Trying A ‘No Spending’ Weekend.

This coming weekend, I am not going to spend a dime. Especially after all my visitors and exorbitant dining out expenses this month, a weekend without spending could really help my budget out. While I do normally try to watch my spending, even a few bucks every day adds up to a lot at the end of the month! If you have never done it, I highly recommend trying a “No Spending” weekend, where you don’t spend any money on anything other than regular household bills that might happen to be due at the time. This means no movies, no stops for coffee, no meals out, no museum visits — nothing that costs any money. But if you can’t spend any money, what kinds of things can you do by yourself or with your family instead? So many people think you have to spend money in order to have a good time, but that is totally untrue! Here are a few things you can do that cost absolutely nothing:

  • Go for a long walk in a park you haven’t been to before.
  • Cook dinner with your spouse using only the ingredients you already have in the house.
  • Watch bad TV – after all, you pay for that cable every month!
  • Go through your phone book and call up some long lost friends.
  • Sit in the yard with some lemonade and watch the clouds (or stars at night).
  • Take the kids to a local park and make new friends with some parents.
  • Wash the car yourself instead of going to the car wash.
  • Gather household things to participate in the 10 Things Challenge
  • See if local museums offer free days for residents. Here in NM, it’s on Sundays.
  • Volunteer – there really is no greater feeling than helping out those in need.
  • Take a book to your favorite park and sit under a tree until the book is done.
  • Invite friends over for a night of Scattergories.
  • Organize your digital photo library – you know it needs it!

Really, there are so many things you could entertain yourself with without spending any money that the list could go on forever. But the idea is to jumpstart your brain and encourage you to give it a try. What would you add to a list of things to do on a “No Spending” weekend? Let us know!

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Comments (6)

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  1. Clare says:

    Along the lines of taking a walk, one can also try out the local hiking trails if they’re fortunate to have them in the vicinity. I think the NPS also does the occasional “free” weekend for several parks around the country–plus, there are many smaller venues that don’t charge any admission at all. These are all gorgeous places, and many of them are in danger of closing or having their funding pulled because of low visitor turn-out. Bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it.

  2. Zengirl says:

    David, that is a great idea. We have been doing no spend weekend (every other weekend) for a few months (5), and it is getting easier. It was so tough, since most of shopping, socializing and spending happened in weekend. It was tough but now it is easier, but it is hard, some time no spend weekdays works better for us. we also do, “no spend month” like “small notebook” blog, spending $250 only for month. Good luck, let us know how it goes.


  3. David says:

    Thanks Zengirl, I guess I have a lot of catching up to do!

  4. David says:

    What a great idea–you’d have to get really creative if it rained, but that would be even more beneficial because you’d be able to come up with more activities rather than spending money.

    Great idea

  5. Kerri says:

    Hi David,
    What a great post. It’s a simple reminder that the best things in life are free. No doubt, some of my most enjoyable, fulfilling weekends are spent doing things for myself and loved ones that do not cost a penny. Thanks for the article.

  6. Stu says:

    I’ve done this “no-spending” weekend a couple times now. At first it was not out of choice, but necessity. I didn’t get paid on pay day! Turns out it was a blessing in disguise because the not spending weekend spilled over in to the week and really helped my budget for the month. I call them no pay-day weekends. I do it every once in a while now because I choose to.