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50 Activities For When You’re Low On Budget

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50 Activities For When You’re Low On Budget

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

35. Geocaching

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.

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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.

49. Volunteer

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.

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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

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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