No Spend Weekend Ideas
It's so easy to spend too much money on the weekends, especially if you have kids to entertain. Mr. Cents and I are pretty good about staying frugal throughout the week, but the weekend is always full steam ahead when it comes to spending.
After working all week, we are always itching to go do something fun, and that usually means spending money.
Fortunately, we've been embracing a few no spend weekend ideas that are just as fun as our more expensive weekends.
If you're trying to save money this month to help pay off your debt, build your emergency fund, or increase your investments, doing a couple of no spend weekends is a great idea.
These are our favorite no spend weekend ideas that we've tried out this year.
1. Go to a Local Farm to Pick Produce
Both my husband and I were raised out in the boonies, so we really love taking our son out to local farms on the weekend. Since we live in the middle of a major city, it's nice to get away from the noise and traffic for a bit and take in some of that fresh air and open space.
Here in Washington there are some really fun farms outside of Seattle that are free to get into. Many of these turn into pumpkin patches in the fall, and offer flowers and fun activities in the spring.
I recommend packing a lunch to go so that you don't end up buying lunch and waiting in lines to do so when you get there. On popular weekends, the lines at our favorite pumpkin patches can be insane!
2. Check Your City’s Free Event Calendar
Most cities have a free events calendar online that you can check to get ideas for free events year-round. Seattle has a really good one with free movies, museums, food truck events, parades, and more throughout the year.
I love checking out the free events calendar because you never know what you're going to find! It's a great way to do some things that you've never done before, and most of them have good food to boot.
3. Picnic in the Park
One of our favorite things to do in the spring, summer, and fall is to pack a picnic and head towards a beautiful park to have lunch. There are a number of really beautiful university campuses near where we live, so often times we will pack it out and lay down a picnic blanket to have lunch with all of the other picnicers.
If you live in an urban area, this is a really great way to find open space for your kids to play while you relax with a nice lunch and a bit of wine.
4. Go Sightseeing in Your City
Every city has unique things to see, and sightseeing in your town can be really fun! No matter how long you've lived in a place, there will always be things you've never seen or noticed before.
When the weather is good, Mr. Cents and I will pack up our toddler and some lunch and set out to explore our city. We always come away having had a great workout with lots of fresh air and sunshine.
5. Host a Potluck BBQ at Your House
Hosting dinner parties seems to be falling out of style, but I'm here to bring it back! If you haven't hosted a get together in your home, I really recommend you try it. It can be nerve-racking the first time you do it while trying to get everything ready, but it's so nice to have friends and family come visit and spend time face-to-face.
If you want to save money and have a really fun weekend, invite your closest peeps a few weeks in advance for a potluck style barbecue or dinner party. All you need to do is lay out a few tablecloths, play some music, and have some finger foods ready when people arrive.
6. Go Hiking
We love hiking around here, and it's a good thing since we live in the Pacific Northwest. There's forest in every direction!
Hiking is such a great weekend activity. It really checks all the boxes. It's free, it gives you exercise, and the fresh air and nature gives you such a feeling of peace. Plus your kids will love it!
Again, I always make sure to pack a delicious lunch, with chocolate, and bring lots of drinks.
7. Rent Your House out on Airbnb and Take A Weekend Vacation
Here's a fun one you might not have tried! On occasion we like to rent out our house on Airbnb for the weekend, and use the funds to rent ourselves an Airbnb elsewhere.
Sometimes when the noise of the city is getting to be too much, Mr. Cents and I will rent out our home to another couple, and then drive out to Central Washington and spend the weekend enjoying the small towns and vast fields.
We also do this when we drive across state lines to visit family, and when we head up north to check out what British Columbia has to offer. It's a great way to spend money without really spending money on the weekend!
How to Turn Your Financial Situation Around Week by Week
We've covered a lot of really fun no-spend weekend ideas, but there are certainly some more things you can do on the weekend to get your finances in check. Let's look at some of the most important ones.
1. Create Your Weekly Meal Plan Before the Week Begins
I like to set up my meal plan every other Sunday so I always know what will be eating throughout the week. One way we do this successfully is by choosing meals that we are really excited about.
Every two weeks my husband and I will look around online and come up with a few recipe ideas that sound delicious. Then I'll work them into my weekly meal plan and go grocery shopping so we have everything we need.
You can read more about our incredibly simple meal planning system here:
- How to Save Money on Groceries and Still Buy Healthy Food
- Easy Meal Planning Ideas That Won’t Make You Tear Your Hair Out
2. Set Up Your Budget for the Month
Having a money date with your spouse regularly is so important to keeping the two of you connected and on the same page with your finances. I recommend keeping these light and fun!
Open a bottle of wine, get cozy on the couch, and work on your budget together as a team. This is a great time to talk about your dreams and goals, and what your life will look like once you meet them.
After years of not being able to stick to a budget and dreading having to create one each month, my husband and I have fallen in love with YNAB . This online budgeting program is completely unique from every other budgeting program out there.
It is perfect for people with irregular incomes and frequent unexpected expenses. It's flexible and easy to keep up with and that's really what keeps us sticking with it.
We more than tripled our savings rate once we got the hang of YNAB, and I don't see us ever going back to anything else.
3. Start A Fun Blog to Make Extra Money
Want to know how I save money and make money on the weekends? I blog!
I've been a blogger for more than 12 years, and in that time I've had a number of failed blogs and several profitable ones.
If you are more of a creative type who has a message you'd like to share with the world, I highly recommend blogging. It's a great way to make money over the long term and is really fun and challenging as well.
All that being said, blogging is not quick income. It’s really a business, and most businesses take 1-3 years to become profitable.
If you’re looking for a side hustle that will bring in income right away, I don’t think blogging is the right method for you. But if you are interested in becoming a business owner and building something sustainable that pays your bills over the long term, I highly recommend it!
You don’t need to blow your paycheck to have fun on the weekend! In fact, there are a lot of truly fun ways to get out of the house on the cheap.
Here are a few of my favorite no spend weekend ideas for families:
- Go to a local farm to pick produce.
- Check your city’s free event calendar.
- Picnic in the park.
- Go sightseeing in your city.
- Host a potluck barbecue at your house.
- Go hiking with the family.
- Rent your house out and go out of town.
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