Have you ever tried doing a no spend challenge? As the name suggests, it’s a challenge which prevents you from spending any money during a set period of time! Here, you will learn some FREE and FUN activities that can be done during a no spend weekend. It’s a great way to save and stay on budget since the weekend is when most of us have the hardest time staying on track. When most people think of a no spend challenge, they often have images of being bored doing nothing. It really doesn’t have to be this way! Personally, we’ve done many no spend weekends, some of which were our most fun and memorable weekends to date! In case you’re wondering what made these no spend challenges so exciting, here’s a list of free (and fun!) things to do during a no spend weekend.
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According to this survey and these graphs, it was no surprise that Americans spend significantly more money during a weekend (and a payday week) than all the other days. If you fall into this category of spenders, it might be worth your while to try your hand at a no spend weekend challenge.
After you’ve got the hang of a few no spend weekends (and you realize how fun it can still be!), you can maybe try doing a no spend month or a no spend year.
A no spend year is a good idea when you have really big financial goals that you’re trying to achieve sooner rather than later and you’re willing to sacrifice and save as much as you can.
In fact, a group of us are doing a no spend year this year and we have formed a Facebook Group to help support each other and keep each other on track. If you’re interested in jumping along and sharing this journey with us, feel free to request to join the group.
So, what exactly is a No Spend Challenge anyway?
A no spend challenge refers to refraining from spending any money at all during a set period of time. Some common ones are a no spend weekend, no spend week, no spend month or a no spend year.
The idea is that you’re supposed to stick to necessary purchases only. This means food (which should be frugal and cheap but healthy!), bills, house payments etc.
The thing that most people don’t realize is that there are hundreds of free things to do during a no spend challenge. Heading out and having fun definitely takes boredom out of the equation which helps you stay on track and save more!
What are some of these fun things to do?
37 Fun Things to do During a No Spend Challenge
To keep things simple, I’ve categorized each activity. Enjoy!
No Spend Challenge At home
Many people avoid going out during a no spend challenge to prevent spending money on gas. For these super frugal people, here are a few fun, free activities to add some excitement to your no spend weekend!
1. Play board games
Dust out those old board games and watch your no spend weekend go from dull to exciting in 60 seconds! Not only are you saving money, but you’re creating memories to last a lifetime!
2. Read a Book
Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget what it is like to just sit and get lost in a good book. Whether it’s your bible, a novel or a personal finance book to help you grow closer to your finance goals, reading is such a great way to pass time during a no spend weekend!
3. Listen to an Audio Book or Podcast
If reading is not your thing, how about listening to an audiobook or podcast? It even better than you can listen whilst folding the clothes or packing away the dishes.
4. Build a Puzzle
5. Take a Free Online Course
Is there something you’re interested in learning? Photography? A new language? Use your no spend challenge to increase your knowledge!
6. Watch YouTube Videos
There’s nothing that can help you pass time like YouTube! You sit to watch one video and before you know it, it’s three hours later. YouTube has something for everyone and any mood. Watch some funny videos to laugh your butt off, watch documentaries about animals or our planets or learn a new skill by viewing tutorials.
Enjoy your no spend weekend by spending some time in the kitchen making some yummy treats. Make enough for the entire week so that you’re not tempted to pick up some donuts on your way to work. More savings FTW!
After you’ve finished cooked, create a meal plan for the upcoming week so you can rack up even more savings.
Pssst! Meal Planning saves me thousands of dollars every year! Not sure how to get started? Grab a copy of my free Meal Planning e-guide below.
8. Rearrange a Room
Choose a room, get some inspiration from HGTV (or this amazing Joanna Gaines book!) and make it look straight out-of-a-magazine!
Grab whatever art materials you have, turn on some relaxing music and paint whatever comes to your imagination. Remember those YouTube videos we spoke about earlier? Use some painting tutorials for help and inspiration.
10. Have a Movie Day (or Night)
Choose a few movies, make some popcorn at home and stay in your pjs all day long. Sometimes the best days are these lazy days. Yay for rest, relaxation and saving!
Use Pinterest to search for some fun and easy crafts to do. Learn embroidery, crochet, modge podge and so many more crafty skills. You can even use many of these to make crafts to sell…for even more savings!
Working out is free and healthy! Turn on some music or a YouTube video and get up and get moving. Personally my favorites are the Zumba Videos. They offer step by step tutorials and can have you working up a sweat in no time.
13. Tidy Up
Watched Marie Kondo’s recent Tidying Up series on Netflix? A no spend weekend is the perfect time to get started and start executing what you learned!
14. Browse Online for Free Stuff
Check social media groups or sites like Craigslist for free stuff.
15. Have a Spa Day at Home
Do your own facial, lip scrub, foot soak, manicure and pedicure.
16. Take a Nap
You can’t put a price on taking a rest.
17. Write a Book/Start a Blog
Always wanted to write a book or start a blog but just never had the time? Why not start now?
18. Analyze your budget
Look at your incoming money vs your expenditure and see what you can do to save. Search for new ways to save money and make money each month.
19. Start a Bullet Journal
Use a bullet journal to organize every aspect of your life.
20. Scrap Book
Work on a scrap book, organize baby pictures, organize the kids’ shadow boxes or do something that you’ve been putting off for a while.
Heading Out during a No Spend Challenge
21. Have a Picnic
Going on a picnic is a fun and amazing idea for a no spend weekend. Make your own sandwiches, grab some drinks from your refrigerator, a basket and blanket and head out to a park to have some lunch. Put away the phones and enjoy spending precious time with your family.
22. Go for a Jog
If you’re on a no spend challenge, chances are you’re probably trying to save and you’ve given up your gym membership. Going for a jog is a free and fun way to get your exercise in. It can help you clear your head, get some fresh air and help you feel refreshed. Start up a great playlist and get your feet moving!
23. Have a Beach Day
The beach is another free and fun option for a no spend challenge. You literally need nothing but your bathing suit to go. And even that isn’t an absolute necessity. If you plan to stay a while, pack your food and drinks to go so that you will not be tempted to buy along the way.
24. Go Fishing
Fishing is both fun and free. You can dig up your own free bait (worms from your back yard or along the river bank) and have hours of fun. The best part is, at the end of your fishing trip, you’ll have a free dinner with your catch!
25. Go Camping
Organize your camping material and choose a nice, safe spot to go camping. Throw in some smores and a few spooky stories and you’re good to go!
26. Ride a bike
You can choose to ride along a biking trail or simply stick around your village. This can be even more exciting if you ride with family or friends.
27. Fly a Kite
Flying a kite is fun and easy. You can make your own using items from home.
28. Take a City Tour
Act like a tourist in your town or city. Since you’re already a resident, you already know where’s free and where’s not.
29. Go Hiking
Hiking is fun, helps you get your exercise in and usually leads to some of the most spectacular views.
30. Have a Pool Day
Grab your swim suit, sunscreen lotion and head to a local, community pool that is free.
31. Visit an Open House
You can find out about the open houses in your area and go check them out for some house inspiration or home decor ideas. Bonus points if you’re doing a no spend weekend because you’re saving for a house. This will motivate you even more!
32. Take a Free Class
Many towns and cities offer free classes. These range from beauty culture to music and dance to party decor. Sign up for a free class and then use your new skill to increase your income with a new side hustle.
33. Go to a Free Concert
Browse online to see if there are/when there would be any free concerts in your area.
34. Take a trip to the Library
The library is heavenly for any no-spend-weeker (new word?). Seriously, I recently saw a quote floating around somewhere which highlighted the fact that the library is the only place that you can go and not feel pressured or expected to buy something.
Borrow books (some libraries have movies also) and spend the rest of your no spend weekend at home enjoying your new finds.
35. Do a Scavenger Hunt
Get your friends and family in on this. One or two people can set up the scavenger hunt and the others can hunt for clues. Fun and free!
36. Drive around in your car
Go for a drive. Talk. Laugh. See new places.
37. Play your favorite sport
Chances are you’d already have equipment for your favorite sport. You can go to a sporting facility and get some practice in during your no spend challenge!
There you go! Use these fun activities to add some excitement to your no spend weekend, create wonderful memories with your friends and family all whilst watching your savings grow.
Whatever your reason for choosing to do a no spend weekend, keep focused on your goal and remember that hard work and sacrifice pays off!
Do you usually do no spend challenges? Are there any other fun activities that you love to do during these no spend challenges? Share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Until next time,
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