As a guy that loves sports, I considerable myself more than blessed to have 3 boys that are starting to love sports just as much (if not more) than me.
Some of the best times we’ve had on the weekends is playing outside with any sort of ball: baseball, football, kickball. Heck, any ball will work!
For any family that craves family time without going broke, this is some of the best times you can have.
It’s a solid reminder you don’t have to spend money to have a good time.
Obviously, you need to spend money to live, but you can help your cause by creating days when you don’t spend any money at all.
Money-free weekends are the best times to do this, since money spent on weekends is often more about entertainment than survival. If you still want to spend a little extra on those weekend excursions, here are some helpful tips on how to make money fast that could help with those expenses!
The idea is to avoid spending money on any unnecessary expenses. That means that while you’ll make mortgage, utility and debt payments, you’ll avoid discretionary spending, such as eating out, going to the movies or attending concerts or sporting events.
It’s something like going on a diet, except you’re doing it with money instead of food. By cutting down on the number of days you spend money, you also cut down on the amount of money you spend.
But in order to do that successfully, you will need to find activities that will keep you busy and engaged, and not feeling bad about giving up the things that money can buy. Here are 53 of those activities.
Not only will they keep you busy free of charge, but many of them will also enable you to either save or make more money even when you aren’t having a money free weekend.
1. Attend a Free Concert
Get a copy of one of those free circulation newspapers that covers your area, and see if there any free concerts being offered locally. A free concert may be given by an upstart local, or by more established entertainers who are being sponsored by a local organization. It can be a no cost afternoon or evening out.
2. Revisit Your Old Music Collection
You probably have a fair amount of old music that you’ve accumulated over the years. You bought it because you liked it back then, but probably still like it now – maybe even more than you last time you heard it. You may even have enough music to fill several hours.
3. …And Your Old Movie Collection
If you’re like most people, you probably have a big collection of old movies that you haven’t watched since the day you bought them. That happens because once you buy a movie you know you can watch it any time you want.
If you’re looking for no-cost ways to entertain yourself, get them out of storage and plan to watch them on money free weekends.
4. And While You’re At It, Watch Your Home Movie Collection
Most people are much better at taking home movies and videos than they are at watching them. But if you’re looking for some no-cost entertainment, spending some part of your weekend watching them can be an uplifting experience of reconnecting with happy times from the past.
Trust me, you can spend hours watching family movies and not even realize it.
5. Clean Out Your Garage (or Basement, or Closets or Spare Room)
You probably have one or more spaces in your house that have become your storage areas. By cleaning them out, you free up space in your house, giving you more room for better purposes. And trust me, there’s nothing better than decluttering!
A good example is a garage. People sometimes have so much stuff stored in their garage that there’s no room for their cars. You can fix that in a weekend.
6. If You Work at Home, Reorganize Your Office
When you work at home you probably spend nearly all of the time working on the most important aspects of your job or business.
In the process, your workspace can become an organizational nightmare. Take time on a money free weekend to reorganize your office. The better organization will likely make you a more productive worker, and eventually increase your income.
7. Plot a New Future Direction or Two
A money free weekend is the perfect time to sit down with your spouse or your family to plan a serious new direction for your future.
Take a look at every area of your life – your health, your faith, your friendships, your employment or business, or even the place where you live.
Set goals for where you want to go in each of those categories, then create strategies and tactics that will make it happen.
8. Complete at Least One Task that You’ve Been Avoiding
It’s probably human nature that we spend more time running away from an unpleasant task than it would take to actually do it. But once it’s completed, you no longer have to worry about it.
Identify what that task is, and get it done on a money free weekend. That will free up your mind for more productive activities, rather than figuring out ways to not do a job that you been dreading.
9. Get Out in Nature and Just Take it in
This is about taking the saying get out and smell the roses literally. Most of us don’t spend much time out in nature, if only because we know it’s there and that we can go to any time we choose.
But choose to do it now. It won’t cost a thing, and if you get out and just take it all in – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the harmony – you just might clear your head in a way you never imagined you could.
My guess is you’ll be back at this activity again and again. It can change your whole outlook on life.
That’s kind of what you want to accomplish on money free weekends.
10. Organize Photos and Photo Albums
You probably have packages, boxes and piles of photos stashed somewhere in your house (probably in one of those closets that you’re avoiding cleaning out).
But if you want to participate in an activity that will hold your interest, but won’t cost you any money, organizing your photos and photo albums is an outstanding way to do it.
Family movies, videos, and photos are a chronicle of your life, and spending time getting them organized can be a lot of fun.
And if times are a little tough in your household right now, looking at photos of better times could remind you that even better times are in store for your future.
11. Plan Out Your Next Vacation
Just because you can’t spend any money this weekend doesn’t mean you can’t plan for the time when you can. And this can be a real stress reliever in the dead of winter. Check out prices, plans and photos of where you want to go. Videos are even better. As you make your plans, the upcoming vacation will become real, and provide some relief to your money free weekend.
12. Have Family or Friends Over for a Potluck Dinner
This should be as informal as possible. Prepare a dish that you can make using only ingredients that you have in your home already. Your guests should do the same.
It won’t matter that you won’t be eating gourmet fare – the fact that you’re getting together with other people is the real pay off. If need be, let your guests know that you are working this into a money free weekend. They may even start doing the same thing themselves.
13. Start Learning a New Skill
Is there a skill that could improve your life, your job performance, your relationships, or even your golf game? Spend some weekend time learning that new skill.
Plan to learn several skills on your various money free weekends, and those weekends will literally become life-changing. As far as cost, you can learn a lot just from surfing the web.
There’s plenty of free information that can provide the basics for just about any skill. Once you learn those, take it as far as you like.
14. Start Learning a New Language
This is another form of learning a new skill, but extending it to a new language. You can start your study on the web. For example, go to YouTube, and enter “how to learn Spanish” and you’ll see dozens of videos that can get you started.
No, you’re not likely to master another language on YouTube, but it will get you started free of cost.
15. Cook a Meal You Never Have Time to Make
Busy schedules take a real toll on meal preparation. This is the reason why more meals are consumed outside the home than ever before, and why many at-home meals are prepackaged.
People simply don’t have the time to prepare meals anymore. But a money free weekend can give you just the time you need to prepare a more complicated meal.
Pick one you ordinarily don’t make, or even a recipe that’s brand-new, and make an adventure out of it.
This has an added dimension if you have family. Involving everyone in your family in the preparation of a major meal is an excellent family bonding experience. Everyone will be more likely to appreciate a meal that they helped prepare.
16. Do a Detailed Review of Your Retirement Plan
Retirement planning is a passive activity for a lot of people. They participate in a retirement plan at work, set a contribution percentage, make a portfolio allocation, and then let the whole process run on automatic pilot.
But once or twice each year you should do a detailed review of your retirement plan. That will help you to know if you’re on track to reach your retirement goals, or if you need to make changes, either in the amount of your contributions or in your portfolio allocation.
Check out one of the several retirement calculators offered by Bankrate.com and other financial sites. They will help you to know if you’re where you need to be for your retirement.
17. Karaoke Night at Home
If you’re too timid to do this at a club or party, doing it at home could be a way to bring out your inner rock star. It’s a lot of fun, and who knows? You might be preparing yourself to do it in front of more people if you get comfortable with it.
18. Make a YouTube Video on a Topic You’re Interested in
Does this sound like something you’d never do? It doesn’t have to be – millions of people are making videos and putting them on YouTube. All you need is a decent digital camera with video capability. You can create the video, download it on your computer, and then add it to a YouTube account.
The video can be about anything you like. It could be something novel or even downright silly (like a video of your karaoke night at home). Or it could be something more serious, like a how-to video, or a recording of your opinion on an important subject. Remember when the Harlem Shake was a big deal? Yeah, we do, too. 🙂
Here’s one good example how a family can have a good time on a Saturday night:
A video could go viral, which opens up a lot of potential opportunities for you. But even if it doesn’t, you’ll acquire a new skill, one that you can use either for professional or entertainment purposes.
19. Figure Out a Way to Lower or Eliminate One Recurring Expense
One of the best uses of a money free weekend is to create strategies that will save you money on an ongoing basis. Finding just a few of these expenses over the course of the year can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
That will be over and above the money that you are not spending on your money free weekend. Talk about a win-win!
20. Plan a Quiet Night-In With Your Significant Other
A quiet night at home with your significant other can do more for your relationship than an evening packed with high-cost activities around town.
A candle light dinner, followed by a night of listening to music (or practicing karaoke) can create a bonding experience that more formal dates can’t.
21. Take a Long Walk in Your Own Community
Not only is this completely free and good for your health, but it’s a way to learn more about your community than you ever can by driving through it every day. When you walk, you will learn about various neighborhoods, buildings and local attractions in a more intimate way. There is also a greater likelihood you’ll interact with people that you may never meet otherwise.
22. Take a Long Bike Ride
Another activity that is both cost free and good for your health. It’s also an excellent activity for couples and families. Once again, biking through your community provides the potential to learn more about it, and to meet more people that you won’t in the normal course of your life.
23. Participate in a Physical Activity You’ve Never Tried
This could be some form of exercise, like jogging or biking, but it can also be something fun too. Join a local pickup basketball game or volleyball match. You can also try in-line skating or even skateboarding.
The idea is to pick a new activity. The challenge itself will make it a rewarding activity, and one that won’t cost you any money at all.
24. Call or Visit a Friend or Family Member You Haven’t Seen in a Long Time
Do you ever have those moments of guilt over not calling or visiting certain friends and family members? It happens to all of us – we get busy, the time passes, and we never follow through on our good intentions.
But since new activities are one of the best ways to successfully manage money free weekends, making that call or visit can be just what you need to do something productive and enjoyable. It’s also an excellent way of renewing old relationships.
25. Update Your Resume
Most people only do this when they’re facing the threat of a job loss. But updating your resume is one of those activities that’s always best done when everything is calm.
It enables you to make a realistic assessment of your situation, skills, abilities and goals, and in a way you can’t when your financial survival is threatened.
26. Volunteer – There Are Opportunities All Around You
There’s a Bible verse that addresses this – “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37. So it is when it comes to volunteer work. There are opportunities to serve all around us – in the community, in churches and synagogues and even hospitals. A money free weekend is the perfect time to step up.
Seeing and serving people in need is also a perfect way to reinforce your decision to have money free weekends, since you’ll be exposed to so many people who are experiencing money problems. Volunteering is also an excellent way to give apart from giving money.
27. Put Together a 1,000 Piece Puzzle
If you can get past the fact that this can be tedious, it’s a good way to get deep into concentration over something that has nothing to do with the rest of your life. We all need that from time to time. A 1,000 piece puzzle can keep you busy for as long as you need it to, and probably won’t be done in just one weekend. That’s fine – you can complete it in as many money free weekends as you like.
28. Read a Good Self-Improvement Book
What better way to come out of a money free weekend than with a fresh perspective on your life? There are plenty of good self-improvement books out there, you just have to choose one that’s most relevant to your own situation.
What’s good is that you can choose a book that focuses on a specific area of your life that you want to change. That challenge can be exhilarating to say the least.
29. Start a Vegetable Garden
Nothing gives a greater feeling of control over your existence than the ability to grow at least some of your own food. A backyard vegetable garden won’t enable you to feed yourself or your family completely, but seeing the cycle of planting, growing, harvesting, preparing and eating your own food is downright liberating.
Apart from developing the ability to grow your own food, you may even develop a greater understanding of the importance of healthy eating.
30. Start a Diary or Journal
This can be more beneficial than it sounds on the surface. Writing about your own experiences and feelings has a way of giving you a greater understanding of yourself and of your life.
Thoughts come and go, but writing them out takes time and concentration, and the diary or journal will allow you to go back later and recount earlier times in your life. That can give you insight as to who you are and where you’re at today, as well as provide inspiration on your future direction.
31. Get Some Much Needed Rest
You know all of those weekday mornings when you can’t get out of bed – or those afternoons at work when the 3 o’clock droopies hit hard? Now is your chance to catch up on some much needed rest.
It will prepare you for greater accomplishments in the week ahead.
32. Start Tracing Your Family Tree
You know all those commercials you see for Ancestry.com – admit it, you’re curious, aren’t you? A money free weekend is the perfect time to get that going.
Start by recording your own family history, as far back as you remember it. Then follow Tip #24 above, and start contacting some long lost family members to get even more information.
Once you have the names of people in your lineage from two or three generations back, start searching the web to see what other information you