Believe it or not, there are still fun, interesting, and inspiring things to do in every corner of the country that cost absolutely nothing, which is good since prices are rising to historic rates. The average cost for a movie ticket is an all-time high at $8.38 nationally, making a simple night at the movies too costly for many families. Finding activities that you can do without spending money has become a top priority.

No matter where you live, there are plenty of things to do without spending money. From amazing places with breathtaking views, to sports and activities that can keep you entertained, to the joy of learning, building, and exploring new things, here’s a list of 31 meaningful things you can do instead of spending money.

  1. Find the most beautiful place within 100 miles and go there. Explore it. Or just find a bench and take in the view.
  2. Read a book. Start with a classic like Catch 22 or Great Gatsby.
  3. Visit a local museum. Art museums often have amazing grounds to explore.
  4. Go to a park. Play on the playground or dip your toes in the stream.
  5. Clean your house. There’s never a bad time to check it off the list.
  6. Write. Anything. It doesn’t have to be the next American novel, and no one else has to read it. But putting your thoughts on paper can change your life.
  7. Visit the library. They still exist. And they are better than you remember.
  8. Ride your bike. Just make sure to wear a helmet.
  9. Take a walk. And not with iTunes blaring. Get to know your area.
  10. Volunteer. There are hundreds of opportunities daily to make a difference. Today’s the day.
  11. Exercise. You’ll feel better and get healthy. Skip the gym and find somewhere outdoors.
  12. Spend time with a friend. In person. The only reason for a phone is to take a selfie to remember the good times.
  13. Call your grandparents. They miss you.
  14. Update your resume, even when you’re not looking for a new job. You never know when an opportunity will present itself.
  15. Spend time in the garden. Your plants will thank you.
  16. Play tennis. Or basketball. Or soccer. Any sport really.
  17. Take a nap. A hammock, back yard, or beach are the ideal spots.
  18. Learn a new language. Practice with native speakers.
  19. Learn how to code. No matter what your profession, learning new computer skills can help you stand out.
  20. Clean out your email box. It’s time to get organized.
  21. Learn to play guitar. Or go fishing. Find your next hobby.
  22. Make time for romance. Channel your inner high school-self and have some fun with your spouse.
  23. Build something. If you’re handy, use old wood to create a table. If you’re not, find a project on Pinterest that anyone can do.
  24. Experiment in the kitchen. Use all those ingredients that got shoved to the back of the pantry and experiment. You may discover your inner Bobby Flay.
  25. Groom and bathe your pets. Fido and socks will thank you. Your family will too.
  26. Find a heavily traffic spot and people watch. Reality TV has nothing on an hour of people watching.
  27. Have a bonfire. Invite your friends or enjoy the time with your family.
  28. Sit on your porch or deck. Your favorite spirits optional.
  29. Host a game night. Play cards and board games. Make it a pot luck to save money.
  30. Go to a high school sporting event. You may have to pay for football and basketball, but many sports don’t cost a dime.
  31. Get a second job. The only thing better than saving money is making money. Find a part time job you enjoy with people you enjoy.

And many, many more. Just remember that the simple things in that matter. And often times, those simple things are free.

Featured photo credit: Moyan Brenn via earthincolors.wordpress.com

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