Who says that you can’t have fun without spending a dime?
Just because your budget is tight, doesn’t mean you won’t have a great summer. Whether you prefer to relax at home or spend your time outdoors, there are lots of things to do instead of spending money.
Back when I was working (before I quit to go back to school), I used to spend my weekends dining at trendy restaurants and spending my money on designer handbags that I didn’t need.
Do I regret it? No, but my spending habits have changed a lot since I’ve gone back to school.
Now instead of going for drinks at the bar with friends, I drink at home. Instead of saving up for that new designer handbag, I save my money to travel and pay for school.
Needless to say, I’ve gotten pretty creative in finding affordable ways to have fun. I’ve learned to collect moments not things, and discovered that living a fulfilling and engaging life is possible without breaking the bank.
Today I want to share 75 things to do this summer without spending money. Whether you’re trying to stay on budget or looking to live more frugally, there is something that will sure to please everyone on this list!
1. Read a book you own or borrow a new one from the public library
2. Visit a museum or city attraction during their free hours
3. Sign up for a free class
5. Swap clothing with friends
6. Have a picnic in the park
7. Try a new dinner recipe using ingredients you already have
8. Visit a local beach (or lake)
9. Go swimming
10. Go for a bike ride
11. Go hiking
12. Watch the sunrise / sunset
13. Go on a free walking tour
14. Watch a new TV series on Netflix (or borrow some old favourites from the library)
15. Have a movie marathon with friends
16. Host a dinner party using ingredients you already have
18. Paint or sketch a beautiful landscape
19. Take a long hot bubble bath
20. Write a poem, short story or song
21. Practice photography around your city
22. Volunteer at a local charity or organization
23. Play board games (or card games) with friends
24. Rearrange the furniture in your bedroom or living room
25. Have a garage sale
26. Try learning a new language (watch a tutorial online or borrow books from the library)
27. Visit a free festival
28. Start a new exercise routine
29. Practice yoga
30. Play basketball, baseball, beach volleyball, etc. with friends
31. Attend a free community sports game
32. Give yourself a spa treatment at home
33. Camp in your backyard
34. Find creative ways to upcycle your clothes
36. Throw a themed potluck with family or friends
37. Organize your fridge and pantry
39. Listen to a podcast
40. Watch one of these TED talks
41. Invite a friend over for tea or coffee
42. Do a DIY project – check Pinterest for ideas
43. Dance to your favourite songs
44. Start a free blog on something that you love
45. Practice mindfulness
46. Create the ultimate summer bucketlist
47. Write a letter to your future self (or things that you would tell your younger self)
48. Practice playing an instrument (find free ones on Craigslist or Kijiji if you don’t already own one)
49. Help out an elderly (or disabled) friend or neighbor
50. Start a book club (or join one)
51. Attend a free concert in the park
52. Wash and detail your car at home – seriously, when was the last time you gave your car a little TLC?
53. Use YouTube videos to have a karaoke party
54. Declutter and donate items to a shelter or charity
55. Prepare a care package for the homeless
56. Organize old photos and memorabilia in a scrapbook
57. Browse a flea market or farmer’s market
58. Attend a free talk or lecture
59. Attend a religious service
60. Go to a free gym day
61. Make a homemade pizza – tastes so much better than frozen or delivery!
62. Plant a garden
63. Offer to babysit for a friend a family member who “needs a break”
64. Visit a nearby town – pack a lunch with you to avoid eating out
65. Go stargazing
66. Write a gratitude list
67. Have afternoon tea at home – makes scones, finger sandwiches and your favourite pot of tea
68. Go to a free outdoor movie screening
69. Explore a neighbourhood in your city – this if great if you’re city has different pockets: Koreatown, Chinatown, Greektown, Little India, etc.
70. Visit a free zoo
71. Visit a free historical site
72. Explore a botanical garden
73. Browse IKEA for home décor ideas
74. Have a backyard campfire and make s’mores
75. Volunteer at an animal shelter
Over to you — what are some free ways you like to have fun during the summer?
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