So it’s the weekend or holidays and your bank balance is dismal. The days can really seem quite long and boring when you have little or no money for entertainment. It seems the ability to spend money has made us a bit laid back on being creative with how we spend our time.
Have you ever watched little kids play? They are able to turn almost any object they can get into an interesting plaything complete with names and storyline. I know my kids do that all the time. They can even keep at it for hours at a time. With a bit of creativity and imagination, even adults can forget the daily grind of money matters and just have plain, cheap fun. Here are 15 fun things you can do on a very low or no budget at all!
1. Play board games: Board games are a fun, cheap way for families to spend time together. All the intrigues and goofing can make for lots of fun and bonding too. Most of them come with instructions and the most popular ones include Chess, Monopoly, Backgammon, Checkers and educational games like Scrabble and Pictionary.
2. Go on a bike ride: Alone or as a group biking is fun and gets some exercise in too. Try pushing yourself by exploring new terrain (but not after dark).
3. Take a walk around your neighborhood: Get out of the house and stretch your limbs by taking a slow casual walk around where you live. The fresh air and scenery will take your mind off money for a while anyway.
4. Take your kids to the local park or playground: If you don’t have kids around you could volunteer to take your nephews or nieces. It would be a lot of fun watching the kids laugh and play and the most it would cost you would probably be a scoop of ice cream per child. You’ll become their favourite Aunt or Uncle in no time.
5. Learn a new art project online and teach your family or friends: There are so many fantastic websites that teach art projects completely free. Some are designed specifically for kids and others for adults. The range of choice is awesome and many of the projects are truly mind-blowing. The great thing about this is many of these sites use old items you can easily find lying around the house to create keepsakes you would be proud of. The added advantage for kids is that it helps to bring out their creativity too. I bet you will be able to keep them occupied for long making these projects.
6. Have a campout on the garden lawn: There are so many things you could do with a campout this point actually deserves an article of its own. Basically be creative and plan ahead. Invite a few friends or just keep it in-house with your close family. Include fun games, water splashes, a sizzling barbecue and of course scary stories. Try putting up funny looking decorations round your lawn and lights they look fantastic after dark and don’t forget the tents.
7. Check out the library: When last did you visit one? Many of them have new improved books, CDs and DVDs you could borrow. Or just sit there and read for a while, you never know you may meet someone interesting and make new friends.
8. Bake or cook something new: The aim here is to spend little or nothing so don’t go overboard. Search round your kitchen cabinet for some ingredients you have not used in a while (please check the use by date first) and come up with a new recipe or just a dish you have not made in a while.
9. Teach your friends a craft: Do you have a craft you could teach? Can you sew, knit, sculpt or mold? Why not gather a few friends or colleagues from the office and show them how it’s done? Everyone could volunteer to bring a couple of drinks or dishes along but not expensive ones. If someone else in the group also has another skill, you can take turns.
10. Pay a visit to the local hospice or orphanage: Find out if you have a children’s hospital or orphanage in your town and what are the rules for visiting. If they do accept visitors, make a habit to visit even if just once a month. With time you could even begin to offer free services like reading to the children or singing.
11. Volunteer to visit a retirement home: Give back to society by sparing a few hours of your time to visit the elderly. Many of them may not have had any visitors in months.
12. Set up a blog if you are up to it: A platform like Blogger or WordPress offers an opportunity for you to express your views and interests and best of all its free!
13. Make a plan for the next 5 or 10 years: If you don’t already have one, this is a great time to write what you want to achieve in every aspect of your life in a few years. Where are you now and where do you hope to be? How do you intend getting there? Write it and start following through.
14. Spend quality time with your partner or spouse: Talk about issues you don’t normally have time for or just give each other a cheap spa treatment or massage.
15. Have an in-house movie night: Let your friends come over each one with their favorite films. Create a cinema setting by switching off the lights and providing popcorn, drinks and comfy blankets to sit or lie on. Have more fun by laughing at each other’s choice of movies.
There you have it. It’s not that hard when you set your mind to it. Try to deemphasize spending money all the time and look inwards more. This way you learn new things and also save some money you would have otherwise spent.