Fun for Less: How to Have Fun for Cheap or Free
What’s the point in trying to be frugal and saving a whole bunch of money if you’re not having fun and enjoying life?
Life is too short, and just because you’re trying to get out of debt, become mortgage free, or save for an awesome goal, shouldn’t mean you need to sacrifice an amazing time while you’re at it.
Most would agree that one of the big keys to living an awesome life is to live with excitement. There is a great deal of academic research that backs this up too: Having good, fun experiences goes a lot further in creating sustained happiness than buying even the coolest ‘stuff’ can, because experiences help define who we are and root themselves deeper into our minds. ‘Stuff’ on the other hand comes and goes, along with the happiness it provides.
Thankfully, whether you’re looking for something to do on the weekend or for a couple hours after work, some of the most fun experiences that we can have are available to us for cheap or for free.
So the following list breaks down some of the top ways you can have fun for cheap or for free. Keep in mind that some of these items may not apply to you. Everyone is different with unique tastes and preferences. The goal here is to get a few good ideas, and maybe even one or two that will help you to start something bigger. Enjoy, and feel free to share your own below if were missing any great ones!
Have fun for Cheap or Free in the Community
Check out your community paper or web sites. Discover free events, festivals, fairs, theatre, music or anything else that’s going on for free near you.
Cheapie movie nights. If you find the right theatre on the right day, tickets can still be found for as little as $5 per person to see the latest movies on the big screen. In some towns and communities, outdoor movies can be completely free.
Community sports. Get a few friends together, or make a few friends by joining community volleyball, dodgeball, softball, ultimate Frisbee, bowling or any other friendly sport league.
Free zoo or museum. Check out the free or low cost museums in your area.
Hit the water. Go to a nearby beach or swimming pool.
Watch the skies. There’s not much better art and entertainment than watching a beautiful sunset. Then stick around afterhours for the encore presentation for some star gazing in a perfect out of the City place.
Get to know your Parks. Find your Favourite Park and favourite spot in that park. Then relax, throw a ball around or grab a bottle of grape juice and have a lovely afternoon picnic.
Go hiking or walking. Check out the forests, rivers, lakes or landmarks around you. It doesn’t always take flying to another cotenant to discover your greatest adventure yet.
Go to unique stores or farmers markets. You don’t necessarily need to buy anything. But visiting funky stores and farmers markets can be a great fun way to support the locals and eat healthy.
Have fun for Cheap or Free by Being Creative
Get into photography or video. You don’t need to spend thousands to become a professional photographer or videographer. Check out a couple online Videos or courses, and then hit the town with your phone cam to capture the special moments in our world and in life. Taking your photography skills to the next level will help you stand out on social media and get you a lot of the right kind of attention.
Start a blog. Everyone should have a blog. There are little (or big) tidbits of information that only you know, and that others want to know. Maybe its some skill you’ve figured out around the house, some hobby that you’re good at or some ‘tricks of the trade’ that you’ve learned at work. Anything you’re interested in or stumbled upon. You’ll improve your writing skills as you go, and unleashing your unique perspective into the world is fun and can be deeply rewarding, especially when followers come from all parts of the globe to discuss your stuff with you.
Start a low cost part time business. Starting a business is one of the most creative things you can do. There are endless low cost business ideas out there to start part time. The key is to try finding something that you are passionate about, or can become passionate about. All the top business minds agree that you are far more likely to sick with and grow a business that you really believe strongly in. Business also require a degree of organization, social skill and discipline – all of which will improve as you work at it. Even before the business makes a dime, starting a low cost part time business can be as much fun as it is rewarding.
Have fun for Cheap or Free with Friends
Cheapie golf. Hit a golf course during twilight hours to pay a much reduced fee. If you don’t have clubs, find a used 7 iron and a putter and see how well you can do. The practice putting greens and some other golf course practice amenities are often free. Golf is a social game can be fun and relaxing at the same time.
Board Games. Break out a few board games, or try downloading and printing some of the top free ones from the internet.
Organise a potluck party. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to throw a party. Plan a potluck party and add a fun party theme to spice up the mood.
Re-hash an old relationship. Call up that family member, friend from high school, college or university and listen. They probably have more great stories to catch you up on you with than you can get from any book or video.
Have a cards night. Whip out a deck and have a good old’ time.
Wine making. If you enjoy the odd bottle, grab a couple of friends and spend an afternoon making a batch of wine. You’ll have a fun time, and cut your booze budget for the year or two by a lot.
Have Fun for Cheap or Free by Learning something New
Learn a new subject. There are a ton of free college or university level online courses available. Find a topic that you love and dive in!
Do a budget. If you’ve never had fun doing a budget, you haven’t tried Altrua’s Love It, Budget. It can help you become debt free and mortgage free while having a blast.
Read or listen to a great book. Books are cheaper in the library and can be found for free many places online. Or if you’d rather listen try YouTube or a couple free Audible audio book credits when you sign up.
Explore a nearby City or area. Learn about the history of your area, a nearby area and then go exploring. There are lots of different things to see that are closer than you think.
Learn a new language. Download an app or check out some sites to pick up a new language. If you plan on visiting another country, this is a really fun thing to have down. By knowing a core 50 -100 words, you’ll be able to get by.
Plan a great vacation. For travelling the planning and anticipation can be as fun as the trip itself. Who cares if it takes two years to plan before the trip. You’ll have that excitement in the back of your head the entire time.
Learn an instrument. Borrow a friends guitar, or check out a couple used ones for sale. Maybe you have a handy piano near buy. No matter what your instrument, learning how to play can be some of the greatest fun you’ve had.
Join a few blog communities. If you’re passionate about a subject or two, search around for the top blogs and follow them. You’ll suck up the information because you enjoy it, and maybe you’ll want to start writing your own ides in one.
Learn how to cook. If you’re already a good cook, try becoming a gourmet. If you’re a gourmet Mac and Cheese cook, you might have some fun (and impress your people) by broadening your range.
Have fun for Cheap or Free by Growing Yourself
Plan your meals. Making a meal plan can save you a ton of money, and is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Start Meditating. The benefits of meditation are almost limitless. If you have one positive habit, this might as well be it. Watch the world around you glow brighter up as you hone this skill.
Try Yoga. There’s nothing less fun than feeling stiff and uptight. Yoga can and will undo this.
Do a Kondo method clean up. Pick one room, or one type of stuff (ex. clothes, books…) at a time – and get rid of it. Donate it or sell it. By leaving behind only the very few items in the rooms that make you feel truly happy, this will be a great source of ongoing well-being. You will never want to go back to a cluttered space. An uncluttered space is also an uncluttered mind.
Talk about your goals. If you don’t have concrete goals that your brain can unconsciously strive towards, you’re likely missing out on something bigger. Its fun to plan goals too since visualising that better future will help you feel and experience it immediately.
Follow a workout routine. A good workout routine will leave you feeling amazing. The feel good brain chemicals that a good workout releases are probably the one good thing to become addicted to. Then watch the benefits ripple out to all areas of your life in a very big way.
Volunteer for a worthy cause. Science and the entire history of humanity have proven that if you give you will receive. And what’s more fun than getting nice things? Volunteer with some friends, feel good about your cause and watch out for the interesting ways that benefits will come to you over time.