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50 Things to Do for Free

Updated on July 11, 2016

Alternatives to Spending Money

Whether you have the money to spend or not, you'll find these activities a great alternative to the usual money spending options! Enjoy these 50 ways not to spend money!

1. Rent a movie from the library. Library's don't just have books! They also have dvds and music as well. You may find an old favorite or be surprised by the recent selections your library has to offer. If you are feeling brave try choosing a foreign film you never heard of before. (Just make sure it has English subtitles)

2. Clean your house Mary Poppins style! This means turn up the music and rock out as you get your chores done at the same time. You'll be surprised what a difference upbeat music makes to your normal cleaning routine.

3. Make a handmade card. If the holidays have passed and your best friend's birthday isn't until next month, that's okay! You can make the card and hold onto it for later. You'll be glad you did when you need a card in the future and don't have the time or the money. Also handmade cards always seem more thoughtful and heartfelt.


4. Teach yourself something new. Whether you always wanted to learn how to make your own paper or how to juggle, it doesn't hurt to try! Just make sure you have all the materials you need before getting started. Search the web for instructions: youtube is a great source for guided tutorials on just about anything you can think of!

5. Write a letter to yourself. You can write about your thoughts and feelings in the moment or how you see yourself in the future five years from now. Date the letter and put it in an envelope. Seal it and write on the outside when you want to open it!

6. Help someone in need. This could mean calling a friend who is feeling down or helping your neighbor weed the backyard. You will both be feeling great at the end!

7. Rearrange your bedroom. This is a fun way to not only force you to clean your room, but also re-energize the space and give it a new look. This physical activity will leave yourself feeling energized as well!


8. Go outside and do a walking meditation. This can be an easier form of meditation for those of us who can't sit still. Walk slowly and feel each movement you make, your foot as it lifts off the ground, the swing of your legs, and the feel of you foot reconnecting with the earth. You can also do this indoors if you have a long space and just walk back and forth. Be warned that when in public you may look like a zombie!

9. Write a short story or poem. If you are scared or are having trouble beginning, don't worry! Getting started is always the hardest. Try jotting down your favorite words, which can be based on their sound, look, or your associations. Then see how you can combine them into something new and unique. It doesn't have to make sense and it doesn't have to rhyme! Try to be loose and have fun.

10. Build a fort. No one is too old for forts! Grab your blankets, sheets, and pillows, and make yourself an indoor castle. Create a space that is just for you or you and a loved one and make it as comfortable as possible. Books, music, writing supplies, and food all make great additions to any fort.

11. Take photographs! Get outside and snap pictures of anything that excites your spirit. Take multiple pictures of the same thing in case some don't come out, you can always delete them later. When you are finished you can create a mini album of the day's findings!

12. Make a comfort box. Find a box that isn't being used, about shoe box size and decorate the outside. Use images that make you happy either from photographs or magazine cut outs. Put inside the box little things that bring you comfort. This could be your favorite scented candle, a small stuffed animal, or a written list of things that make you happy. This box will come in handy when you are feeling down!

13. Wash your sheets and make your bed. I know this is a chore that many off us put off doing for far too long, but trust me it makes all the difference! Seeing your bed made will put you in a better mood and having clean sheets to crawl in between will feel great.

14. Arts and crafts and DIY projects are a great way to take what you already have and make it into something new. Gathering all of the supplies and materials you have and see what you can do without having to buy anything extra. This could be a fun challenge!

15. Dress up in all your clothes that you never wear. You may find some treasure hiding in the back of your closet. Clothes that you forgot about or weren't in style then may be now! Any clothes that don't make the cut donate to your siblings or good will.

16. Make a vision board. Think about what you would love to bring into your life or have more of. Genuine love, a healthy lifestyle, more money, or all of the above? Cut out pictures that represent what you want in life or print them out and glue them to a piece of poster board. If the board is too big, cut it down to a size that is comfortable for you. Hang your vision board where you can see it on a daily basis to remind yourself of your life goals.

17. Have a pile of books to read but they all seem uninteresting? That's okay! First I would suggest reading a full chapter of the book...you may just get pulled in. If it is still boring to you look up something new and different to read that you can borrow from the library or a friend, something you get excited about.

18. Organize your junk drawer! You will probably find something that you were looking for earlier. Anything that you haven't used in a long time...toss it. Clearing up this clutter will certainly make you feel much more refreshed.

19. Paint your finger and toe nails! Have a mini spa at home and soak in scented water. Light some candles, play soothing music, and relax.

20. Make a homemade gift. Think about what you are good at (painting, baking, music, etc.) and make something small to give to someone as a just because present.

21. See if you can re-write your to do list in a way that you spend less money. For example walk when you can instead of drive, borrow instead of buy, and rethink the purchases you need to make.

22. If the weather permits, wash your car inside and out! Throw out all those wrappers and paper cups and don't forget to clean the inside of your windows!

23. Volunteer for a group or organization that you really care about. Not only will you up your karma, you'll feel good about yourself too!

24. Walk, bike, hike, or run outside! Being outside and connecting in nature is a great way to boost your mood and get in shape at the same time. Be sure to observe the beauty of nature around you and not be stuck in your head.

25. Getting hungry by now? Time to clean out the fridge! Get rid of everything that is too old or you know you will never eat. Take what is left and do and list the ingredients you have in an internet search. You will probably get many results of things your can make. Don't be afraid to make substitutions where necessary and be creative!

26. Call a friend you want to stay in touch with but haven't had the time to be with and catch up! Ask questions about how your friend is doing and what is new in his or her life. Practice listening and make sure your friend feels heard.

27. De-clutter your house by removing anything that is unnecessary or you simply haven't used. You can either sell your items in a yard sale or online, or donate them.

28. Pick wildflowers or any plant that is in season. Display them in a jar or vase and use the plants as your new, fresh centerpiece!

29. Break out the photo albums and bring back old memories to the front of your mind. You may want to sort through them and put them in order or write down notes on the back of the photo.

30. Do that task that has been on your to do list all week and feel a great sense of accomplishment when you cross it off! For me, this was finally cleaning my fish tank!

31. Make a list of goals that you have for yourself. Take each goal and break it down into tiny more manageable mini goals. Each mini goal is a step closer to your ultimate goal. Remember, beginning is always the hardest.

32. Create your own still life using objects in your home that hold special value or meaning to you. Set them up in a pleasing composition. Then depending on what you like to do best, photograph, draw, paint, or sculpt the still life.

33. Take some time and write down you favorite quotes. You can go to the internet for help by searching your favorite themes and topics. Choose one or two that stand out to you and write them on a sticky note, placing it somewhere you will see often.

34. Curl up with your favorite blanket and pillow and take a 20 minute power nap. Make sure you set an alarm if you can't wake up on your own.

35. Have a picnic in your backyard, or inside on the living room floor if it is raining! Make your favorite foods, bring a book, and enjoy.

36. Get out those work out tapes that are collecting dust and work up a sweat for free!

37. Check out some podcasts. You'll be surprised about the number of topics that podcasts cover. Sports to spirituality, if you are interested in something, you will probably find a podcast featuring it. I find it enjoyable to do simple chores or sip tea while I listen to my favorites.

38. Play games either by yourself or with others. I often forget how much fun a simple board game can be until I actually start playing it. If you are on your own you can use your computer as an opponent in many online games or you can teach your self single player card games.

39. Take a look at the different museums that are near to you. By doing a little research you may find that some of them are free to you or have certain free hours/days.

40. Start a journal or write a new entry for today. Journals are wonderful ways to document your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. They are also great ways to look back on how you thought in the past.

41. Make are with nature. Go outside and collect anything that catches your eye...a shiny stone or a twisted twig. When you have gathered a good bit, lay you objects out so you can see everything. Begin sorting objects together, making tiny art arrangements. Try starting at the center and working outward in a mandala like way.

42. Make your own custom thank you cards. These cards will not only save you money and time in the future they will also feel more heartfelt.

43. Go through your magazine collection and sort them into piles such as magazines to be read, magazines to be used for collage projects and magazines destined to be recycled!

44. Origami is wonderful because the only material you need is paper! There are many tutorials online that will teach you how to fold just about anything. Start with something easy and then go from there. If you make a successful piece you can use it as a decoration detail or even a gift!

45. Do you have a special talent or know how to do something particularly well? Why not share your secrets on youtube?

46. Search for coupons in your local mailers and cut out anything that you would normally buy. Try to avoid anything that you wouldn't usually purchase because in the end you will end up spending more.

47. Hold a book exchange party. Invite your friends to come to your home along with their personal copy of a favorite book. You can each talk a little bit about why it is your favorite book and then swap books!

48. No better time than now for lawn maintenance! Nothing looks nicer than a well kept lawn and a patio that is freshly weeded.

49. Think about you favorite Disney fairy tale and then look up the original story either online or at your local library. You may be very surprised with what you find...most fairy tales have been changed or leave out very captivating details.

50. Turn up your favorite song and don't be afraid to dance and sing along!

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    • Maryam Mostajir profile image

      Maryam Mostajir 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Great tips! :)