Saving money or trying to cut back on your spending isn’t exactly a fun task. It means going without and even if it does make you happier in the long run, no-one particularly looks forward to the times when they have to be frugal. However, there are ways to live entirely for free, even if this is only for a short term basis. The concept of the no-spend weekend has been around for a while, and it’s a lifestyle change that everyone should try out at some point, whether it’s to save money or simply to shake things up a little bit. To help get the ball rolling here are our ideas of things you could do on your very own no-spend weekend.
No-spend active activities
1) Go walking or have a bike ride
Exploring your local surroundings is free and a great way to get some exercise and see some beautiful scenery all at the same time. Though this is weather dependent, a crisp winter walk can be just as enjoyable as a summery stroll, so don’t discount this as an option when it gets a bit colder.
2) Be a tourist in your own town
Wherever you live, there’s bound to be some local history or natural scenery that’s worth seeing. Look online to discover what points of local interest you should be making the most of and plan a route that includes them in your walk. You can then educate your family or friends by teaching them about the area they live in and what stories it can tell.
3) Work out
You don’t have to have a gym membership to break a sweat. Find a free workout plan or video online and join in, or do some yoga poses to help get your muscles flexible and healthy.
4) Look after the family pets
If your pets are in need of some good grooming or are just a little bored, spend some time with them. Take them for a long walk, crack out their toys or just give them a good belly rub. Cleaning out cages and enclosures is a great way to pass some time, too!
5) Try geocaching
Geocaching is a sort of treasure hunt whereby you try to discover items that other people have left behind, and leave something of your own in its place. It’s a great way to get everyone outside together. You can check out your nearest geocache by looking online.
6) Take a dip
If you’re fortunate enough to have a free community pool then take advantage of it. If not, there could be some local wild swimming locations you’ve never heard about before now.
7) Camp under the stars
It’s free to camp in your back garden so make the most of it when the weather is warm enough and pitch a tent under the stars. You can spend the evening star-gazing, telling ghost stories and melting marshmallows.
8) Try a board game.
There are tons of board games to choose from, and chances are there are a few different options gathering dust in your home. Get them out and start competing for the title of ‘board game champion’.
9) Attend a local free event
A quick check online should throw up a few things that are going on in your neighbourhood, whether it’s a street festival, parade, charity event or free band. Make the most of the free entertainment and take the whole family.
10) Play with your children
It’s easy to take your children to the park and sit on the bench as they play but for some real bonding time why not take them to the park and join them too? You could play tag, or take a ball and have a kick about. If the weather isn’t suitable for this try playing hide and seek at home or building a fort and being the monster that tries to get inside it.
11) Make some time for family and friends
It can be hard to find time for family or friends, especially if you work full-time, live far away or have a family of your own to manage. Make your no-spend weekend the time you reach out, even if it’s just over the phone.
12) Amateur Gymnastics
Challenge your children to some amateur gymnastics at home and teach them some fun moves that will have them giggling in no time. Try forward rolls, cartwheels and handstands to get the ball rolling.
13) Make a time capsule
Get your children to collect a few keepsakes they don’t mind parting with and write notes to your older selves. Put it all in a sealable container, wrap it up and write the date the date it can be opened on it. It’ll be a lovely thing to open once you, and your children are a little older.
14) Become a photographer
Nearly everyone owns a smartphone nowadays, and with their high-quality cameras, it’s easy to take great photographs. Spend some time taking family portraits to have in your home or take some of local scenery and wildlife. If they’re good enough, you could even upload them to image sharing sites for other people to use, too.
Looking for something creative to do? Writing is a great hobby and can help to expand your vocabulary. You could start with poetry, begin a blog or write stories for your children.
16) Draw and paint
Make some artwork for your home or just entertain the children with some messy fun. Take care to lay down some newspaper to avoid stains.
17) Make greeting cards
Get crafty and prepare in advance for any upcoming birthdays or holidays. It’ll work out a lot cheaper than buying store-bought cards and hand-made cards are so much more meaningful.
Cultural weekend fun
18) Visit local museums
We’re fortunate enough to have a lot of free museums throughout the UK so when it comes to a no-spend weekend; these places should be the top of your list. Even if the nearest museum is a tiny affair, it’s an interesting thing to do for an hour.
19) Get cultured at your local art gallery
Even if you don’t have a massive gallery nearby there’s a good chance there’s a local community college that shows homegrown talent. Make the most of it and expand your mind for absolutely no cost whatsoever.
More adult things to do
20) Movie marathon
Make your sofa your home for the weekend and have a good old-fashioned movie marathon. If you have a subscription to a service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, then make the most of it. If not, you can always arrange to borrow some DVDs from some friends or re-watch some of your old favourites.
21) Chill out in a local park
Relaxing in nature is incredibly restorative, but not everyone has a garden to stretch out in. Take a blanket and a good book and make the most of local green spaces.
22) Read, read, read
Give your imagination some exercise by reading a book that grabs your fancy. If you’re like most people, there are probably a few books lying around at home that you’ve still not gotten around to reading. You could make a trip to your local library and make the most out of the free services that are offered there. If you’re a slow reader simply make sure you renew the return date on your borrowed book before it runs out, so you don’t incur any fees.
23) Go window shopping
Shopping can be fun, but it can also be stressful once the costs of the day start to rack up. Have a no-spend approach to shopping and simply go and see what pretty things are in store. This can be handy if there are upcoming birthdays you have to buy for, in which case you can spend the day comparing prices for things across different shops so you can bag a bargain later.
24) Do some DIY
If there’s some DIY you’ve been meaning to do, then now’s the time to finally get round to doing it!
25) De-clutter your home
Take the opportunity a no-spend weekend presents to have a good clear-out and maybe think about listing some of your stuff on some selling sites for quick money that’s hassle free.
26) Do some gardening
If the weather’s fit, spend some time in the sun weeding, mowing the grass and re-potting plants. Not got a garden? Then start a herb garden or a flower basket for easy gardener points.
27) Deep clean your house
Clean your windows, scrub that grout and de-scale the kettle; do all the little jobs that will make your home feel brand new again.
28) Bake your heart out
Baking doesn’t have to be expensive, and most people have the basic ingredients needed to create a simple sponge cake. Take a look at what you have in your cupboard and then search online to see what you could make. For example, if you’d like to make bread but have no yeast, you should be able to find a yeast-less bread recipe on the internet.
29) Attend your local farmer’s market
Most markets run on a Sunday which makes them the perfect thing to attend when you’re trying to live for free. Avoid the temptation to buy something and simply make the most of the free samples. If you find something you love, you can go back the next week and buy it!
30) Play video games
Settle down in your comfiest clothes and prepare for a weekend of serious game-playing.
31) Cook something new
Rustle up a new dish with whatever is leftover in the fridge or cupboards. It doesn’t have to be restaurant worthy – just tasty!
Do something great and volunteer this weekend. Try local animal shelters or contact your local council to see where help may be needed. You could end up being responsible for something wonderful happening in your city.
33) Spend quality time with your partner
It’s important to spend time with your other half but rather than just sitting down in front of the TV, sit down with your partner and have a good heart to heart. Try asking them questions about things you never knew about, such as asking about a relative you never met, or what cartoon they were obsessed with when they were younger.
34) Pamper yourself
Take some me-time. Fill a washing-up bowl with warm water and soak your feet, apply a face mask, do any grooming you’ve been putting off and relax.
35) Teach yourself something new
There are plenty of lessons available for free online. Tons of language apps are free, and YouTube tutorials can go so far as to show you how to fix broken cars. If there’s always something you’ve wanted to know how to do, tackle it this weekend.
36) Learn something new with podcasts
There are loads of free podcasts available, and they’re incredibly informative, covering anything from health to comedy gold.
37) Complete your To-Do list
We all have a pesky to-do list with certain tasks that just never get done. Make it your mission to get these jobs completed before the weekend is up.
Take some time out and get your head down. It’s tempting to try and get loads of things done at the weekend, but this is supposed to be your time to relax and re-energise.
39) Learn a new skill
Always wanted to juggle, do the splits or be able to ride a bike? Have a go – you’ll be surprised how fast you learn when you have the time to set your mind to it.
40) Review your finances
It sounds boring- and is -but your future self will thank you when you know exactly where your money is going and why. Try to see whether you could be getting your utilities any cheaper or if you’re paying for anything you don’t really need to be.
41) Improve how employable you are
Bettering yourself is something employers approve of and being better at your job is a massive bonus for them, leading to promotion or bonuses for you. Read books, listen to podcasts or take some free classes on things that are related to your role, or an area you’d like to move into.
42) Assess your goals
Are you heading where you want to? Is there a job you’d like to do? Is there a certain place you’d like to go? Assess your wants and needs to see if you’re on the right track and what changes you can make if you’re not.
43) Learn about a different culture
It’s easy to get used to seeing things only from your point of view, but we could all do with expanding our minds every now and again. Attend the place of worship of a religion that is not your own and ask about their customs or simply watch a documentary on Youtube or another on-demand video service that follows life in different parts of the world.
44) Do puzzles
They could be in the back of a newspaper or online but doing puzzles is great for your brain and will help keep it ticking over.
45) Start a diary
A diary is a good way to keep track of things and to offload the stresses of the day. It’s also fun to look back and remind yourself of funny things you heard or what you were up to.
46) Catch up on the news
There are plenty of free newspapers around, but if you can’t get your hands on one, simply head to the internet for all the local, national and international news you can handle.
47) Massage out those knots
Massage away some stress in your pressure points or take the time to give your partner a massage that will have them relaxed and happy. If you’re lucky, they may return the favour!
Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. It can also make it easier to fall asleep. If you’re new to the practice, try to get used to it this weekend and then introduce it on a daily basis.
49) Have a soak
What are the weekends for if they’re not for lying in the bath for at least an hour? Fill up your tub with hot water and bubble bath and stay there until your skin is pruney.
50) Plan what you’re going to do with the money you’ve saved
So you’ve made it through the no-spend weekend without spending a penny but what are you going to do with the money you’ve saved? Plan it out now and make sure the money doesn’t go to waste on unimportant things.
Related: 4 Things To Cut Out To Save Money
We hope these tips help you to have a no-spend weekend! Let us know how you got on in the comments section.