By: Danielle Pietersen
Yes! Fun Can Be Free!
Having a tight budget can be hard and sometimes life just feels boring when you don’t have money to spend. Working hard to save or get out of debt is so worthwhile. The long-term benefits are obvious. Sacrificing and sticking to your budget now will help you reap big rewards in the future.
Sticking To Your Budget Can Be Fun
Sticking to your budget doesn’t have to be boring though! In fact, there are so many things you can do for free, that you probably won’t even be able to get to them all. Having fun on a budget is totally possible. Sometimes it takes a little more effort or creativity, but mostly it’s just a case of knowing where to look and being willing to do things a little differently.
There Are More Free Ways To Have Fun Than You Think
There are so many free fun activities that the list can actually be a little overwhelming! We’ve split the activities into categories to help you find fun things that meet your needs best. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. Hopefully looking at some of these fun ideas will help you come up with even more ideas of ways to have fun and save money.
Fun Ideas For The Whole family
Often, when we think of family fun, we immediately think of a whole day out or lavishing expensive gifts and treats on our children. Turns out though, kids actually love spending time with their special people far more than they love getting gifts and treats. If you’ve been spending big on your children, then it might take a few tries at these kinds of outings and activities for them to learn how lovely it can be to enjoy a simple task or time spent together.
Fun With Friends
Even a simple night at home with friends can end up being quite expensive. If you need to provide food and drinks for a crowd of friends the costs add up quickly. Try to take the focus off the meal and instead focus on ways that you can enjoy each other and the time that you can spend together. Fun activities are a great way to spend time together and still stick to your budget. Your friends will probably also be grateful that they can enjoy some fun for free.
Fun Things To Do At Home
You don’t always need to go out to have fun, read on for a list of fun and free things you can do without leaving your home. There are ideas for every season. Some are great to do alone and others are perfect ways to spend time with friends and family. The activities range from quick and simple to set up, to those which need considerable planning and set-up. Whatever your needs, you should be able to find something fun and free to do at home.
Read A Favorite Book Together
‘Together’ is a really important word when it comes to quality family time. Choose a book that you love and find a cozy spot to enjoy it together. Your kids will learn to love reading and as an added bonus, one study found that language ability (which can be built by reading to children) is an excellent predictor of academic success.
Al Fresco Dining At Home
Lay a table and eat your dinner in the backyard on warm summer evenings. The food doesn’t need to be fancy, and it’s a great way to slow down and spend time together. Good food, pleasant conversation, and an outdoor spot are all you need to pull a fun evening together. If you’re planning on inviting friends to join you, then making the meal a potluck is a fun way to keep the costs down. Just remember the bug spray!
Play Board Games
Chances are you have some board games lying around or stashed in the back of a cupboard. Dust them off and breathe new life into some old family favorites. Exchanging board games with friends will help keep the games fresh and the costs down.
Play Card Games
A deck of cards is dirt cheap and can provide hours of family fun. You can find the rules for almost any card game online, so don’t worry if you can’t remember your childhood favorites clearly.
Make Dinner Together
Preparing a meal together is a fun way to spend time with family and friends. Try something new that everyone can get involved in like making your own pizza or pasta from scratch. Ask people to bring an ingredient or topping to contribute to the meal, but spend time doing the actual cooking together so that you can enjoy one another’s company.
Play Parlour Games
Parlour games may seem a bit old-fashioned, but they used to be really popular – and for good reason! They’re usually fun and funny and most of them are pretty quick and easy to learn and set up. You can find the instructions for most of them online. You might know old favorites like charades, wink murder, and musical chairs, but there a loads more to be discovered and enjoyed. Parlour games are fun for the whole family and a great way to spend time together, build memories and grow relationships without spending any money.
Have A Picnic In The Living Room
A living-room-picnic is a great way to entertain kids when the weather is bad. Set up a blanket and some pillows and enjoy your meal together on the living room floor. You can just eat your regular food or make it even more special with some picnic food. English tea sandwiches are a fun and cheap dish to enjoy at your picnic.
Build A Blanket Fort
Whip out the blankets and washing pegs and build a blanket fort with the kids. If possible, build the fort in a spot you don’t need to walk through too often because your kids are not going to want to break it down in a hurry.
Host Movie Night
Turn watching TV into an event. Pick a movie or series that everyone can enjoy, grab some blankets and pillows and fill a big bowl with popcorn or your favorite, affordable snack. This is a great way to spend an evening with your kids, friends or even catch up on some quality alone-time.
Fun Ways To Get Out
There are so many fun things to do at home, but sometimes cabin fever strikes and you need to get out. You might think that going out always costs money, but there are actually some really fun outings that are totally free. The best part is you don’t need to clean the house after a fun day.
Visit The Library
A visit to the library can be a fun outing for the whole family. The real win is that you’ll also be able to take home books that provide hours of entertainment and joy, even after the outing is finished. Libraries don’t only have books, these days it’s not unusual for libraries to give you access to audiobooks, puzzles, and even toys. So be sure to find out what is available.
Most libraries run free educational programs for children which include activities like storytime and puppet shows. Your library should be able to provide you with a community calendar so that you will know which days and times the free, fun activities take place.
Play At The Park
Your local park can be a fun place to pass the time without spending money. You can spend time exploring, playing with a ball or even have a picnic. Some parks even screen free movies in the summer.
Visit A Museum
Most museums offer free entry or at least reduced prices on certain days. Sign up for their newsletters to have specials and deals delivered straight to your inbox.
Visit A Zoo or Aquarium
Zoos and Aquariums also often have specials or free days, just like museums. Be sure to stay up to date with any specials they’re running. Visiting on certain days can be limiting, but it’s often worth the substantial savings that can be made for a small inconvenience.
Plan A Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a fun activity for the kids that the whole family will enjoy. Plan it indoors for bad weather or all-around your neighborhood on a beautiful summer evening. It can take a while to put together so start planning this one well in advance.
If you can borrow some tackle, then fishing is a great, cheap activity. You can also buy simple tackle cheaply and the kids will love being outdoors with the family. Pack a simple picnic and a picnic blanket to make a whole-day-outing out of your fishing trip. Remember sunscreen and hats.
Go For A Bike Ride
A bike ride is a great solo or group activity. If you already have a bike, then it’s totally free.
Get Some Exercise
A walk, hike, or run are all great free activities that will improve your mood and your health. They’re perfect ways to pass time as an individual, great for a family activity, and a great way to bond with your friends.
Find An Income-Generating-Hobby
Most hobbies end up costing something, but finding a hobby that generates enough money to at least pay for itself is a great way to pass the time. It could even start to generate a small income if you do it right.
You could choose a hobby that’s just for you or include everyone and use your hobby as a way to spend time with friends and family. Kids are usually really keen to be included in your hobbies, especially if they feel that they are contributing something to the family.
Growing your own vegetables is fun and rewarding. You’ll need some money to get set up, but once your garden is producing, the money you save should cover the initial expense. Starting plants from seed and swapping plants and resources with other gardeners in your area is a great way to keep the costs down and get to know new people.
This sounds crazy, but if you do it right, shopping can be a fun way to pass the time and save money. Shopping specials and finding great deals on items you need to purchase anyway can add up to substantial savings.
Some people love clipping coupons and looking for deals, but if you prefer to save money with a little less effort, then you can make the process really easy by shopping online and using an app or service which finds coupons for you. Swagbucks is a great site to have a look at, they find and automatically apply coupons for you when you shop online and they’ll even reward you for simple tasks like filling in surveys and watching videos.
Another fun hobby for the whole family that will completely pay for itself in the long run. Find videos and instructions online and dive into a whole new world.
Learn to Forage
Foraging for food in wild spaces near you can be a fun hobby. You can learn to forage mushrooms, greens, and even fruit that grows in your region.
Find Unique Experiences
There are so many wonderful things that you can do for free. This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully, it’s given you some great ideas to get started on fun, free adventures. Let your imagination run free and chat with people who live in your area. There will almost certainly be free, fun things to do that are unique to your region or hometown.
Soak up the culture around you and get to know people in your area. You don’t need to travel to faraway places to experience the magic of people and culture. Try supporting a local sports team or getting together with friends to play a game in the park. Once you start looking for free activities and thinking about what sorts of things could be fun, you’ll find even more fun things to do.