The reason why most people look forward to Friday nights is because there’s no work or school the following day. This means that they can spend the entire weekend relaxing somewhere, doing things other than work, seeing friends, spending time with family – the list goes on. If you’re a stressed-out employee, you definitely deserve to give yourself a treat during the weekends.
However, the things that you usually have in mind to spend an enjoyable weekend typically involves money. Let’s say that you are planning to drive just a bit out of town with friends. You need to spend money on gas, food and accommodations – unless you have a specific place where you can stay for free.
Another scenario is having a family outing where you’ll either eat out or watch a movie in a theater. Both these activities require you to spend money.
What if you’re in between pay checks, the weekend is coming up and you would like to still have fun but without having to spend much or anything at all?
There are also times when it’s close to pay day but the weekend is upcoming, so you’re at a loss as to what to do without having to spend anything and stretching your budget.
Fortunately, there are many activities that you can do during the weekend with minimal or no spending involved at all. By implementing a no-spend weekend, you can enjoy the last two days of the week without burning a hole in your pocket.
How Can You Spend Your Weekend on a Budget?
Before counting down the things that you can do on a no-spend weekend, let’s first take a look at what it is, exactly. As the name implies, a no-spend weekend involves spending Friday night, Saturday and Sunday doing fun activities – but without having to spend a single cent.
When implementing a no-spend weekend, there are a few things that you should think about.
Number one: why are you going for such a program in the first place? As mentioned earlier, it could be that you are in-between pay checks and you have no more money to spend, but you still want to spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Number two: you are trying to save up for a major purchase or even your kids’ college education, so you are trying to cut back on the family’s entertainment expenses.
Number three: you could be planning a grander vacation so you are putting away money on a travel fund.
No matter what the reason is behind your need to have a no-spend weekend, there are a few rules that you should follow for it to succeed.
First, know the reason why you are having a no-spend weekend in the first place.
Second, make sure that the entire household is involved. If you’re the wife and you planned not to spend any money at all but it turns out that your husband planned for you to go out to the movies, you will not experience any savings at all.
The third rule is that you should not use your credit card, checking account or even your wallet.
The only things that you will spend on during a no-spend weekend are the things that you already allotted a budget for. This includes your food for the entire weekend. Once the weekend is over, you can go back to your normal spending habits. Whatever amount you managed to save for the weekend, you can put towards your other financial goals.
Things to Do on a No-Spend Weekend
Now, what exactly are the activities that you can do during the weekend which will not require you to spend any money, or very little cash, if at all? Take a look at the following list:
Organize a potluck dinner
If you think that a no-spend weekend means not seeing other people because you can’t go outside and spend money, think again. You can actually invite friends or relatives over for a potluck dinner. Whatever you have planned to cook for the family during the weekend will be prepared so you don’t have to spend extra money.
Then, the people who you will invite over will bring their own food to contribute to the feast, and you can bond the night away!
Have a board games night
Instead of having the kids stare at their mobile phones, laptop computers or tablets all day long, bring out those old board games and have them actually interact with each other. Monopoly, scrabble and other board games are fun while also giving them strategic and mind-sharpening skills. You don’t have to spend anything at all when having a board games night.
Binge-watch your favorite TV shows
Okay, you would have to spend a bit on electricity use when binge-watching your favorite TV shows. But it is definitely cheaper to do so at home than to go out to the movies. Play catch-up on the latest episodes of your favorite TV shows – be it that medical drama or sci-fi show that everyone’s talking about. The websites of the networks would usually have some free episodes up, so you don’t even need to pay anything for the shows.
Check out your local community calendar
During the good-weather months, most local communities organize free events like outdoor concerts, fairs, cook-offs, sing-offs and similar activities. These are usually organized by the local community officers and you can also check out the church-led activities. You can simply pack some snacks from your own kitchen so you don’t have to buy anything, then enjoy the activities for free.
Play catch-up with friends
When you’re busy at work or if the kids are always in school, you sometimes fail to keep in touch with friends and relatives. During a no-spend weekend, play catch up and give those who you haven’t heard from in a long while a quick hello via e-mail, text or social media. You’ll be surprised at how much you miss the people who aren’t that much a part of your life anymore.
Have a general house cleaning session
What better way is there to spend a no-spending weekend than with a general house cleaning session? Once the weekend is over, you will feel like you’re living in new domestic quarters. You can even grab the opportunity to sort out the things that you aren’t using anymore and make money out of them by selling them online, or at a garage sale.
Enjoy the great outdoors
If you have a bike, a basketball, volleyball, Frisbee, badminton or even just running shoes, you can spend the weekend doing something sporty. Enjoy the great outdoors by going on a short hike with the family. The fresh air would do you a world of good, and you can pack a picnic basket using the stuff that you already have in your kitchen. You can also go biking, swimming, or play a game at a local park.
Dig out those old cookbooks and experiment with old and new recipes
Whether or not you have a flair for cooking, you can easily dig out those old cookbooks and try your mom’s recipes. Using the ingredients that you already have in the pantry, experiment with old and new dishes. Cooking and preparing meals is a surprisingly relaxing activity, and you can have fun by competing against each other when it comes to plating and presentation.
Gather the kids together and bring out those art materials so that you can get crafty. You can simply doodle stuff as an artwork, create a scrapbook using old family pictures, make some do-it-yourself craft items – the list of what you can come up with are practically endless.
If you haven’t done volunteering in such a long time, a no-spend weekend is the best way to squeeze it in. Get in touch with the local soup kitchen or home in your area and ask how you can volunteer. Sometimes, you don’t even need to go far – there should be elderly or less fortunate individuals in your area who can do with your time or help.
Discover new music
Websites like Spotify and Last.Fm feature new artists who you can listen to during your idle time. If you don’t feel like listening to new artists, simply load the songs from the classics or dance the weekend away with some hip-hop tunes.
Visit your local library or museum
Libraries have a load of resources that you can use for free. Aside from books, you can also borrow DVDs, magazines, e-books or use the Internet for free. You can spend the entire day poring through the pages of classic books, or borrow one to read at home. Just make sure to return them on time so you won’t be charged with penalties.
Organize your office or personal files
If there’s an enormous amount of clutter in your home office or bedroom, the weekend is the best time to organize your files. This way, it will be easier to find something once you need them.
As you can see, there are plenty of no-cost yet still fun activities that you can do during the weekend. If all else fails, a good nap will do you a world of good if you can’t find anything worthy to do during your no-spending weekend.