A common misconception among many people is that in order to have fun, you need to spend money. However, this is far from the truth with plenty of free activities available in society that’ll keep you occupied and interested.
In this comprehensive list, we’ll take a closer look at 90 of the most fun and enjoyable things you can do if you have no money available to you. What’s more, we’ll also look to answer a number of the frequently asked questions.
1). Visit The Local Library
The first suggestion on our list is visiting your local library. This is one of the best ways to begin a frugal lifestyle as libraries contain a high number of free things to keep you occupied, including books, games, videos, and much more.
Most libraries also provide kid play areas, interaction labs, and marker spaces.
2). Take A Camping Trip
If you love to spend time outdoors and enjoy going on an adventure, there are few options better than a camping trip. While several campgrounds will charge a small fee, there are also plenty of no-cost sites to choose from.
What’s more, you can camp on most natural forest land for free, so long as you follow certain rules like keeping your distance from water sources.
3). Make A Bucket List
Everyone should create their own bucket list, filled with exciting things you want to experience and enjoy in your life. It’s a good idea to use time frames when making a bucket list, whether you’re thinking short-term like a couple of years or looking to the long-term over a 20-year period.
Don’t worry too much if some of your ideas cost money – that’ll work itself out later!
4). Go On A Picnic
Whether it’s with a couple of close friends or your whole family, going on a picnic is a great way to have fun without spending money. You can take your refreshments to a favorite outdoor spot, or use it as an opportunity to explore somewhere new.
5). Start A New Club
One of the best things about being part of a club is the opportunity to connect with people who share similar interests. Just like everyone used to have their favorite after-school club when they were younger, the same can be said for adults.
There are several clubs you can start, with some of the most popular including cooking clubs, reading clubs, and film clubs.
6). Go For A Walk Or Run
Fresh air can work wonders for your mental wellbeing, and what’s more, it doesn’t cost a penny. Whether it’s a high-intensity 5k run or a leisurely walk along the river, grabbing your shoes and heading outside to clear your head is great for both physical and psychological health.
7). Movie Marathon
If you’re in the mood to put your feet up and relax, you can enjoy an evening full of all your favorite movies. There are several ways you can do this for free, including cable television and Netflix (free month trial).
Alternatively, you could swap movies with a friend or just pick one up from the local library.
8). Catch Up With A Friend
Whether it’s a quick catch-up with your best friend or a long chat with an old buddy from school, picking up the phone and talking to a friend is incredibly simple and will make you feel a lot better. Moreover, I’m sure that you’ll be able to plan something fun to do together in the near future!
9). People Watch
This next suggestion is an extremely popular money-free activity for people all over the world. Just head to any busy shopping center or park, and you’ll have plenty of people to observe.
If you want to take a friend along with you, it can also be fun to create stories to attach to the people you’re watching.
10). Go For A Bike Ride
If you’ve got an old bike lying around in your garden shed, there’s no reason not to wipe the dust away and take it for a ride – especially if you’re unable to afford a gym membership. What’s more, if you tend to spend money on food and drink when commuting back from work, using your bike is an effective way to avoid temptation.
11). Learn A New Skill
If you have a significant amount of time on your hands, there’s always the exciting option of mastering a new skill. Whether it’s learning a foreign language or getting to grips with a new musical instrument, the options are endless.
Furthermore, with free online platforms such as YouTube and other facilities like libraries and learning centers, it’s relatively straightforward to learn a new skill without dipping into your back pocket.
12). Free Museums And Zoos
While many of the larger and more popular museums and zoos require a notable entry fee, some of the smaller establishments are free. This is because many local cities have to offer a certain amount of free days in order to receive sufficient funding from their respective councils.
Alternatively, you can gain free entry into museums and zoos through business affiliations, credit cards, and much more.
13). Scavenger Hunt
You might think that scavenger hunts are only designed for kids, but every adult can get excited over a good scavenger hunt. The planning and design of a scavenger hunt can vary depending on the interests of the group, but a simple google search should provide you with plenty of free ideas.
14). Write A Letter
In a digital age where texts, emails, and social media are all the rage, writing a letter has become a thing of the past. However, letters can be passed on to someone and mailed for an extremely minimal price. Another fantastic idea is to write an open letter for someone to open at a future date.
One example of this is a child’s 18th birthday.
15). Try Out Geocaching
If you haven’t heard of geocaching before, it’s essentially a massive scavenger hunt where you’ll need to use your smartphone or GPS device to find over three million treasure stockpiles (geocaches) that people have hidden around the world.
The best thing about this free activity is the fact that it takes you to local spots that you’ve probably never visited before, which is a brilliant way to become a tourist in your own town.
16). Volunteer For A Charity
If you have a passion for a particular activity and want to put it to good use, find a local charity and volunteer. There are great organizations all over the world that are always in need of additional help to make sure as many people as possible are properly looked after.
17). Take Some Photos
To give your social media platforms a bit of love and attention, it could be a good idea to go out and take some interesting photos. Whether you do this with friends down the beach or on your own down the local park, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and get the creative juices flowing.
18). Create A Slideshow
Now that you’ve got some photos, it could be a fun idea to combine them all and turn them into a slideshow. You can add your own music and some fancy effects, and you’ll be surprised how even the most basic photos start looking great.
19). Go Bird-Watching
Even if you don’t have any knowledge about birds, you can make a checklist of all the birds you’ve seen and turn it into a new hobby. Wherever you live, you’ll find a good variety of birds – even in some of the biggest cities – so get your bird book and binoculars ready, and get started!
20). Play A Board Game
Playing board games isn’t an activity that has to be restricted to just Christmas and special occasions. You can play board games, card games, dominos, etc. all year round.
The options are pretty much endless, and it’s a great way to spend some quality time with friends and family.
Just like board games, puzzles can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Pretty much every family home has some kind of puzzle lying around somewhere, but even if you don’t, you can borrow one from friends or pick one up for free on Facebook groups such as Buy Nothing or Next-door.
What’s more, research shows that puzzles can help to slow down ageing and diseases like Alzheimer’s.
22). Pick Up A New Book
There are plenty of books, both fiction and non-fiction, to choose from that’ll keep you entertained for hours. If your local library doesn’t offer the kind of book you’re looking for, you can just as easily start a free trial on Kindle Unlimited.
To make things a little more interesting, you could also ask a friend to read the same book so you can discuss it together afterwards.
23). Visit A Local Farmer’s Market
If you like to be frugal when it comes to food, a local farmer’s market can offer a great selection of affordable, fresh produce. This is particularly useful towards the end of the day when you’re likely to get some good discounts as the vendors try to get rid of their merchandise.
24). Make A Meal
Using only the ingredients you already have in your house, make a delicious meal for you and your family.
Don’t be tempted to run to the store and spend money on extra ingredients, the fun thing about this free activity is that it’s all about creativity and experimentation. Who knows, you may come across a new favorite!
25). Clean Your House
This next suggestion might seem a little tedious, but it’s an extremely productive activity if you’re bored at home with no money to spend. Pop on some of your favorite tunes, rope in a fellow family member, and I guarantee you it won’t be all that bad.
26). Browse The Free Apps
There are hundreds of free apps available to download on your smartphones and desktops. Take a browse through all the options and you’ll definitely find something to keep you occupied.
Whether it’s an interactive game to play with friends or a challenging puzzle to sharpen your brain, the options are endless.
27). Check Out The Local Gym
All gyms are always happy to welcome new people and give them a tour around the facilities.
Furthermore, some gyms even offer free classes for up to a week, giving you the opportunity to try out a wide range of different workouts such as spinning classes, CrossFit, and pilates.
28). Go For A Nature Walk
These walks have a purpose and are perfect for exploring the nature around you. It might be a good idea to set yourself a goal when embarking on a nature walk, such as finding five different types of tree or object that share similar characteristics.
29). Research Family History
If you’ve ever been curious about your genealogy, this is one of the best ways to kill a few hours without spending a penny.
There are several websites you can use to track down your family history, or if you’d prefer a more traditional approach, you can call the family historian.
30). Make A To-Do List
To keep yourself organized and productive, putting together a to-do list is a great way to make use of your free time.
There may be some chores that you can do straight away, but planning out some of the longer-term jobs like DIY projects is a good idea if you want to feel on top of things.
31). Throw A Pinterest Party
If you’re an avid user of social media, there’ll be loads of things that you’ve pinned that you want to do at some point but just haven’t found the time for.
Whether it’s recipes, crafts, or just a skill you wanted to learn, brushing off those lengthy Pinterest boards is an excellent way to enjoy some free time without spending any money.
32). Teach Others Your Hobby
You might have a hobby or passion that you want to share with some of your friends to get them involved too. This can be extremely fun and rewarding, and costs absolutely nothing.
33). Exchange Items
This can be done both in person and online, and is a great way to spend zero money and get something nice in return. You can swap pretty much anything from clothes, games and toys to home decor, kitchen supplies and tools.
As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
34). Make A Budget
If you’re really struggling with money, it’s probably time to make a budget for yourself. This isn’t meant to be constricting, it’s designed to help you spend your money in a sensible manner and manage it ahead of time.
35). Go To A Fun Meetup Group
Interested in metal detecting? How about home-brewing beer? There are several websites and groups that enable you to meet other people in the same area with similar interests.
You could also join a club that gives you the opportunity to explore new places in your hometown such as a running club.
36). Redecorate A Room
It’s always nice to give a room a different look to keep it refreshed. Whether you’re painting the walls a different color, moving the furniture around, or just changing out the seasonal decor, it’s a great way to spend a free afternoon without denting your bank balance.
37). Have A Quick Nap
While this suggestion is one of the least productive things you can do, sometimes it’s a good idea to catch up on sleep. Take care of yourself and take a break from the often hectic nature of life.
Furthermore, you can’t spend any money when you’re sleeping!
38). Take Surveys
If you want to make some extra money in your free time, there’s always the option of taking surveys. They’re one of the easiest things to do and don’t cost a penny to complete.
Some of the most popular online surveys include LifePoints, RewardSurvey, and Swagbucks.
39). Throw A Dance Party
This is a particularly popular activity amongst children and will be sure to get your heart racing. In an ever-increasing digital age, it’s incredibly easy to listen to your favorite tunes for free, so throwing a dance party in your home is the perfect excuse to let your hair down and have a good time.
40). Clear Out The Garage
While cleaning out your garage might not seem the most glamorous and exciting way to spend a day, it can be therapeutic to finally get rid of unnecessary items and organize what’s left. You’ll be thankful for it when you’re next trying to find something in there!
41). Cancel Unused Subscriptions
If you’re short on money, cancelling all of the subscriptions that you no longer use is a good place to start. To help with this, you can use services like Trim, ClarityMoney, and Paribus.
42). Delete Unused Apps
Similar to the suggestion above, deleting any of the apps you don’t use on your phone will only take you a few moments, but it’s something that’ll make you feel a lot better. What’s more, freeing up some extra space will also improve the efficiency of your phone.
43). Reminisce About Old Memories
There’s nothing quite like a trip down memory lane. Pull out some old photo albums, scroll to the bottom of your phone’s camera roll, find your keepsake box, and reminisce about old times.
You might also want to grab some tissues as it could be emotional.
44). Listen To A Podcast
You can do this while completing another activity if you want to make the most of some free time. Listening to a podcast is also a great way to increase your knowledge around a certain area such as music, sport, politics, and film.
With life always on the go, it’s nice every now and then to take some time to yourself and meditate to clear your mind. A good place to start is mindfulness meditation, which is when you pay close attention to your breath as you breathe in and out.
46). Find An Animal To Love
Make the trip down to your nearest animal shelter and give some of your love to animals that need to be rescued. This is a fantastic way to help the community, spend zero money, and feel like you’re doing something meaningful.
You could even donate some of your old blankets or bedding to help out the rescue.
47). Bake Something Delicious
There’s every chance that you’ll already have all of the baking necessities on hand, so why not try baking a new recipe. To make things a little more enjoyable, you can rope in some friends and family to help too.
If you’d prefer to stick to a tried and tested recipe, this is just as fun.
48). Last Text
If you have a fair amount of time on your hands, scroll all the way down to the bottom of your text messages and see which friends you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
If they’re friends you’d like to get back into contact with, drop them a message and invite them for a coffee or beer.
49). Watch A Sunrise
Is there any better way to start your day than to get up early, soak up the morning rays, and watch a beautiful sunrise? If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you could also combine this activity with an early morning hike.
50). Watch A Sunset
Sunsets are just as colorful and magical as sunrises, and make the perfect backdrop for a romantic evening. There are plenty of spots to watch a sunset so you won’t be short of choice.
Moreover, you can experience the incredible beauty of nature without spending any of your hard-earned money.
51). Play A Game Of Chess
Chess is a universal game that everyone should learn to play at some point in their lives. Not only is it a money-free activity, there are also many cities that now have full-size chess pieces in local parks that make knowing the rules even more fun.
52). Time Capsule
If you’re someone who loves to look back on things in the future, you can make yourself a time capsule. These are especially powerful if opened in an important life year or on a big birthday.
53). Go To A Religious Service
Even if you’re not particularly religious, attending a local service can inform you about some of the beliefs that people share in your community. This is a great way to understand humanity and come closer to others.
54). Call Into Your Neighbors
If you don’t know your neighbors all that well, it could be a good idea to reach out to them and introduce yourself. Not only does this make things a little less awkward, striking up a friendship with your neighbors can also open up plenty of future opportunities for sharing and borrowing.
55). Make A Meal Plan
This is a great way to save some money further down the line. Take a look at what you’ve got in your fridge, freezer, and cupboards, and design a meal plan that’ll last you for the next week.
It’s also a good idea to cook in bulk, so you avoid the pressure of cooking every evening.
56). Learn To Juggle
Juggling is a timeless skill that’ll always impress a group of people. You can learn with any three objects that are easy to grip and soft, so give yourself a few hours to perfect the basics, and you’ll have it in no time.
57). Visit A Local Nursing Home
Residents at nursing homes are always looking for people to interact with, so if you’ve got no money but want to do something worthwhile, pop down to your nearest nursing home.
After striking up a couple of conversations, you’ll leave with some fantastic stories and life lessons.
58). Teach Yourself A Card Trick
There are several simple card tricks that can be learned with little practice and prep time that are perfect for showing off at parties. A quick search on the internet will pull up thousands you can try at home.
59). Join A Fantasy Sports League
If you’re into sports, fantasy leagues are becoming more and more popular across the internet. You can either join a league on a major site like Yahoo or ESPN, or create your own league for you and your friends to compete in.
60). Learn How To Knit
Most homes have some kind of material and a few knitting needles stored away somewhere. The basics of knitting are relatively straightforward, and it’s a great hobby to keep your hands busy while you focus on something else like your favorite TV program or podcast.
61). Visit An Old Relative
If you live near an older friend or relative, it’s nice to visit them every now and again to check if they need anything.
More often than not, you can help them with jobs around the house that are a little beyond their physical capabilities and keep them company for a couple of hours.
62). Make A Campfire
During the cold winter months, there are few things nicer than a warm campfire. Therefore, with some free time and a good collection of wood, making a campfire is a great idea.
If you have a fire pit or grill readily available to you, this will be even easier.
63). Start A Journal
If you’ve got a spare notebook kicking around, starting a journal is a good way to write down all your thoughts and dump anything that’s playing on your mind.
You’ll feel much better afterwards, and there’s every chance that you’ll have thought of plenty of new ideas to keep yourself busy.
64). Go For A Swim
Many cities and towns have a public pool, so if you feel the need to get out of the house and love being in the water, going for a swim is a great idea. It’s also really good exercise, so you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone!
65). Master A Rubik’s Cube
Most of us know someone who owns a Rubik’s Cube. While the daunting prospect of solving one might put off many people, it’s one of the best party tricks to have if you’re up for putting in the long hours of practice and patience.
66). Fly A Kite
You don’t need to worry about buying a kite in order to have some fun. It’s relatively easy to make your own – simply grab one of your spare grocery bags and attach some string.
You’ll be sure to get your creative juices flowing and it’ll be incredibly satisfying when you see your homemade kite cut through the wind.
67). Boot Up Your Old Console
You might have a video console lying around that’s a couple of generations old such as a Wii or a Playstation 2. Pull it out, brush off the dust, and play some of your old favorite games again – what a brilliant way to spend a few hours without spending any money.
68). Massage Your Partner
If you’ve got some spare time with your partner, you can try massaging each other’s bodies. This is a great way to work out any stress you might be feeling and an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.
69). Visit An Open House
Visiting open houses for ideas and inspiration is the perfect way to spend your weekends if you’re looking to remodel, redecorate, or even in the market for a new house. There are hundreds of open houses each week, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
70). Take A Frisbee Out
Everyone’s thrown a frisbee at some point during their lives. You’ll probably have one, or know someone who has one lying around, so take it on your next nature walk or catch-up down the park. It can be great fun – especially when you’re able to consistently through it long distances.
71). Read A Free Newspaper
The vast majority of cities will supply a free newspaper which is available at the front of most stores. Not only might you find some new things to do, you’ll also learn more about the going-ons in your local community.
72). Organize A Park Clean-Up
If there’s an area in your neighborhood that’s in desperate need of a tidy and some TLC, grab some gloves and a trash bag, and try to clean it up. You can organize this with friends or other people in your neighborhood and get the job done much quicker.
73). Attend A Dress Rehearsal
While this might be a little more difficult to find than many of the other options on our list, many community theaters and venues allow open dress rehearsals that people can attend for free.
There’s every chance that it’ll be a little more rough around the edges than a real show, but it’s still fantastic entertainment that doesn’t cost a penny.
74). Sound Checks
If there’s a band playing at a venue you’re familiar with, head down a couple of hours before the concert starts and see if they’re doing a sound check. This works really well for outdoor gigs and if you’re unable to afford attending the actual concert.
75). Plan A Yard Sale
Sorting through your belongings and planning a yard sale is a great way to use your time effectively and have some fun. Not only will it help you declutter your space, it’ll also set you up to make some extra money.
76). Pour Yourself A Bath
There are few things more relaxing than a long, warm bath. It relaxes the mind, soothes the body, and is the perfect place to have some alone time. If you have a bath bomb in the bathroom cupboard that you still haven’t used, this is the perfect time.
77). Calculate Your Net Worth
While this might not be the most positive activity to do if you’re struggling for money, you’ve got to start somewhere. Working out your net worth is pretty easy if you use a free tool like MoneySpire or Personal Capital.
78). Go Stargazing
Identify a wide open area where you can stargaze and wait until a super clear night. The best spots are away from the bright lights of the city, so pack a blanket and stretch out underneath the beautiful stars.
This is the perfect romantic date to enjoy with a partner.
79). Invite Your Child’s Friends Over
Children always love hanging around with people their own age and playing together. This is an ideal opportunity for tired parents to get some quiet time.
Everyone’s happy and it didn’t cost a penny – the ultimate win-win situation!
80). Host A Karaoke Night
If you really fancy having a good laugh with some friends and family, hosting a karaoke night is a great idea. You’ll find karaoke versions of most popular songs on YouTube, so you won’t have to spend any money to belt out some classics and have an amazing time.
81). Discover Some New Music
Discovering new music is always exciting, and with the recent emergence of online streaming stations, it’s never been easier. There are plenty of options to choose from, including the Apple Music app, Spotify, and Pandora.
82). Go To A Free Workshop
With the hope of attracting new customers, lots of different stores offer free workshops. These are brilliant because they give you the opportunity to try out some of the top-of-the-range gadgets.
For example, the Apple Store often offers some cool workshops based around their products.
83). Build A Fort
What better way to put all your blankets to good use than to build a massive blanket fort with your kids. Help them pull in some chairs to provide the structure for the fort and you’ll be good to go.
This type of activity will be sure to keep them occupied for hours on end.
84). Camp In Your Fort
With blanket forts likely to be an instant hit among young children, there’s every chance that they’ll also want to spend the night in their new creation. While this might not be quite as comfortable as your bed, it’s a great stay-at-home activity to do with young kids, and much cheaper than camping!
85). Try Origami Decorations
With the help of an online tutorial, you can try and make some origami decorations for around the house. These might be 3D hearts for Valentine’s Day, 3D snowflakes for Christmas, or something else suitable for a special occasion.
86). Random Acts Of Kindness
Scroll through your social media feeds and see if any of your friends are in need of help or assistance. This is a great use of social media, and will make you feel like you’ve made a real difference to someone’s day.
87). Go To A Playground
Take a trip down to your local playground and burn some energy running around after your kids. Try to get involved as much as possible, whether that’s swinging them on the swings, going down the slide with them, or helping them navigate the climbing frame.
88). Local Events Calendar
Every town or city will offer a number of local activities that are free of charge throughout the year. If you want to feel really organized, you can mark these in your calendar, so making plans closer to the date with friends and family is that little bit easier.
89). Give Yoga A Try
There are hundreds of brilliant free yoga videos on YouTube and across the internet that are super easy to follow for beginners. They’ll only take you 30 minutes at the longest, and will make you feel great for the rest of the day.
90). Sign Up For An Online Class
The final suggestion on our list, and by certainly no means the least, is to take an online class. This might be on a subject that you’ve always had an interest in, or it could be a spontaneous decision.
Either way, there are some brilliant tools online that’ll provide you with all the resources you need to take a free class on just about any subject imaginable.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “no spend” week?
A “no spend” week refers to a period of time where you intentionally decide not to spend money on anything unnecessary. Therefore, while bills and necessities are fine, other home comforts and treats aren’t allowed.
The vast majority of people tend to challenge themselves to no-spend weeks and no-spend months, as anything longer can prove extremely difficult.
How do you do a no-buy year?
If you commit to a no-buy year, this means you can only use what you already own, essentially cutting out all of the costs of spending. It’s a true test of living off the bare necessities such as groceries and home essentials, as well as personal hygiene products like toothpaste and body wash.
Any treats or non-essential items aren’t allowed.
What is a budget game?
Budget games offer teenagers and students the opportunity to try out some spending decisions without any of the serious repercussions from real life. This is incredibly useful as it takes the pressure off many of the decisions, making it a safe and effective learning experience.
What is the best simple budget app?
Of all the options available on the app store, the best simple budget app is Personal Capital. This is because it provides excellent reporting options, strong desktop capabilities, and a valuable investment management platform.
If you’re not the most tech-savvy person, but need a good budgeting app, there are few options better than Personal Capital.
Should you tip a free walking tour?
This usually depends on a number of factors, including how long the tour lasted, how many other people were on the tour, and how satisfied you were with the whole experience. With all this in mind, it’s common to tip around $5 to $20 per person.
Just keep in mind that this isn’t mandatory, so if you’re really struggling for money, don’t spend your last pennies on giving an overly generous tip.
What is the catch with free Spotify?
Free Spotify provides a range of impressive features that allow you to play a shuffled playlist from your favorite artist at any time of the day you want. There are, however, some drawbacks to keep in mind.
The first is the fact that every few songs you’ll have to listen to an advert. Secondly, you can’t freely choose and skip individual songs, so you’ll have to listen through shuffle-only mode.
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