How to Have a No Spend Weekend

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If you want to increase your savings and stay under budget, having a no spend weekend is a great way to challenge yourself and save money at the same time!

No Spend Weekend Challenge Prep List @ ShortOnTimeAndMoney.com

Think about everything in life that you love to do, and then think about how much money it costs to do all of those amazing things.  Having fun can be super expensive!

Bowling, eating out at restaurants, attending a painting class… all those fun activities can add up quickly and break the bottom line of your budget.

I know in our house we love to have fun and sometimes that means we spend money on activities or adventures. Last weekend we had an impromptu trip to Dollywood amusement park for the day. It was a lot of fun! But it was an expensive day.

Most weekends, though, we find ways to have fun and spend time together without spending any money.

While it may take a little think-tanking on your part, there are ways to have fun without spending any money.  It is absolutely possible to have a weekend chocked full of fun activities where not even a penny has to be spent.

10 Ways to Have a No Spend Weekend

Don’t believe me?  Check out these 10 ways to have a no spend weekend!

Family Movie Day

Dig out those old VHS tapes or DVD’s and get ready for a trip down movie memory lane.  No need to spend money renting a new choice when sometimes that best ones are the oldies that are right in your home.

Explore Nature

Do a bit of research to find out about parks in your area or places that you can go to that are free and available for public use.  Many cities are full of biking and hiking trails that not only offer awesome health advantages, but also offer some pretty cool people-watching experiences as well.  Where else can you see a dog in a stroller being pushed by a power-walker?

One of our family favorite activities is hiking. Sometimes we hike trails we’ve done before and other times we’ll try out new trails in the area. Pack a lunch in your backpack and you’ll add something special to your hike. It’s always fun!

Make Your Tummy Happy

Eat at home. Conjure up the creative cook in you, and check out what items you have on hand.  Who knows what creations you can make with what you already have?! Today my girls made supper and dessert just using ingredients found in our fridge and pantry. They had fun and I got to enjoy the fruit of their efforts!

Side note: Hannah made an Italian Noodle Casserole and Laura made strawberry’s and cream for dessert. Yum!

No Spend Weekend Challenge Prep List @ ShortOnTimeAndMoney.com

Try Something New

A no spend weekend is a fabulous time to try a new hobby.  Have some old yarn lying around the house?  Try to learn finger-knitting.  Seriously, it’s awesome and addictive and simple enough for most ages to learn!  Is taking pictures more your thing?  Take some cool shots and try to work on your editing skills.

Tackle Your To-Do List

While it may not seem like the most enjoyable way to spend a weekend, if you are bothered by the fact that you didn’t complete your list during the week, then take the time to complete it over the weekend.  That way, it won’t be on your mind, taking up that valuable real estate in your brain, with stress and the feeling that you have a ton of stuff waiting for you on Monday to do.  Peace of mind over stress is a winner any day in my book.

Challenge Your Children to a Game

Have your family join in on the fun of a no spend weekend.  Challenge them to a game of baseball or tag outside or an often wild game of indoor hide-n-seek.  Channel your inner child with this one and have fun running around the comfort of your own home. Or play board games together. So many ways to spend time together laughing and having fun!

Write a Short Story

Think outside the box here.  Writing a book or short story is such a fun way to have your words and thoughts live on.  Add a few fun pictures that you can draw, and give your kids an exciting and new bedtime story for them to read.

One of my kids’ favorite story activities is to tell a story together. One person starts the story with a sentence and then the next person adds to the story and then the next person adds more to the story and you keep going around and around until the story has been told!

Help Others

Spend your day giving your time to help those around you.  Elderly neighbors need a helping hand?  You got this.  Look around at those closest to you and offer your assistance.

Instead of spending money, make some extra money!

List some things for sale online that you’ve been wanting to move out of your house, or hold an impromptu garage sale.  Even better than not spending a dime is earning some extra dough on the side!

Window Shop

Not just any type of window shopping… go to a store that you’ve always wanted to look at, and just enjoy looking around.  Peruse the aisles, visually take in everything that you can during your visit then leave knowing that your budget and your peace of mind is at ease not having to figure out a way to pay for any of those items.

If you struggle not to spend money when you window shop, leave your wallet in the car. Gather ideas for later and save your money!

How to Prepare for a No Spend Weekend

Since you won’t be running out to the store or spending money over the weekend, it’s important to make sure you are prepared!

Plan Your Menu

Go ahead and plan your menu for the weekend. Since you are trying to save money, think about foods you already have in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer and try to plan your meals around those items.


Stock up on any food items you must have for the weekend to round out your menu plan. Look for sale items and only buy what you need for the weekend to avoid making a quick run to pick up items you don’t have.

Fill Up Your Gas Tank

Out of habit, I generally fill up my gas tank every Friday afternoon. It’s a good habit to get into and it means you won’t need to stop for gas if you decide to take advantage of nice weather and visit a park, go for a hike, or share a picnic with your family.

Free Printable No Spend Weekend Planner

No Spend Weekend Challenge Prep List @ ShortOnTimeAndMoney.com

Download the No Spend Weekend Challenge Prep List

Having a no spend weekend can actually be a lot of fun!

Make a list of weekend activities that sound fun and then brainstorm how you can find a way to do them for free.  It is so freeing to know that your weekend activities don’t have to revolve around the balance in your bank account!

Action Steps to Take Today:

  1. Brainstorm ideas for your next No Spend Weekend.
  2. Talk to your family about how you’d like to save money with a No Spend Weekend
  3. Set savings goals together as a family.
  4. Set a date for your next No Spend Weekend.
  5. Use the No Spend Weekend Challenge Prep List to help you prepare for your weekend!

What is your favorite no spend weekend activity? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

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