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50 Fun Night-Out Ideas For $10 Or Less

50 Fun Night-Out Ideas For $10 Or Less

If you’re like most people, frugal living isn’t merely a cash-savings tool but a necessity. But who says you can’t have a fun night-out without spending wads of cash? Whether you’re looking for frugal family friendly adventures, budget proof date night ideas or cheap and easy weekend fun with your BFF’s, here’s 50 ideas to get you started.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of the Community

Most cities are overflowing with community events that are cheap or free for your enjoyment.

1. Check out your library schedule for family-friendly book readings, educational seminars, and more.

2. Go to a downtown art festival and admire how crafty your fellow citizens are.

3. Bust a move at a downtown concert series.

4. Ask your local grocery store if they offer cooking classes.

5. Enjoy (or even participate in) holiday parades with your kids.

6. Scream and shout on exhilarating rides at your county fair.

7. Visit a student art gallery at your local college.

8. Get your knowledge on at a local museum (hint: check their schedule for discounts). 

9. Volunteer your efforts to a community cause you care about.

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10. Compete in a local 5K or obstacle race.

Enjoy the Beauty of Nature

Nature is an easily-accessible gift that is free-of-charge 24/7. The only limit to enjoying nature is your own imagination, but here are some ideas to get your wheels turning.

11. Go camping under-the-stars, start a fire, and tell ghost stories.

12. Print off a sky map and look for planets and constellations. Feeling romantic? Take your love out to a secluded area with a blanket, a bottle of champagne, and a telescope.

13. Walk on a beautiful trail and enjoy the changing colors.

14. Take your partner on a picnic with a home-cooked dish or take-out.

15. Find a hiking trail suitable for your fitness level and admire a waterfall or mountaintop.

16. Take your puppy to a local dog-park so it can make some new friends.

17. Curl up with a good book next to a lake or river.

18. Looking for a new hobby? Bird-watching is tons of fun!

19. Wander through a corn maze (make it a haunted one if you have the guts for it).

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20. Check the schedules of your area parks and go to a star-gazing event at a planetarium or plant and animal life presentation by a local park ranger.

Are You Not Entertained?

Whether you want to laugh to your heart’s content or dance the night away, I’ve got you covered.

21. Laugh away at a stand-up comedy routine by aspiring comedians in your hometown.

22. Belt out a tune at a karaoke night in a local restaurant or bar.

23. Feel classy while enjoying the sound of a local symphony or orchestra.

24. Grab some coffee and dessert and enjoy community talent at an open-mic night at a nearby coffee house.

25. Take your kids to a children’s play performed by a local community theater, high school, or college.

26. Get a sitter and take your partner to a more risque theatrical production (or if you’re feeling daring, audition for a community play yourself!). 

27. Enjoy a matinee movie to get the same Hollywood experience at a steep discount (if you really want to save dough, eat a home-cooked lunch before you go and go out for a simple dessert after the show). 

28. Shake it like a Polaroid picture at a local dance club.

29. Play the video games you loved as a child at an area arcade. You could even challenge your partner to a game of ski-ball, air hockey, or pool.

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30. Sip on some booze at a local wine-tasting event (and if that doesn’t quite do the trick, go enjoy Happy Hour at your favorite restaurant immediately after). 

Be Sporty (as Viewer or Participant)

If you’re a sports fanatic, you have tons of fun things you could be doing! You could also move your body to let off some steam, burn some calories, and have fun with your friends.

31. Go outside for a few minutes after work and teach your children to properly toss a baseball, football, or Frisbee.

32. Watch local high-school football games and cheer on the home team.

33. Challenge your friends to a game of bowling.

34. Take your love out for a fun game of miniature golf.

35. Admire the changing leaves at your park during a game of Frisbee golf.

36. Invite your friends to a local sports bar on game day.

37. Play Hide-and-Go-Seek, Tag, Red Rover, or Mother May I outside with your kids. 

38. Take your date to a tennis court, batting cage or driving range and let out some aggression together.

39. Join a local basketball league at your area gym or YMCA.

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40. Get rowdy at a minor-league hockey game.

Get Your Nom Nom On

Eating out doesn’t have to eat up your budget. Here are some creative ways to dine-out on a budget.

41. Go out to a local hole-in-the-wall diner.

42. Chow down at a fundraising dinner sponsored by an area charity, civic club, or church.

43. Eat dinner at home and go out for dessert at an ice cream parlor or pastry shop.

44. Research area restaurants to find out which ones offer free meals for kids to save some dough.

45. Throw a party, invite some friends, and ask everyone to bring a single dish or bottle of wine.

46. Invite your partner to that super classy restaurant but split a dish (because portions are out of control anyway!). 

47. Enjoy a tasty cappuccino or espresso at a local coffee bar and bring a deck of cards.

48. Take a stroll downtown and grab a bite at a food cart or hot-dog stand.

49. Surprise your kids with a delicious treat at a candy shop.

50. Prepare some home-made fudge, stuff it in your purse or jacket pocket, and sneak it into a movie (take that, outrageous concessions prices!). 

I hope these fun-and-frugal night-out ideas help you save some dough. How do you have a fun night-out when cash is tight? 

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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