With the cost of rent, groceries, tuition, textbooks and everything else, sometimes it’s hard to find any money leftover for fun when you’re first starting out. Just because you are low on funds though doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time though. That’s where a no spend weekend comes into play. While it might seem boring to not spend any money at all after a hard week of classes or work, there are still lots of ways you can enjoy yourself without spending a dime. 

So what is a no spend weekend?

A no spend weekend is just as it sounds, it’s a weekend where you don’t spend money on anything. That’s right, nothing. From Friday evening to Sunday evening, do not open your wallet for any reason. You might be thinking, “okay but what about–?” The answer is nope. No spending. For some people, this is a piece of cake. For others, not so much.  

So why do this to yourself? Easy. It’s a great way to save money. If you have noticed you’re spending more money than you should, this is a great way to give yourself a little reality check and cut back a little. 

So pick a weekend in the calendar and commit to not spending any money during that entire weekend. But how will you pass the time during that weekend? Here are 40 easy no spend weekend ideas that will make the time fly by. 

no spend weekend: person putting together a puzzle

40 ideas for a no spend weekend: 

1. Go on a walk or hike

Get out of the house for a bit and enjoy some quality time in nature. You could go for a shorter walk around your neighbourhood or make it an all-day thing with a hiking trail or two. 

2. Have a movie marathon 

Find some movies, grab some popcorn (or any other goodies you have), and settle in for an all-day movie marathon. You could even have your marathon revolve around some kind of theme or genre like superheroes, Oscar winners, movies you loved as a kid, slashers or rom coms to name a few. 

3. Have a home spa day 

You don’t need to go to some fancy spa or nail salon to take care of yourself. If you have any spa stuff at home like nail polish, face masks or bath bombs, you can treat yourself to a free home spa day. 

4. Have a picnic

Rather than having lunch inside like you probably always do, mix things up and have a picnic. Pack up some food in your bag and head to a local park or beach for a picnic. This is a great way to get out without having to spend a lot.  

5. Take on a DIY project

If you have some tools and supplies lying around, tackle a DIY project this weekend. From creating wall art to building a jewelry display, there are so many projects you can try. 

6. Check out free local events

From farmer’s markets to concerts to museum exhibits, many places have free local events you can explore. So search online or even check out Facebook events to see what’s happening in your area. 

7. Make a blanket fort 

Who says blanket forts are just for kids? Find some blankets and pillows and set up your very own blanket fort. From there, you can read a book, watch a movie, listen to some music, or even just have a nap.  

8. Cook or bake something 

Look what you have left in your fridge or pantry and see if you can whip something up. And the best part? When you’re done, you will have something delicious to eat. 

9. Go to the library 

Who says the library’s just for studying? Head to your local library and spend the afternoon hanging out and reading books. Some libraries even have free events and workshops you can check out.  

10. Spend the day browsing

Even if you don’t have a lot of cash to spend, sometimes just going to the mall and browsing can be fun too. It’s a great way to find clothing you like and want to add to your wishlist.  

11. Workout 

While gym memberships can be a bit pricey, there are lots of cheaper workout options you can try. With so many workout videos on YouTube and free fitness apps out there, you can move your body without spending anything. If you really want to work out at a gym though, many gyms have a “first class free” deal you can check out. 

12. Listen to music

From pop to country, classical to jazz, no matter what you like, spend your weekend playing some tunes. You can just sit and relax with a chill playlist or have a dance party with some high-energy songs — totally up to you. 

13. Organize & declutter

Unleash your inner Marie Kondo and organize your space. Not exactly the most thrilling way to spend your weekend, but chances are, you will feel better once your space is a little more organized. 

14. Learn a new skill

What’s something you have been wanting to learn? A new language? A new creative skill like painting maybe? Challenge yourself this weekend to stop putting it off and do it. There are plenty of free apps and videos out there that can help you get started for free. 

15. Stargaze

If you’re in an area where you can see the stars, do a little stargazing. Whether you’re a big astronomy fan or not, looking up at the stars is a free and fun way to enjoy nature.  

16. Take photos 

Try your hand at photography this weekend. If you have a fancy camera on you then great, but if not, your phone works just as well. You can go on a walk and take some nature shots or if you have a friend who’s interested, you can have a fun little photo shoot.  

17. Curl up with a book

When was the last time you read a book for fun? From an old classic to that autobiography all your friends are talking about, spend this weekend getting into a book you have been wanting to read for a while. 

18. Play a board game

If you have a board game in your room just collecting dust, pull it out and invite your friends, roommates or family to play with you. If you don’t have an actual board game on you, there are a few free online games out there you can play virtually like Spyfall, Skribbl.io and Taboo

19. Clean 

Not exactly the most fun activity in the world, but if you have been putting off cleaning for a while, spend this weekend cleaning your space top to bottom. 

20. Volunteer

Instead of focusing on you this weekend, give volunteering a try. From cleaning up garbage at a park to reading to kids at a nearby library to sorting cans at a local food bank, there are lots of ways you can give back to your community. 

21. Ride your bike

If you have a bike laying around, pull it out and go for a nice long bike ride around your town or city. It’s a fun, free way to get out for some fresh air. 

22. Binge a whole season of a TV show

If you want a cozier no spend weekend, stay inside and binge a whole season (or multiple seasons if you’re feeling ambitious) of a show you like. You could try out a new show or stick with one of your tried and true favourites.

23. Make a vision board

Collect some inspiring photos, either from the internet or old magazines, that are related to goals you want to achieve (i.e. find a picture of an airplane if you’re hoping to travel lots this year). Then make a collage of all your photos and put them up on a poster board. 

24. Look through old photos 

Whether they are in a box, in a photo album or even on your phone, take some time to look through old photos. It’s a great way to reminisce and look back at warm memories. 

25. Catch up with a friend 

If there’s a friend you haven’t seen or heard for a while, reach out and say hi. Whether you invite them over or just have a video call with them, catching up with somebody you care about is a great low-spend way to spend your weekend. 

26. Start a free trial 

Whether you want to watch some movies, play some video games or learn how to use a new software program, get a free trial and spend your weekend testing it out. 

27. Play video games

If you’re a video game fan, why not spend your weekend relaxing and playing video games? If you have some games and a computer or console, kick back and get gaming. 

28. Play an instrument 

If you have an instrument hidden in the back of the closet, now’s the time to pull it out for a jam session or two. Whether you’re a total newbie or a total pro, take time this weekend to make some music.

29. Make a time capsule

Spend this weekend making a fun time capsule for yourself to open in a few years. All you need is a box or envelope and some things you want to put inside it like letters, notes, pictures and trinkets. Then write down an “open on this date” note on the envelope/box, hide it somewhere where you won’t see it for a while and voila! Your time capsule is done. 

30. Do that thing you’ve been putting off

You know the thing. Maybe it’s sorting through your emails. Or organizing your closet. Or making that appointment for that thing you keep saying you will do tomorrow. This weekend, challenge yourself to stop procrastinating and actually get it done.

31. Meditate

Practice some mindfulness this weekend and practice meditation. Find a quiet, comfortable spot in your home and try meditating using a free meditation app or podcast. 

32. Spend the day getting crafty

Unleash your inner artist and try your hand at arts and crafts. From homemade candles to upcycled pencil cases to cute coffee mugs, there are so many crafty Pinterest projects you can attempt with just a handful of supplies. 

33. Go camping

When you need a mini-vacation, why not go camping? If you have the gear, spend your weekend unwinding at a campsite. If you’re not feeling so adventurous, try camping in your backyard or even inside instead. 

34. Write

Got an idea for the next great bestselling novel? Take some time this weekend to work on it. If writing a novel isn’t your thing, try out other kinds of writing instead like blogging, screenwriting or even poetry. 

35. Use up some old gift cards

Whether it’s a restaurant, a coffee shop or a store, if you have some old gift cards sitting in your wallet, use them up and treat yourself to something special.  

36. Make a budget

While not exactly the most fun thing in the world, making a budget is a productive way to spend your weekend and helps you keep track of where your money’s going. All you need is to set up a spreadsheet in a software program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets and then you can go from there.

37. Explore your town or city

Get out of the house and spend your weekend exploring where you live. Whether it’s art installations, parks, beaches or shops, you are sure to find something new. 

38. Journal

Grab a pen and paper and start writing everything down. Write about whatever you want — what makes you happy, what makes you sad, what you’re grateful for, what you want, what’s bothering you. There are no wrong answers when it comes to journaling. 

39. Learn more about yourself

Get to know yourself better with a personality test. From the Myers-Briggs personality test to the Enneagram test to fun Buzzfeed quizzes, there are lots of free tests out there that can help you learn more about who you are.

40. Have a good laugh

If you feel like you need a good laugh, spend your weekend watching lots of funny content. Whether it’s watching funny dog videos or checking out some comedy specials, find some content that brings a big smile to your face. 

Final thoughts on your no spend weekend:

Even though it sometimes feels hard to find ways to have fun without spending money, with these 40 fun ideas, you can easily find ways to pass the time during your no spend weekend.