It’s pretty easy to stick to your budget during the week: you drive to work, hit the gym and cook dinner at home. But the weekends? For most of us, that’s when our spending gets out of control.
So how can you guarantee you don’t go over your budget the next time Friday rolls around? It’s simple: Don’t allow yourself to spend any money.
Blogger Trent Hamm and his wife do this twice a month, calling it a “money-free weekend.”
“We can’t make a run to the store to buy food, we can’t spend money on any sort of entertainment… No renting movies on cable, no text messages that aren’t already covered by our cell phone plan,” he explains in a post on The Simple Dollar.
How to Have a Money-Free Weekend
Want to give this strategy a shot? Pick a weekend where you don’t already have any other plans, make sure you’re stocked up on food and gas, and let your friends and family know what you’re up to. (Who knows? They might even want to join in on the challenge!)
If you’re wondering how you can entertain yourself, Hamm’s compiled an epic list of 102 things to do on a money-free weekend. Though you should definitely check out the full post, here are a few we thought you’d enjoy:
This family-friendly activity is a fun way to bond with your kids outside of the house. You’ll get to hunt for treasure using just your smartphone and sense of adventure.
Call a Family Member or Friend
Relationships are key to happiness, so make it a point to catch up with someone you love but haven’t spoken to in a while. (After all, you don’t want to end up having to rent your friends!)
Start a Workout Routine
Exercising is not only good for your mind and body, it’s also good for your wallet. Being in shape can help you save on medical bills and be more productive at work. And best of all, there are lots of free ways to get your heart pumping.
Volunteer Your Time
Giving back to those less fortunate is one of the best ways you can spend your time — without spending money. If the warm and fuzzies aren’t enough to motivate you, don’t forget that some volunteer gigs also come with awesome perks.
Make Gifts in Advance
Gifts are usually cheaper to make than buy, and everybody loves receiving something handmade. If you get good at crafting, you can even start to sell your goods at holiday fairs.
Take a Stab at Writing Poetry
Though the thought of writing poetry is probably intimidating, all you need is a pen and paper to get started. You may discover you love writing — and could eventually find yourself entering writing contests for cash prizes!
Need more ideas? Read the full list at The Simple Dollar.
Your Turn: Would you like to try a money-free weekend? What would you do?
Susan Shain (@Susan_Shain) is a freelance writer and travel blogger who is always seeking adventure on a budget.