Does it seem like you spend your paycheck as soon as you receive it?
You’re not alone. While we all have bills to pay, 25% of Americans admit to blowing a lot of their money on impulse buys or just “having fun.”
This could explain why 70% of us have less than $1,000 stashed away in savings. Even scarier, one in three Americans has no savings at all.
Does that mean it’s impossible to go out and have a little fun on the weekends? Of course not! You can learn to pinch pennies without being cheap–and still have fun doing it.
In this post, we’ll give you some great ideas for 10 free things to do this weekend. Which one will you choose?
1. Visit a Nearby Park
Whether you live in a huge city or a small town, chances are there’s a park nearby.
Now’s the perfect opportunity to get the kids (or yourself) away from electronics and out in the fresh air. Pack a picnic lunch and a Frisbee or a kite for a relaxing afternoon at the park.
If pets are allowed, bring your dog along for some exercise too. You can also bring along some equipment for a game of volleyball or basketball. Call up a few friends to join you, or make new ones when you arrive.
2. Host a BYOE Party
We all know what BYOB means, but what about BYOE?
A BYOE party means “bring your own everything.” Just because you’re saving money doesn’t mean you can’t host a fun-filled party over the weekend.
When you send out the invites, tell your friends and neighbors the party is pot-luck style. Assign everyone a dish to bring, or give a theme of food or drinks and let them decide.
3. Scout out Free Events
You’d be surprised how many cities offer free concerts, festivals, or art shows during the weekends.
If you’re not sure what’s going on in your area, pick up a newspaper or do a quick search online. Even if there are no special events happening, a local museum or zoo might offer a free day or free admission after a certain time.
4. Go to the Library
Remember the days before the internet when we had to go to the library for research?
Libraries are still around, and many offer plenty of fun things to do (besides research). Check out your local library to see about renting movies or video games.
There might also be a poetry reading or book signing event coming up. Why not attend and give those local authors some support?
5. Play Tourist in Your Hometown
If you’ve lived in the same city for a while, it’s easy to take for granted any touristy attractions in the area. Why not take a weekend off to visit some of those local attractions?
If you live near the ocean, why not tour a lighthouse or go for a hike through the sand dunes? If you’re closer to the mountains, are there any historic cabins or mines you’ve never explored? Are there any museums, parks, or historical sites that visitors frequent?
Of course, if you’re new to the area, you might not even be aware of what’s around. Take a few moments to search online or check with your local chamber of commerce to get to know your neighborhood better.
6. Give Back to Your Community
One of the best free things to do is give your time and energy to help someone in need.
Does your community host a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or an animal rescue center? These facilities are almost always looking for willing volunteers to help.
You could even take some initiative and organize your own neighborhood cleanup or start a community garden.
7. Go Hiking, Biking, or Fishing
Did you know the average American spends almost 11 hours a day staring at a screen?
Not only is this detrimental to our health, but it also leaves us disconnected from Mother Nature. Why not spend a little time this weekend doing a free outdoor activity you enjoy?
Grab a fishing pole and head down to the lake, or explore some nearby biking or hiking trails. Another fun (and free) activity is to set up a tent and have a family campout right in your own backyard.
8. Host a Movie Marathon
Do you have a stack of old DVDs collecting dust on the shelf?
Rather than spending up to $60 for a night out at the movies, host a free movie marathon right in your living room. Pick a theme for the evening, grab some cozy blankets, and cook up a batch of your favorite snacks.
If you got rid of your DVDs a while back, there’s no reason you can’t do a Netflix or TiVo binge too.
9. Have a Family Game Night
Something else that might be collecting dust is your collection of board games and cards.
When’s the last time you played a game of Scrabble or Monopoly or hosted an amateur poker tournament? Is there a puzzle sitting in your closet you never got around to putting together?
Dust off those boxes this weekend and enjoy some fun time with your family. The best part of game night is it won’t cost you a penny!
10. Take an Online Course
Looking to do something productive over the weekend without breaking the bank?
Why not sign up for a free online course? Is there something you’ve been meaning to learn? Whether it’s learning a new programming language or brushing up on your high school Spanish, there are tons of free courses available online.
If you’re a more interactive learner, check your local community college or adult center for free courses in a group setting. You’ll get to learn something new and make new friends in the process.
Free Things to Do This Weekend: Now You Know
So, which of these free things to do jumped out at you? Whether it’s spending some time in nature or bonding with family and friends, you don’t have to spend money to have a good time.
In fact, you just might discover that the best things in life are free!
Wondering how to get out of debt and have even more time to enjoy life? Click here for our latest financial advice.