Have you ever had a no spend weekend?
A no spend weekend is a mini spending freeze. It’s a great little detox for your spending habits.
It’s easy to do, but can have a big impact on your monthly budget.
More than that, it can force you to think creatively and try some new activities!
I know there are some real frugal heroes out there who can go a whole week, or even a year without spending.
If that sounds a bit extreme to you, no worries. Start with just one weekend. It can be surprisingly effective.
In fact, I think the occasional no spend weekend is one of the best money saving hacks there is.
A lot of us tend to spend far more money on the weekend than we do during the week. So commit to just two days without touching your wallet, and see how much you save!
As you start to build up a repertoire of fun things to do over the weekend without spending, it will get easier and easier.
If you’re wondering how to have fun with no money, here are a few ideas to get you started:
35 things to do on a no spend weekend
1. Play board games
I love board games but we never seem to make the time to play them! 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
Inspiring and educational. You could spend hours on TED and it’s completely free.
4. Play Pokémon Go
This will also get you outside and exercising! Just don’t get sucked into spending money on PokéCoins.
5. Teach yourself some origami
I’m really into origami – I use it to decorate greetings cards and gift wrap. You don’t need fancy paper to get started, anything will do. You could cut colourful squares out of an old magazine if you don’t have anything else. Origami Club has good (free!) instructions and there are also thousands of tutorials on YouTube.
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 crazy reason I never really bothered with my local library until about a year ago. Now I get almost all my books there! Not only are they free, but I find myself reading more widely because it’s easier to get out of my comfort zone and pick up books I never would have paid for.
Don’t forget some libraries also have special events such as craft workshops, talks and children’s story time. Visiting the library is definitely one of my top things to do on the weekend with no money!
8. Give your partner or friend a massage
This is a lovely thing to do and it’s a great skill to learn too. Again, there are absolutely loads of free how-to videos on YouTube. This is one of the top things to do without spending money with your boyfriend 😉
9. Give yourself a massage
10. Go for a walk
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. Learn to juggle
I’m sure you can find something in the house to practise with!
12. Start a blog!
Blogging is fun, creative and could even make you money further down the line! There are lots of free sites like this one 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 UK residents and visitors can take advantage of.
Yes, if you’re reading this from another country, most of our museums and galleries are free to visit!!
We’re just so lucky to have free museum entry here in the UK so make the most of it 🙂
This list is an amazing resource to help you plan a trip.
14. Have a duvet 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 pajamas and try one of those homemade face masks we 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
My favourite 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. Learn a card trick
I wish I knew some magic tricks… this is going on my to do list! Everyone has a pack of cards lying around the house, and tricks are such a great way to win over the kids at a family get together or party.
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
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
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. I also love the free Insight Timer app which has lots of gentle 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. Have friends over for a potluck
Socialising doesn’t have to be expensive if everybody cooks something. Bonus points if your get your friends to bring the booze in return for hosting.
If you’re feeling the temptation to eat out or order in, look for ‘fakeaway’ recipes you can make at home. This curry recipe is made from mostly storecupboard ingredients. If you keep mince in the freezer you can throw it together without heading to the shops.
30. Declutter your house
You can even sell what you decide to get rid of to earn some extra cash!
31. Go to a market
I love it when the food market comes to town and I can go round eating all the free samples 🙂
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. (I know, I’m sounding obsessed with YouTube now… but there’s SO MUCH quality stuff for free!)
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 while doing less fun things (housework!). Any recommendations?
35. Learn some constellations, then go out and stargaze
Go out at night and see what you can spot. There are also some good apps that show you what to look for.
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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