When you are on a tight budget, it can be easy to dwell on the things you can’t afford to do. However, remember that happiness isn’t about how much money you have–it is about the time spent in love and with loved ones. These 50 activities won’t just save you money, they will also bring simplicity and happiness into your life.
1. Go to the public library
Take a vacation to a world away, all for free at your public library.
2. Wash your car at home
We love shiny toys. Have some fun washing yours at home for free.
3. Go for a walk
Enjoy nature and some quality time with yourself and loved ones.
4. Roman noodle cook-offs.
Compete against family and friends to see who can best reinvent this inexpensive staple.
5. Netflix marathon
Feel like a kid again having a movie marathon in your pajamas.
6. Clean out your closet
Have fun finding and rediscovering old and forgotten jewels.
7. Sleep in
Sometimes you can have the most fun doing absolutely nothing.
8. Play a board game
Whether it’s Monopoly or chess, board games bring the family together.
9. Get in the holiday spirit
There is always a new holiday around the corner. Find fun and inexpensive ways to celebrate them.
10. Go to the park
Jump on the seesaw or go high on the swings. You will laugh and feel like a kid again.
11. Go to a flea market
You can find a lot of buried treasure at the flea market.
12. Find free tours
Find free tours at your local museum, winery or draft houses.
13. Indulge a little at happy hour
A weekend night out with friends can be expensive, so indulge a little with cheap happy hour drinks.
14. Go camping
You don’t need an expensive five star resort when you can pitch a tent under the real stars.
15. Go hunting or fishing
Save money on groceries and take advantage of what nature has to offer. You can start to eat healthy.
16. Have a garage sale.
Earn some cash for your clutter by having a garage sale. Finally start your rainy day fund.
17. Window shop at the mall
Try stuff on; enjoy the hustle and bustle of being around people. Woo and awe over all the latest gadgets without spending a dime.
18. Try new recipes
Just because you can’t afford to dine out, doesn’t mean you can dine in with style.
19. Catch some rays
Get your vitamin D fix with some early morning sun rays.
20. Take turns reading a book out loud
Make reading a group activity by sharing it with your family.
21. Listen to music
Listen to your favorite tunes to sooth the soul.
22. Take a bubble bath
Enjoy some me time while soaking in some soapy bubbles.
23. Download free apps.
Technology offers new and exciting apps you can explore for free. Many of them can even help save you money.
24. Grocery shop on the weekends.
Often on the weekends large grocery chains will sample out some of your favorite products. Shop on the weekend to take advantage of some favorite treats.
25. Take turns swapping massages.
You may not be able to afford a spa day, but you can still enjoy the benefits of “if you scratch my back, I ll scratch yours.”
26. Catch a matinee
Watch the new releases at half price.
27. Have fun on the Wii
Compete with family on your Wii or Xbox. Loser does the dishes.
28. Play in the rain.
An epic mud battle can be better than the greatest water park. Loser walks home.
29. Karaoke and dance off.
Do you have what it takes to make it on American Idol?
30. Do an art project
Who knows, you might be the next Picasso.
31. Start a blog
You can start free blogs at WordPress or TypePad. Tell the world about your daily life or your thoughts on events in the world.
32. Research your city
You may find cool places and spots you didn’t know about.
33. Play a sport.
All you need is a ball, an open space and some friends
34. Check out your local farmers market.
Explore the stalls of homemade crafts and sample fresh, organic fruits, veggies and cheeses.
All you need are GPS coordinates.
36. Try new workout activities.
Add some zest to your workout. Try new classes at your local gym.
37. Play with your pet.
They also need your attention.
38. Go on a bike ride
Enjoy the freedom of riding a bike on nature’s trails.
39. Make your own how-to YouTube videos
Get silly, have fun and explore a passion for the world to see.
40. Call your loved ones
Everyone is just a phone call away.
41. Explore the thrift store
Update your wardrobe without spending a lot.
42. Go for a drive
Sometimes in life you just need to enjoy the ride.
43. Meet the neighbors
Your new best friend may be living right next to you.
44. Kiss your sweetheart
The best things in life are free–so is love.
45. Clean up your finances.
Build a budget and make plans for your future well-being.
46. Look at old pictures and photo albums
Take a trip down memory lane with some old photos with family and friends
47. Make a poor man’s mocha
Instead of spending loads of money on expensive coffee drinks, make your own. Try mixing a packet of instant cocoa with your morning coffee.
48. Enjoy the seasons
Go swimming in the summer, rake leaves in the fall, build a snowman in the winter and give flowers in the spring.
On a tight budget it may seem like you have very little. You can put things in perspective by helping others who are less fortunate.
50. Write a bucket list
You may not be able to afford all the grand ventures you want for your life, but that doesn’t mean you should stop dreaming.
Featured photo credit: Whitney Baugh via blog.pennlive.com