Welcome back! We have a couple of months left before we head into summer. So, I thought it would be good to share a post on how to “not spend money” for short spurts in order to save for summer vacations, emergency funds, debt reduction or even just fun money!
We LOVE to go on trips and those vacations are big expenses and for us. We have to budget and save in order to make our trips happen. I bet you are the same way.
I challenge you to try doing this “no spend weekend” thing several times before summer gets here. It’ll free up money that you might have spent without thinking it through.
It might be not pre-summer when you are reading this post – so keep in mind that this can be done anytime, year round, to save money yet still have fun.
So, here we go! Ideas for a “no spend weekend” that’ll keep you busy – or allow you to be lazy – whichever you choose.
1. Go to the library
Depending on the size of your town or city will depend on what there is to do at a library. If you live in a small town and don’t really like the options that are close by, I suggest going to the nearest large city and checking out their library. You can find everything from “story hour” for kids, computers for adults and kids alike to play games and research, contests, free downloadable books, art contests, book reviews and even authors book signings. It is a great way for an entire family to do something fun and free that involves books! We teach our kids that readers are leaders so I love this as an idea for a family.
2. Go on a picnic
Spring, summer and fall are great times for this type of activity. You’ll need a blanket (or two), any type of food your family enjoys, and snacks. I would also suggest some type of ball (basketball, volleyball or baseball), maybe a frisbee for throwing, or a kite if it’s windy. You could also load up your bikes if your family enjoys bike riding. I suggest leaving all electronics in the car and make yourself BE in the moment with your family!
3. Play at the park with your kids
This kind of piggy backs off of #2 – but this is a way for you to be intentional about spending times with your kids without social media, cell phones, computers and tablets. Often times, we get distracted with all of the necessary (but distracting) things and forget what is most important in our lives.
4. Go for a nature walk
Put on a good pair of tennis shoes and some comfy clothes and find a great nature trail or hiking area. Pile your family up in the car with your dog, snacks, and water. You’ll find that you don’t need a thing to have fun – all you need is time away to feel rejuvenated and refreshed!
5. Ride a bike
Bike riding is great for your health and our mental outlook! Knock out both in one 30 minute ride in your neighborhood. This could be a family outing or you could do this all by yourself.
6. Read a book you’ve been wanting to read
I don’t know about you but I have so many books I want to read that I find I never reach the end of my list. Make a list of the top 5 books you want to read and pick one to start this weekend.
7. Make a new recipe each day of the weekend
I have a tendency to make the same recipes often. I have a hard time branching out if I don’t make myself do it! Thats why I started a “Delicious recipes” board on Pinterest. You can check it out here. I love pasta, crock pot cooking, delicious desserts and although I don’t have an Instant Pot – yet – I’ve started a board for this too because I have heard so much about them!
Pick one or two new recipes for your no spend weekend and make them for (or with) your family. It’s a way to spend time together and eat some fun new food.
8. Redesign a room’s furniture
I am the WORST at this! I usually set up a room and never move it around! What about you?! I challenge you – especially if you are like me – to pick a room and transform it in one weekend! Use Pinterest for ideas and just completely change it up! You might find a new hobby!
9. Go to a nearby beach
Okay, this option will depend on how close you are to a beach. I am not remotely close to one so this isn’t an option for me. I would have to plan this one and it would be more like a vacation. However, if you are fortunate enough to live close to the water I suggest a day out in the sun and surf to clear your mind and spend time with family.
10. Set your goals for next 1 year, 5 years and 10 years.
If you a dream of owning your own business, starting a side hustle or ditching your day job then this would be a great weekend to write out some goals. I suggest starting with 6 month goals and then stretch it out to your 1, 5 and 10 year goals. You can make this kind of simple and fast or you could spend a large part of your weekend really planning out what you want the next 5 to 10 years you look like. Have fun with this one! You only get one life so make it count!
11. Clean out your flower beds
I live in Texas and we have to do this starting in spring and going all the way into late fall. Pull all weeds, treat your flower bushes with Miracle grow or some type of plant food, trim your bushes and spread fresh mulch. This makes your home look really nice and makes you feel good inside too.
12. Re-organize and clean out your kitchen cabinets
There is nothing like a good cleansing in your kitchen to get rid of things you don’t use, items you forgot you had and make everything easy to find. The longer you live in a house the more cluttered it can get if you don’t stay on top of things. A no spend weekend is a great time to get organized and de-clutter a super busy room in your house.
13. Visit a free museum
This will take a little bit of research but they are out there. Some museums have certain days or weekends that they offer free admission. Look ahead and see if there are any in your area that would be interesting to your family.
14. Find a nearby lake or pond and go fishing
We live fairly close to at least 4 or 5 lakes and we even have a small neighborhood pond where we live. Pack a picnic for your family and a few fishing poles and get going! Fishing can be relaxing and even fun if you catch something. As a side note – my husband is pretty good at fishing. I, on the other hand, am not!
15. Look ahead and get organized for an upcoming event or season
Depending on what time of year it is when you are reading this will depend on what is coming up. As I am writing this, summer is about 8 weeks away so I am starting to write down ideas for summer fun. If it’s close to Christmas, or Spring Break or July 4th – then write down some ideas for a party, gift ideas, a vacation or a gathering you’d like to plan soon. Start to get your ideas down on paper so you are more organized and ready to move when it’s time!
16. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
This is something I have always wanted my family to do together. We are so blessed and have so much that I think it would be good for my kids to see how fortunate we truly are. Serving others gives a new perspective and forces you to be grateful for the people and things in your life.
17. Get your camera out and go to a picturesque place for some photography
I am not a professional but I do love to see what I can do with my camera. Get outside and see nature up close. Take risks with your pictures. Snap pics of everything! In all lights and at every angle. See what your capable of and have fun!
18. Camp in your backyard with your kids
My husband actually does this from time to time. He loves camping and likes to sleep outside! Now, I prefer my bed – which is only 30 feet away – to each his own, right?! Set up a tent, start a fire and make the most of your “campsite.” The good news is this – if you get sick of “no bed” then your “real bed” is just a few steps away!
19. Make s’mores over a campfire in the back yard (or in your fireplace)
This could piggy back off of #18. In case you don’t know what a s’more is – it is a marshmallow, a graham cracker and a piece of chocolate. You roast the marshmallow over the fire and place it on top of the graham cracker, then layer the chocolate and finally another graham cracker. Eat it like a sandwich! It’s fantastic!
20. Get your pictures on your phone and computer organized
Most people have thousands of pics that are not labeled or organized in the least! Take a weekend and get all of those priceless memories into files. It will make it easier when your kids graduate from high school or anytime you need to find photos to share with others.
21. Have a movie marathon with your family
This one – is – without a doubt – my favorite! I could watch movies, eat popcorn and lounge in my house pants every weekend! Pick your favorite movies, snag your favorite food, get comfy and enjoy a long day of movies at home with the people you love the most.
22. Get an old piece of furniture ready for a refinish/re-stain
Take an old piece of furniture and sand it to get it ready for a re-stain job. I suggest dumpster diving (driving around and looking for old items people are throwing away). You might be shocked what you will find just laying on the side of the road. People do this all the time and make hundreds of dollars when they re-sell it!
Side note: I recently re-stained our front door! The house is 5 years old and the door really needed a fresh coat of stain and water sealer. My husband sanded it for me and I followed with one coat of stain and two coats of water sealer It turned out beautifully!
23. Start writing that book you’ve been wanting to start
There are so many who would love to write a book. You’ve thought about it. You’ve talked about it for years. Just START! Stop waiting for the perfect time. There isn’t a perfect time! Once you start you’ll find a new excitement to keep moving.
24. Get your thoughts on paper for that side hustle you’ve been wanting to start
If you have bee thinking about ditching your day job, starting a side hustle and really transforming you life – then this is a great weekend to get organized! Check out one of my most popular posts – 75 Ways to Make Money Without a Job or Boss. Write down a few options that might be a fit for you. I suggest getting the FREE printable I have for you right below.
25. Take a long walk and clear your head from the stresses of life
Never under estimate the power of getting outside, by yourself, and just walking. You can pop in your ear buds and listen to music or a podcast. You also have the option of just listening to nothing! Just enjoying the beauty around you and listening to the singing of the birds. Allow nature to clear your mind and give you a new perspective on life and family.
26. Write a letter of gratitude to someone you want to thank
I find that there is always someone I want to say thank you to – and often times I get busy and just don’t. Take some times to write an actual thank you note to someone who has been instrumental in your life. It does two things – It takes your mind off of you and also lifts the spirits of someone who has done something good or meaningful for you.
27. Get on Amazon and start saving items in your shopping list for Christmas
As I write this Christmas is a long way off! However, it is never a bad time to start thinking about ideas for Christmas. Set up a “Shopping List” on your Amazon account. It is private – so only you can see it. Begin to put items in this list that you are thinking of buying as a gift for Christmas. It’ll save you a ton of time when Christmas rolls around!
28. Read the Bible, meditate and pray
I realize not everyone will consider this but never under estimate the power of mediation and prayer. It has a way of lifting your spirits and shifting your focus to a higher power. Often times, I find that I am much more peaceful after prayer and Bible study. My mind is more clear and my day has a tendency to go more smoothly. This is a great idea for a no spend weekend that will help you focus on what is most important in your life.
There you go! Twenty eight ways to enjoy a “no spend weekend” all by yourself or with your family.
Depending on where you are at in life, a “no spend weekend” could mean more money towards debt reduction, beefing up your emergency fund or stashing money away for that dream vacation!
As always, I am cheering you on and believing in you every step of the way!
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