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31 Things You Can Do Instead Of Spending Money

31 Things You Can Do Instead Of Spending Money

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.

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  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.

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

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More by this author

Kyle Robbins

Founder, BrandingBeard.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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