I’ve read the listicles that read something like “53 Free things to do on the weekend”. These have brought me some great ideas for having free fun, but this week I am sharing what I do for free fun on a regular basis. With moving, buying a home, some renovations and our student debt pay off plan, the money is tight right now. So it means I am trying to not spend money even more than usual. So here’s how to not spend money.
Most of the items on the list are ‘free’. I know nothing is truly free if you factor in the gas to get there etc, but we’ve already budgeted for that.
How to not spend money, but enjoy yourself….
There are a surprising number of trails in the city of Phoenix. I can even walk to one trailhead from our new home. It’s an easy and free way to get outside and stay entertained.
When I hike, I will bring my camera along. I am obsessed with my Olympus mirrorless camera, but my iPhone 11 Pro is always a go-to if I don’t want to carry much. Photography used to be my side hustle, but I found that took the magic out of it. Now it’s my hobby that is just for me and Instagram. My personal opinion is that it’s good for us all to have a hobby just because- not as a money maker.
Walking the dog
Our dog needs to get out every day…or is it that I need to get out every day? The line is blurred, but still, it’s a free activity. It helps me to clear my head, bond with Henry, and move a little in the afternoon.
Learning something new
Last week I wrote about the importance of learning new things, even when you’re pressed for time. It just so happens that many of my suggestions for learning new things are free. It’s how I am writing my book, fixing things in the new house, and building more ideas for the blog.
Since this is a personal list of what I do when I’m not spending, writing must be mentioned. Writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it feeds an important part of me. I write for clients, this is true, but I also write for myself. In a journal, for the blog, or building onto my book. It’s free and most of the time it’s fun, unless I hit that writers block.
Working on the home
I was just joking with Britt from Tiny Ambitions that am a closet interior designer. My qualifications you might ask? Watching HGTV and YouTube make me an expert. 😉 That said, I rearrange furniture, decorate, and DIY on a regular basis. Most of the time it’s totally free. (The new house did require some spending).
Creating things is another way I don’t spend money. This can include drawing, cooking, baking, and gardening. All forms of creativity that keep me off Amazon and out of my checking account.
Yoga at home
I didn’t think I would ever be one of those people who could do yoga at home. But something changed this year. Maybe it was the tight moving budget. I have been doing yoga breaks during the day between projects I am working on. I have a standing desk, but having some movement sprinkled in every hour makes me feel better. Yoga helps me to focus and work intensely for periods of time, so I am keeping it as a free at-home activity.
Hint: If you are new to yoga, then watch some YouTube videos to learn the poses.
How to not spend money…
These are the things that cost a little bit each month or each year. But they are factored into our budget, and if I am taking advantage of them- it feels like they are already free.
Going to the botanical gardens
I am recently obsessed with the Phoenix botanical gardens. We bought a year-long membership there because it was cheaper than paying for four of us to get in when my brother and his wife visited. I wasn’t sure I would use it that much, but I definitely do. It’s a calm and peaceful place I can go and write, walk or drink some coffee while looking at plants. There isn’t anything much better than that.
Watching a Netflix show
That’s correct, not everything I do for almost free is wholesome. Ha! I love to watch a good Netflix show just as much as the next person. While we quit Netflix for several years to save some money, we have it again and I am not sorry about it. Especially with shows like Schitt’s Creek, The Office (expiring 2020), and Stranger Things.
I have a cycle studio membership I pay for each month. It is actually a cheaper cycle studio than the one I was a part of in the Portland area, so that is a plus. I go at least two times a week if not more. It helps my anxiety and gets me up and moving since my job doesn’t require that.
Now it’s time to hear from you. What do you do for free fun? What’s your tips on how to not spend money?