Put a stop to wasteful money habits and think about free weekend activities instead.
Do you ever feel like you leak money every time you leave the house? I do.
With opportunities to spend money baked into every thread of our lives, it’s easy to get to the end of the week and wonder where it all disappeared to. Taking on the challenge of a no-spend weekend once a month can help you free up some cash and stabilise your spending habits at the same time.
A no-spend weekend gives you the opportunity to slow down, pause, and step off the spending hamster wheel that comes with our busy lives. It’s not about giving up things you love doing but rather a chance to hit pause and get creative with ways to enjoy your weekend for free.
I spoke to my Instagram community to find out their favourite free activities, and came up with a list of 19 ways to spend your weekend without spending money.
1. Slow cook something delicious
Spending a slow weekend at home gives your debit card a rest. See what’s in your fridge or freezer and find a tasty slow-cooker recipe online. Get it going in the morning and, by dinner time, you’ve got a feast-ready dish waiting for you.
2. Get out for a hike, bushwalk or beach walk
Walking is great exercise, it can be done alone, in a couple or in groups, and it’s free. We’ve all got those places in the back of our minds we keep meaning to revisit – your no-spend weekend is the perfect time to get it done.
3. Declutter and clear out
Your no-spend weekend can give you the space in your schedule – and your mind – to finally get that decluttering job started. Whether it’s your wardrobe, your garage or your kitchen cupboards, the sense of accomplishment you’ll get from decluttering your space will make that no-spend Sunday even sweeter.
4. List stuff for sale online
Turn your no-spend weekend into a money-making opportunity by taking that clear-out to the next level and listing unwanted things online. Research has shown 86 per cent of Aussies have unwanted items they could sell, worth an estimated value of $6,964 per household. Kerching.
5. Make an at-home movie setup
Whether it’s a doona den, dark lighting or microwavable popcorn from the back of the pantry, turn your weekend Netflix binge into a movie-worthy experience.
6. Get a free coffee at a local auction
In some states, you’ll find coffee vans at open homes and auctions for property viewers. Get out, have a nosey at what’s selling on your street, and get a free flat white while you’re at it.
7. Devour a book
You can read an average-length fiction book in around five hours, so try skipping the screens for a day and sinking into a page-turner from your local library instead.
8. Dust off those board games
Rally your friends or family and settle in for a board game tournament. It’ll bring a welcome splash of silliness and keep you away from screens and scrolling for a few hours.
9. Pack up a picnic
Skip expensive takeaways or restaurants and pack up a picnic with things from home. If you don’t have classic picnic items to hand, get creative. Whip up a pot of pasta and take it to your local park in an insulated tub, or throw together homemade toasties and take them to the beach.
10. Visit an art gallery
You know, the ones you always say you’ll visit but don’t? Yeah, those. Make it your mission on your no-spend weekend to visit a free local arts and culture venue – and make a coffee to take with you.
11. Take a bike ride
Explore nature on wheels and get outside for a bike ride with friends or family. If you’re local to lakes, beaches or green spaces, take a book and some food and drinks along with you and make a day of it.
12. Potter at home
We all have our own versions of what it means to ‘potter’, but in essence, it’s taking the day as it comes and doing small, joyful activities at home. That might be baking a cake, reading your book in the garden, watering your plants, putting a wash on, watching the sun pour in, lighting a candle or just getting cosy. Pottering can be whatever you want it to be, and it’s a great way to spend a no-spend weekend.
13. Life admin
A no-spend weekend is a great chance to clear your mental load and tick off some life admin tasks. Wash your bed sheets, mend those pants, call the bank, find that medical referral, make that appointment, send that email. You know the drill. Make a list and work through it.
14. Learn something new on YouTube
Got a skill, side hustle or craft you’ve been meaning to take up? Your no-spend weekend is a great time to get the ball rolling. Whether you want to get crafty with something like sewing, knitting or crocheting, or you want to learn more about SEO or video editing, carve out some time to juice up your knowledge.
15. Create a home spa routine
Do an extended skincare routine, take a bath, paint your nails, throw on a hair mask, exfoliate and moisturise, or even try some face yoga.
16. Take a nap
Yes, it feels great, it’s free, so it’s on the list. Plus, napping can be great for your mental and physical well-being.
17. Clean out the fridge or pantry
It’s not sexy but it does feel pretty great when you can open the door without being smacked in the face with a jar of oregano from 2009.
18. Swim in the ocean
Nature’s free swimming pool is right there waiting for you. Whether it’s a leisurely summer dip or a winter ice plunge, give it a crack.
19. Check out free local events
Festivals, markets, bands, exhibitions, and even comedy shows are often held in local community spaces. Make it your mission to check one out.