cheaper at a lot of farmer’s markets.
- Volunteer! Looks for local organizations online that spark your interest. A local animal shelter, youth groups, churches, and schools are often always looking for people to volunteer, especially if they have events coming up.
- Find free things to do around town. For example -Check out stuff in Phoenix here. It seems like every weekend there is an event, festival or concert. You can join groups on Facebook that you are interested in to be notified of events near you. One word of caution – the events often offer lots of things to buy – souvenirs, food, drinks – so plan ahead and bring your own drinks and snacks, and if you are going to spend a little money – give yourself a budget!
There are so many choices of things you can do for free, whether you are looking for something do to solo or looking for something to do with other people. I find that most people don’t bother to find something to do for free since spending money is so much easier. I admit that trying finding the free stuff may be more difficult, and you may have to get a little creative. Although, when your crazy life settles down for a few minutes and you are looking for something to do, look no further – so bookmark this page to come back for ideas!