101 Things To Do Instead Of Spending Money


101 Things To Do Instead Of Spending Money

1. Get Up Early and Watch the Sunrise with a Cup of Coffee

There is a lot that happens in the morning before you get out of bed.   Make a point to get up early, make yourself a cup of coffee and sit outside and watch the sunrise in the morning.  You just might hear a few birds welcoming you to today.

2. Watch a Movie with That Special Someone

You already have a thousand channels on cable, Netflix or Hulu, why not use it?   Pop some microwave popcorn, curl up on the couch and spend some special time cuddling with that special someone.

3. Visit a Local Beach for a Walk

There is nothing better than a nice warm spring or summer day, heading down to the local beach to take in the views by the water as you sink your feet into that wonderful sandy beach.  Maybe you could pack a picnic and make a day of it.   In Ohio, even though we are near a coastal town, we have numerous lakes that have public beaches and hiking trails.

4. Go on an Adventure by taking a Hike

No matter where you live in the country, there should be multiple options for different hiking trails within a short drive of your home.      Not only are you getting fit, but you are also taking in the fresh air from being in nature and seeing it’s beauty.

5. Dive into your Pantry or Freezer and Cook a New Recipe

If your pantry and freezer is anything like ours, we have a little bit of this and a little bit of that left over from many previous grocery runs that we just over bought a thing or two each time.   Piece together the ingredients you have and search the web for a new recipe that you can make from scratch.

6. Sign Up for a Free Class

If you check into local groups within your community, usually you will find classes or groups that you can sign up for and be a part of.   Whether it be a local church group or the community board game club, every community if you look hard enough will have a group of like minded people.  Try out Meet Up to see if you have local groups near you.

7. Read a Book or Visit a Library

I know it’s not the IN thing to do these days, but your local public library is filled with great books that are yours for the taking.   Go immerse yourself in stories of dungeon’s and dragons or Romeo and Juliet.

8. Adopt a Minimalist Lifestyle

Part of becoming a minimalist is to begin the purge one closet and storage unit at a time.   This starts now!  GO!     Pick a closet and go in head first and rid yourself of everything you don’t need and especially if you haven’t used the item in the past year.   Give it away, donate it or if it’s just trash recycle it or toss it.   This stuff is weighing you down.

9. Rearrange your Furniture

Sometimes you just need a change in life to give you a different perspective on life.    Take a room and give it a completely different look by rearranging your furniture.

10. Build Music Playlists on Spotify

If you love music, pop your headphones on and dive into random playlists on a search to build your own unique playlists.   I often do this in anticipation of events that I might need this playlist for in the future, whether it be a party or dinner background music with friends or family.

11. Break out the Board Games

Grab that special someone or a group of friends and have a board game night.   Whoever wins gets to pick the next game you play.

12. Go Swimming

From local fresh water lakes to neighborhood pools, taking a dip in a pool can be fun and refreshing with that special someone or friends.   If it’s cold outside, seek out a local indoor pool.

13. Visit a local Park or Playground

Surface your inner child and be young again at your local park or playground.   Climb the monkey bars, slide down the slide and just be carefree and silly again with that special someone.

14. Lay out and Sunbathe

Put your earbuds in your ears and throw the towel down in your back yard and enjoy the heat of the sun on your skin.   Maybe you can get a tan while you are at it.   Be sure to put on sun screen!

15. Watch your favorite TV Shows or Movies on Netflix, Hulu or you can pick up DVDs from your local library for free

Although Netflix and Hulu are filled with TV Shows and Movies, your local library also generally has a vast library of free DVDs that you can rent for a period of time.

16. Try on New Makeup or Try a New Hairstyle

Break out all your makeup and try out that new hairstyle that you have been wanting to see if you can pull off.   Maybe match it up with a nice bath, candles, music and some Epsom salts.

17. Paint your nails

Pamper yourself and give yourself your own manicure.

18. Go See the Sights

Take a walk through your local city and see the areas that make your city special.

19. Sing

If you like to sing, lock yourself in your room, turn up your favorite tune and let it rip.   Why not, no one is around right?

20. Learn a New Language

Just search YouTube for “How to speak French” or “How to speak Spanish” or “How to speak XYZ” and you will be presented with oodles or resources to learn your next favorite language.   If your in a hurry, YouTube will also have resources to learn a language quick.   For example, the first result back for french is “Learn French in 5 Days”.

21. Do some Gardening

There is nothing more zen like for me than going out in the back yard with nothing but sounds of the birds, and working in the garden.  I love it and you don’t need to spend money if you are frugal and thrifty about it.

22. Give you pet some lovin and take them on a walk or hike

Not only will it give you some much needed exercise, but your pet will love you even more for giving them some time to run and play.   Take them to the park or take them around the block, they don’t care.  Your pet just loves that you are spending time with them.

23. Go on a bike ride

We have what’s called the tow path near us.  The tow path is a technology of the 1800’s where they built canals to transport goods from the Great Lakes to inland towns.   Along side of the canal they created flat pathways for horses to tow the boats down the canal creating a network of transportation waterways.

Unfortunately, about the time they completed these projects the railroads have come along and made them irrelevant.   Fast forward to today and we have hundreds of miles of flat pathways through town and country.   You will find thousands of bikers on any given Saturday making their way through this nature woven land on a bike.

It’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours without spending a dime and you get some exercise on top of it.

24. Paint or Draw Something

Grab some paper and give your creative talents a run.   If you think you can’t draw, head over to YouTube and search for “Learn how to sketch” and you will find ample instructions on how to learn to perfect sketching.

Remember Bob Ross, the painter guy with the afro, well YouTube has plenty of cutting edge artists of today that you can learn from.   Give it a try!

25. Become a Photographer

Grab your best camera that you have at home and hit the run and see what you can find to inspire you.   Whether it be nature, an art museum or just random people, there is a photo to be captured in every walk of life.   Showcase your work online and seek feedback from friends.   Maybe it could even lead to paying gigs if you get good at it.

26. Go to a Museum for the day

In my neck of the woods, we have several museums that are completely free to visit.    Check your local community and see what your town has to offer you for free.  Maybe you will learn something you never knew!

27. Rest Up and Take a Nap

Sometimes you just need to curl up in bed, close the blinds, turn on the cool air and take a nap.   It’s ok, I give you permission to treat yourself to a nap.   Maybe after you wake up, you will be more productive anyways.

28 . Learn a Musical Instrument

I keep mentioning YouTube, but it is an untapped massive resource of knowledge just waiting for you to sink into it.   If you have a musical instrument at home just search “Learn how to play a XYZ” and you will find vast resources from talented individuals on how to learn that instrument like the back of your hand.

Next time your sitting around that bon fire, whip out that guitar and impress your friends with your newly founded skill.

29. Go Clean Out and Wash Your Car

If your anything like me, my car doesn’t stay clean for long.   Turn on some tunes and go out into your driveway and give that car of yours some love.  It doesn’t cost anything other than your time and then you will feel organized and ready for the world when you step back into that car the next time.

30. Volunteer

What better mark that you can make on the world other than to give your time to one another.   Go to your local church, local non profit organization or your local food bank and ask them what you could do to help them out!  Get involved and make your community a better place.

31. Go Visit a Friend

No matter how busy you are in life, there is always time to go spend some quality time with friends.   Just say to yourself that this weekend, you are going to call up a friend that you haven’t seen in awhile and tell them you were just going to stop by to see how you were you doing.

32. Do Laundry

This is a never ending task at our house and I know, it’s pretty boring.   Bottom line, it has to be done so go get going and get it done!   You will feel great when you get it all done and can put your feet up and relax.

34. Organize the pantry, fridge or closet

Although I’m not a fan of beginning a project like this, but once you get going it never takes as long as you thought and once your done you can sit back and relax knowing that it’s clean, clean, clean.

35. Mow the Lawn

Now that you pantry is clean, it’s time to clean up that yard by mowing it.   Face it, it needs to be done and you will have a beautiful lawn to come home to.

34. Paint Pots for the Garden

Now that you cleaned up your yard, it’s time to get creative and decorate those pots for the flowers.   If it’s winter plant some flowers in your home.   If it’s summer time, plant some outdoors and creative an outdoor oasis for you.

35. Arts and Crafts

Doing arts and crafts has always been a huge activity for our family when we need something to do.   We always keep a few things in the basement that we can break out when we want to be crafty one day.

36. Put together a Garage Sale

This is your opportunity to get rid of some things you don’t use in your home and on top of it, make some money.   It takes some work to put this together, but when your done you have some cash in your pocket.

37. Bake some cookies

Surprisingly you don’t need many ingredients to make some basic cookies from scratch.   Flour, Water, Sugar and a few other things and you have yourself some yummy cookies.   You can look up a basic recipe by just searching Google.

38. Organize Your Recipes

For years, we kept scraps of paper in a big dish up in our cabinet that held some of our families richest recipes.

One day, I grabbed an old binder and some spare plastic sheet inserts and put all those scraps of papers in one book organized from cover to cover.

It is now our price possession of some of the best recipes that have been collected from pot lucks and family gatherings over decades.

39. Grab a Basketball to Shoot Hoops

If your driveway doesn’t already have a basketball hoop sitting in it, then travel down to the local community basketball hoop to shoot some hoops.   Grab a friend while your at it and play a game of one on one of horse.

40. Write Bucket Lists

It’s fun to research, sort out and prioritize those things that you want to get done in life.   Whether that be places that you want to travel, DIY things you want to do around the house, or goals that you want to achieve.    This can be a tremendous life time discovery session for you to sort out where you have been and where you are heading in life.

41. Run

Get some exercise and take a run around the neighborhood.

42. Take a shower and Sing!

There is nothing better than singing in the shower, just be sure no one is home before you do it!   Could be embarrassing as you are belting out the latest song!  Ha!

43. Take a Bath

My bath is my sanctuary.  Light some candles, turn on some music and soak all that stress away in those bubbles.

44. Organize Your Photos

Whether they be old photos from your parents or the latest and greatest, organizing your photos will make sure you know what you have and where it’s all at.  Be sure it’s all backed up too!

45. Clean up your email

Get rid of all the junk, unsubscribe from all those marketers and get your email in tip top shape.

46. Write a letter to a friend

There is nothing better than receiving a hand written letter from a friend out of the blue.   Take the time to show your appreciation for a friend and drop them a letter in the mail.

47. Go Shopping

Visit your local mall and go shopping, just don’t buy anything.     It’s still fun to see what new things that they have to offer none the less.

48. Go on a Picnic

You have to eat anyways, why not make a day of it and pack a picnic and a blanket, maybe with a good book, and go out in the park or go on a hike, lay down your blanket and have a picnic.

49 Listen to free Podcasts

If you don’t dive into Podcasts on a regular basis, you are seriously missing out.   Almost every topic imaginable is covered and the best of it all, is that they are free!   You may just learn something you never knew before.

50. Complete a Puzzle

Puzzles are both a challenge, fun and maybe even some mild form of meditation.   You can take an easy one or one of those thousand piece masterpieces.   Either way, it’s a free way to have some fun and challenge yourself.

51. Plan Your Next Big Trip

I don’t know about you, but I start planning, planning and planning my next big trip pretty much right after I get back from my last trip.   I love to research the world and find out really cool places to go.   It’s fun to me to see what there is to see and do in this great big world.

52. Break Out The Pack Of Cards

The sheer number of games that you can play with a simple pack of cards is astonishing.   It’s a never ending realm of game play that everyone needs to have on hand.

I remember growing up, this was always what my grandparents turned to for entertainment.   I learned a lot from them over thousands of games of card play over the years.

53. Organize Your Kitchen

Over time and for whatever reason, our kitchen becomes disorganized and needs to be cleaned out.    From the extra cups that seem to find their way into the cabinet to the pot that is on it’s last leg and just needs to be tossed.    This is your opportunity to de-clutter and free yourself of the mess.

54. Listen to Music

As I write this, I am watching one of the episodes of Britain’s Got Talent on YouTube where Kathleen Jenkins bolts out her awesome audition.   I LOVE listening to music, especially those who have tremendous talent.   You can listen to music on YouTube, Spotify and many other platforms.

As a project, you can sign up to Spotify and work on organizing your own playlists that are special to you.  It’s a fun process.

55. Video Games

For those that like video games, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you to play video games.   You already spent money on the console, you might as well use it.    Alternatively, try breaking out one of your old consoles and see if you can still beat the games you used to play years ago.

I love breaking out the older Super Mario Brothers to see if I how quick I can beat the game now.

56.  Gaze up into the sky and watch the stars go by

If it’s dark outside, I absolutely love on a nice warm summer day, taking a blanket out in the back yard, laying on my back and watching the stars go by.   It’s one of the most peaceful things I do.

57. Create a To Do List in Priority

This is the best thing to do when you are trying to stay organized and get things done.  Create a list of things that need to get done, then reorganize the list to tackle the highest priority item first.   Take each one and knock them off of your list one at a time.

58. Edit or Create Your Resume

Even if you have a stable job, it’s important to make sure you have a resume and that you continue to update it.  As time goes on, it’s important to take notes on your accomplishments so you have all the facts straight when you go for your next interview.

59. Find at least 5 new apps on your Phone

Your phone is a vast resource with hundreds of thousands of applications at your fingertips.   Sit down and see if you can download at least 5 new apps that are useful to you and make your life better.

60. Make Origami

Find some paper with YouTube and make yourself some awesome Origami creations.   It’s fun to show your friends what you cane make.

61. Make a Handcrafted Card for a Loved One

Take a piece of paper and create a greeting card for a loved one and then send it to them.   They will appreciate this 10 times more than a text or email.

62. Build a Big Bonfire

Take some friends out back and build the biggest bonfire that you can with the wood that you can find.  (Without burning anything down of course)    Take some tunes with you and a few drinks and enjoy talking about old stories over the crackling of burning wood under the stars.

63. Have a Potluck

You have to eat anyways, so why not have some friends bring over their favorite dish and you all enjoy some new food together over conversation together.

64. Watch Old Home Movies

I have videos upon videos that have captured various moments through out my life.   I hardly ever go back and look through them, however they are treasure troves of memories that are long gone that can be brought back to the surface in a moment.   Takes a look through your archive and see what treasures you find.

65. Replace Light Bulbs

If your like me, we seemingly always have a burnt out bulb or two in the house.   Take a moment and walk around your house and make sure all lights are lit.   If not, get a replacement bulb in there.    You may consider converting over to LED lights that take less energy, saving you money over time, reducing the carbon imprint on the world and they also generally last longer.

66. Organize Your Makeup

Dig into your makeup drawer and pull everything out of it.   Throw away items that are empty or no longer used.   Put everything back into the drawer or make up bag or container in a way that you can pull items in and out without the storage location becoming a mess in the future.

67. Pick Some Flowers

Go out in your back yard or go on a search in the local forest and pick some flowers to put in a vase in your house.

68. Go Social

Hop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or one of the other social platforms.    Enhance your profile and join in with your friends and colleagues in discussion.

69. Check Out New Ideas On Pinterest

Pinterest has become an awesome platform to find new ideas and learn about them, relating to a topic that is near and dear to you.

70. Go to a Farmer’s Market

Check out all the fresh product and other wares that the local farmers are selling in your community.   The local farmer’s market near us brings in local musicians so it’s fun on a Saturday afternoon to sit under the trees and the people and listen to some free local music.  See what your local community has to offer.

71. Go Downtown and Explore

No matter what area of the country your in, there is always a major city within a short drive.   Go downtown and check out what your local city has to offer.   Do some people watching, take in the local sights and check in at all the free locations that your city has to offer.

72. Go Fishing

As a kid I used to go fishing and camping with my family almost every weekend.   Not only is it a relaxing and fun activity, it also can provide you with a free meal.

73. Make Some S’Mores

If your like me, I always have some spare graham crackers, marshmallows and of course you can’t forget chocolate in my pantry.   If it’s in the winter, make them in your microwave.   If it’s in the summer, go out in the back yard and make some over an open wood fire.  The best!

74. Go Fly a Kite

How fun to go out in the park with a blanket, turn on some tunes and go fly a kite in the spring or summer weather.

75. Learn How to Play Tennis

Grab some rackets or borrow some from a friend and go find your local tennis courts that allow you to play for free.   For this game, you will need to take a friend with you to hit some balls back and forth.

76. Go for an Open Drive

I don’t do this often, but I have found some really neat areas of the country when we have just picked a direction and started driving in a particular direction.    It doesn’t take much except a little gas in the tank to pull it off and you might just find something new.

77. Renew and Upcycle your Old Jeans and Make Shorts

Do you have a bunch of old jeans in your closet that your not sure what to do with.   Renew and up-cycle them by cutting them off and giving them new life as shorts.

78. Turn on the Radio

Check out your favorite local radio station.   If you don’t have any good radio stations, check out iHeartRadio and find a good national radio station to listen to.

79.  Get Your Frisbee Out

Go outside and play Frisbee with your dog or a friend, don’t matter.    Maybe take in your local free Frisbee golf course.

80. Clean out your Garage

Face it, your garage is a mess and needs to be cleaned out.    Get out there and make it pristine, get rid of stuff you don’t need and live a more organized life.

81.  Go Back Yard Camping

Can’t afford to do some camping in a campground, well just take that tent and supplies and just take it out in your backyard.   Build a campfire and cook up some S’Mores.

82. Daydream

After a long day of work, I often go out on the back deck and just daydream with only the birds chirping in the distance.   It’s a wonderful place to be to meditate and relax.

83. Concerts in the Park

There is about a dozen communities within a short drive of our home that hold free concerts in the park.   Just bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a band play great music into the evening.   Sometimes, there is even fireworks afterwards.

84. Write up some New Life Goals

Take some time to think through what you want to do with the next 10 years or your life, or maybe the rest of your life.   Write them down on paper and determine the smaller steps that will help get you there and start marching toward those goals.

85. Go Dancing

So clubs don’t usually cost money unless you spend money there.   A lot of clubs will let you in for free with the anticipation that you buy food and drinks.   Here’s an idea, just go there to dance and listen to music.

86. Get involved in sports in your Community

Every community has a group of people who love to play sports even if it’s for casual fun.   Join the local software team or put a group of friends together for a kick ball or soccer game.

87. Organize a neighborhood Wine and Appetizer Party

This can be fun if you get enough of your neighbors in on the fun.    Everyone that participates must host all the neighbors at their house to taste their favorite bottle of wine paired with their favorite appetizer.   When you are done with the bottle of wine, all neighbors must move on to the next house where the next bottle of wine is being chilled.

88. Become a YouTube Star

Grab a video camera and some free video editing software and you are in the TV business.    Not only can you have fun doing it, if you are creative enough you could make some cash from this as well.   Some people are making millions off their YouTube channel.

89. Make a Time Capsule

How fun would it be for your future self or maybe your kids to dig up a time capsule that you buried some 50 years into the future.    Take some small items that have meaning in your life, that represent you and seal it up in a capsule that will last a long time.   Go bury it and put some type of instructions some where on where the time capsule is buried.

90. Be romantic with Your Partner

I won’t go into any more details here, but you know what I mean.   It doesn’t cost anything, just saying …

91. Venture Out on some GeoCaching

Have you ever been?   It’s so much fun to go on a hunt for that next geocache.   They even make apps that help you find your next geocache.   Give it a run!

92. Build Paper Airplanes

I used to have fun doing this as a kid.   Take some plain paper and see who can make the airplane fly the farthest across the room.

93. Build a Fort

Be a kid again and go take all the pillows, cushions and blankets from your home and build the biggest fort that you possibly can.    Once it’s build curl up in there with a good book and a flash light.

94. Phone a Friend

Reach into your contacts list and dial a friend that you haven’t talked to in awhile and see how they are doing.   See if there is anything that you can do to help them out.   See if they would be interested in meeting up at some point to chat.

95. Run Through the Water Sprinkler

Be a kid again and turn on the sprinkler and go get soaked out in the warm sun.

96. Learn a New Magic Card Trick

YouTube is filled with people willing to teach you their next magic card trick.   Grab your pack of cards and hop on to YouTube to learn your next magic trick to impress your friends.

97. Clip Coupons

Grab your local newspaper or mail circular and clip all the coupons you can find.     It’s a great way to save a few dollars at the store.

98. Read Your Local Newspaper

If your town is like my town, we still have a free newspaper that circulates weekly.   Pick up the latest copy and read through to see what’s happening in your town.

99. Join a local Book Club

If you like reading, you might want to investigate if your community has a local book club.  If not, then start one up.   Book clubs are a great way to meet new people where you all read the same book for a week and then you meet up and discuss it all as a group.   A great place to start is at your local library.

100. Read Wikipedia

I find myself picking a topic that I want to know more about and hopping on Wikipedia to study the vast archives on the topic.  I find myself starting in one topic area and ending up in a completely different section, not realizing an hour has passed.

101. Start Writing Content for a Blog

If you ever wanted to start a blog, now is your time.   Getting your topic in order and writing some initial content is something that you could get started on now with nothing more than some time, a few ideas and a computer with Microsoft Word installed.   Get started.     If you want some more information on how I started this blog, check out my 4 simple steps to get started.


Which ideas on this list have you tried?   What ideas are we missing?   Put them in the comments below…



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