Broke? 20 Fun Things to Do Without Spending a Dime


brunette

The best things in life are…actually, yes, they are free. At least, creativity is free. It’s only in recent times that recreation and entertainment has been sold to us for a very high price. But do you really want to spend $30 for a movie and popcorn with a friend? Nah, you can do better – especially if you’re trying to save money these days, like most of us. Check out these ideas and step outside of the expensive, prepackaged entertainment box.

Guerrilla Gardening

guerrilla-gardening

Try your hand at guerrilla gardening. You know that boring patch of grass on the corner? I’m sure no one would mind if you sneaked in some sunflowers or a bunch of marigolds. Guerrilla gardening is an underground urban movement to take back the little green spaces most people ignore. Beautify your neighborhood, on the sly.

The Outdoors

path-in-woods

Hiking, biking or walking in a local natural area or park. Yes, this is obvious, but sometimes we forget how free and easy some of the best pleasures are!

Concerts

concert-park

Keep your eyes peeled for free concert and theater-in-the-park series starting in late spring and summer.

Urban Foraging

oranges-fence

Take up urban foraging. Who doesn’t like free food? Learn about wild, regional edible plants or befriend a neighbor with an overloaded fruit tree going to waste. Augment your diet with fresh, free foods!

Sex

kiss

Have a partner? Have sex. Nature’s foremost free fun activity – get creative with it! (Getting busy is certainly one of our favorite healthy recommendations.)

Picnic

picnic

Take your honey or some friends on a good, old-fashioned picnic.

Trade Entertainment

books

Scour your books, CD’s and DVD’s for those items you just no longer need and trade them in for credit at a local used CD or bookstore. Spend the afternoon browsing for new reads and new tunes you’d never find otherwise. If there’s no used media store in your area, try a website like SwapTree or Title Trader.

Stargazing

star-trails

Spend a night stargazing. Find star maps online or in the library, then scout out the darkest part of town and learn the constellations. Watch as they change through the seasons. Bring a romantic partner for extra motivation.

Podcasts

speakers

Explore the vast world of podcasts. I myself am a podcast addict, loving to enrich my mind with interviews and alternative news. You can find storytelling and comedy podcasts too if you prefer something a little lighter, or podcasts featuring music you’d never hear on the radio.

Volunteer

volunteer

Try volunteering. I know, I know, this is not what people usually think of for fun, but my husband has shown me otherwise. He regularly volunteers for behind-the-scenes help at music festivals and expo’s, which means he meets lots of great people and attends the event for free. I’ve done it with him and I have to admit, it’s more fun than simply buying a ticket and being part of the audience.

Craigslist (and more)

craigslist

Check out your local Craig’s List free section or Freecycle. This is a fun way to pick up free things you need, and maybe some fun items you can redecorate or make art with. Surprising things have been known to turn up…I’ve seen soap-making kits, antique roll-top desks and even a hot tub! It’s definitely worth a spin.

Clothing Swap

shoes

Call your friends and organize a clothing swap party. Tell them to bring all the clothing, shoes and accessories that no longer suit them (or fit them) and spend an evening hanging out and shopping for free.

Garage Sale

garage-sale-sign

Have a yard sale. You know you have lots of stuff you could do well to pass along, and make a little extra cash while you’re at it. If the weather is still too cold where you live, start putting things aside now and you’ll be ready for yard sale season.

The Library

san-francisco-library

Make use of the public library. This has been one of my favorite free things since I was a kid. I mean, c’mon, books, movies, music – all for free!?! Depending on how extensive your local library system is, you will have an amazing amount of resources at your fingertips. Your taxes already paid for it, might as well take advantage.

Potluck

pot-luck

Host a potluck. Humans are social animals, and we all love to eat. Food is a great icebreaker.

Get Creative

crayons

Pull out a sketchbook and draw. If you’ve got colored pencils or watercolors, play around with those, too. Looking at something deeply enough to draw it can be a powerful exercise in perception – and recognizing beauty in surprising places.

Nature Knowledge

trees

Get a regional plant identification guide (from the library, of course) and make a point of learning the names of the trees and plants in your area. It’s even more satisfying if you bring a sketchbook along and create your own personal botanical book.

Send a Note

handmade-card

Make homemade greeting cards for upcoming holidays and birthdays. You can use fabric scraps, magazine cut-outs and odd bits of beautiful paper. People love to receive snail mail.

Get Fit

woman

Develop a workout routine that you can do without equipment (or minimal things you might already have, like a jump rope or dumbbells) and then do it! It’s most fun if you find a sweet spot outside, with the fresh air and shade under a tree. Need workout ideas? Here’s a place to start.

Write

peregrineblue

Start keeping a journal. If you don’t like to write, don’t be dismayed. One of my favorite journalers simply does one small watercolor painting per day, and that’s all she needs to record the progress of her life. If you’re a crafty DIYer, you can easily make a journal yourself with simply things you have around the house.

Is that enough to get you started? What do you do for dollar-free fun?

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DISCUSSION

126 thoughts on “Broke? 20 Fun Things to Do Without Spending a Dime

  1. Pingback: Nov. 2011–Free Fun! « Sue Fagalde Lick's Newsletter

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  3. Sarah, if that’s you, your the most beautiful women ever. n

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  5. I think there are all sorts of things you can do with your special someone with out having money, enjoying walks and good conversation and other activities, but having money is good also! But love and friendship is free! For love comes from god!

  6. Pingback: 20 Things To Do Without Spending Money | My Saving Place

  7. Do you like to watch people? Grab a friend and head to Wal-Mart. You can get one of those huge icee things for next to nothing and just watch life passing by.

  8. I like this posting – - so many fun things to do without spending a lot. I will go to share this next.

  9. sex ? come on how many times one has sex to cheer up per day!!

  10. I am very dissapointed that you put *sex* on because there are children who look at this

  11. i had sex with my girlfriend and now we’re pregnant.. im only 14.
    haha just kidding, we’re only 13

  12. the majority of these cost money 1 way or the other let me organize this i guess for the average women this would be fun but honestly most of this is either not fun or not free? how do you throw a picnic or a potluck with no money?

  13. Sorry for double post… I can’t stad typos so I just wanted to apologise for them all…. Ok… Now I’m walking away..

  14. I read through the whole article and all comments befpre I posted… I’m weird like that.

    A few things I thought of while reading…

    1. as pointed out, gardening requires you to have plants/picnics require you to have food, but on the idea of the “Potluck”, why not ask some neighbors who have a fantastic garden if they have any plants they could spare/a flower or seed they could give you to plant and watch it grow over time. That would definatly cover the cost of having the plant available for the Guerrilla Gardening. (Alternativly, you could stick a gorilla plushie in a sad looking spot. …. “Gorilla” gardneing.)

    2. I have no idea if you still check this blog, but that song was great. That could be another suggestion for your list; write something creative about how you feel, something that hppened, the possibilities are endless. It could be a poem, a story, a song, or you could just draw something that moves you.

    3. Sex. Very controversial subject from what I have read, but I think as a suggestion it hold up. Sex xan be an amazing way to show someone how much you love them. I’m sure the idea wasn’t for us to go around having sex with random strangers we meet, its for people who have a committed and healthy relationship. I’ve also been told that “angry sex” can be a great way to mend a rift after a fight, because during the moment you forget everything that upset you and you can feel happy and secure again… And be safe! STD’s/STI’s can affect anyone, regardless of how many sexual partners you have had. Always make sure you know about any possible unwanted gifts before having sex with someone new.

    4. Clothes swapping. Being the 5th child in a family of 6 (we’re all girls), we do something like this on smaller scale. Now that we’re all grown up (the youngest sister is almost 19) we’re all about the same size, so we’re constantly borrowing clothes, or giving things away we no longer want. (One of my sisters is a teacher and she buys new clothes and sometimes wears them once, so its like shopping for free when we get her stuff.) Also, donating to a charity organisation can be a very rewarding feeling!

    5. Regarding Mondorto Kanga’s post. Finding a location that speaks to your heart, something that you can sit and watch and feel your worries and troubles fly away for a moment. It doesn’t even need to be outdoors. The really creative ones can draw or paint (or collage/scrapebook, endless possibilities) something they can stick to the wall to look at when they want to relax.

    6. Outdoors. Recently, I’ve become much more “Out of house” as I like to put it, meaning I have very limited access to the internet, and I’ve found that when I don’t log on for the 5 or 10 minutes I can spare, I don’t feel so stressed out about what I may be missing out on. Instead, get yourself ready for your next outing/errand slowly, and you may feel more at peace with yourself which can lead you to having a nicer day. Between working and babysitting, and depending if my boyfriend and I spend the weekend at my house or his, I sleep at home 1-3 nights per week. On Wednesdays, I take a train to babysit outside of the main city, come home for 2 hours then go to work, and when I don’t go on the internet I feel better (sometimes because I have a nap in between).

    That one is sort of mixed, because the internet can be a great thing when you have the time to spend on it and enjoy it. But I think if you only have 5 or 10 minutes, it may be time better spent somewhere else.

    7. Being creative. (Drawing in a sketchbook and writing letters/making your own cards) I don’t know about you guys, but as I was growing up, in school we would make cards for Mother’s and Father’s day and tings like that. Being creative with pop-up cards (you could probably find a good guide on the internet, growing up one of my sisters had a pop up card kit), or just using the creative muscle you have to make something really pesonal and meaningful can be emotionally rewarding and the person who recieves it will (probably) appreciate it all the more that you didn’t just buy a $1 card for them.

    8. Journal. You don’t even need to be a good writer to make a journal. Treat it like a scrapebook if you prefer. Stick in things that made you smile, things you enjoy, even things like fallen leaves around the Autumn/Fall time. Or maybe a piece of tinsel or a birds feather. Then write a few lines about it. Just writing this reply and its soooooo long already and I just planned on making a few quick comments. Once you get familiar with words and you have them at your disposal, you’ll find 5 or so more words to add to simple sentences.

    On a different idea,I have a 2 year old niece, and one of the things I’m staring to do is write letters to her about the days I babysit her. My plan is that once she has grown up a little, she can read the letters, and maybe even appreciate that its my way of showing her how much I love her and the time we share. Also plan on starting it with my 6 month old niece, but she wasn’t my original inspiration.

    9. That lawn mowing idea is so awesome. I think I might attempt that with our front lawn just to upset my mum a little bit. :P

    Thank you for the post, its certainly a great way to see some things you do or could do differently. Going to walk away from the computer now….

  15. i love going down to rocky point and relaxing at the beach but the only problem is that its in mexico and what do most mexicans that live in mexico speak….. u guessed it spanish. i am trying to get in to a spanish class at my school (highland) but i cant cause im spos to take this test that i didnt take last year cause i was absent . my mom and dad r trying to get me in but its not really working out . so pray for me :)

  16. First of all, Guerrilla Gardening is not free. Plants cost money. And sex? Really? If I had a partner I would n’t be bored. This list does not live up to the title.

  17. Some of you have no idea how the music industry works. A VERY few amount of musicians make 10,000,000 a year. The famous ones are rich no doubt but a lot of pop acts make less money than you think. Concert tickets are over priced because that’s how the artist makes most of their money. The label tends to get most of the CD income. So if you wanna support and artist go out and see them in concert.

    Pretty good list.

  18. This is a really cool list of things to do, some great ideas for sure! My friends and I have gotten really in to the whole picnic/ potluck scene lately, especially with such nice weather (at last!).. I’ve been reading up on trying to find a good used bbq and for anyone who’s interested, I’ve learned that gas bbq’s are much more ‘green’ than charcoal, by about 100 times apparently. BBQ’s make everything taste amazing, and with little effort haha!
    Oh and I read about the BBQ info stuff at this site: http://www.fourgreensteps.com/infozone/featured-zone/simple-ways-to-green-up-your-bbq
    ..if anyone’s interested to have a quick read, that is.
    thanks again!

  19. I agree. That Hanno person has no idea what she/he is talking about.

  20. Hello,

    You’re suggestion are fine but I live in Florida and cannot do the outdoor activities because it is way too hot and humid. Another problem is I just moved here and I’m single so I have no one to go with. I do not go to these things alone. Its just too weird and sometimes dangerous to do these things alone. Any other suggestions?

  21. ya i agree that chick at the beginning is soooo hawt

  22. great idea but the point made by hanno is also considerable
    i am an INDIAN we can see this in a different way as there are large number of poor people and the rich ones too are not much interested in these kind of activities as their full life is for earning and protecting their wealth.

  23. I love your site! It is fun, colorful, and has a touch of humor. Your ideas are great. I started a project to find things to do for free myself, because I was fed up with sitting at home, watching tv. I will be checking back often.

    Thanks,

    Michelle

  24. The various well written articles makes your sites very informative and enjoyable to come back and read the new posts.You are probably spending lots of time and effort on your blog.

  25. its good, but its hard when there is no home to go to at the end.

  26. I quite like your broadminded approach to defining fun. It reminds me that things I consider fun (cooking, making things, writing a journal, web research, problem-solving) can be a chore for others, and vice-versa. Now if we could just figure out a way to swap obligations and chores, everyone could have more of whatever fun is to them.

  27. i saw this article a year ago (you posted it exactly a year ago :B)

    and by far this is the most significant article ive read and applied!

    thank you very much

  28. Sex seems to be the most controversial item on the list, so I’ll add my voice to the discussion: who says you have to have a partner? What’s wrong with a bit of solo sex? You can’t get safer than that! (And for those who do have a partner, please do remember that unsafe sex isn’t an economical choice. Even if it’s no longer “free,” 50 cents for a condom is still a bargain compared to the cost of an STD or an unintended pregnancy.)

  29. i just want you to know that me and my friend ashley were bored and since we read “have sex” we are no longer ever going to be bored again!.

  30. Excellent ideas, i love your list! These are my favorites: urban foraging, trade entertainment, and clothing swaps! I just learned about Swaptree and it’s a wonderful idea, i love their site! Everything on your list is worth following, I’m sharing this with friends! thanks!

  31. Pingback: 20 Free Ways To Spend Your Time « Skewster

  32. Awesome post, it’s amazing what you can do without spending too much. I do loads of outside stuff which is free and healthy such as walking and gardening. Much better than walking around a shopping mall giving the credit cards a hit!

  33. it is such alot of fun to do these things i have done alot like
    helping out the communitiy and envouroment excersizing and made a scrap book did some drawing even held a yard sale so thanks
    bye

    lol and smile

    did u know smiles is the longest word because it has so many miles in it
    tooodles c ya bye

  34. I love your ideas! I just have a question. I only see my boyfriend on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. I love your stargazing idea but, do you have any other ideas? We love watching movies and the foodnetwork.

  35. I do all these things, and its possibly the reason I am never able to get bored! :D
    I think this post and some of the comments on it show how ones attitude towards life is very important to how good life will be to you :(
    I know some people who are quite simply not impressed by anything, its really sad…even if they are taken somewhere awesome like London or a museum or whatever, they just have no interest and would rather either play video games or go shopping for video games!! Theres nothing wrong with playing games of course, but I have come to understand that if you grow up on using only tv and video games as entertainment, you end up being bored of EVERYTHING, including the video games! And then the only way to stop your boredom is to buy more video games or tv stuff… You dont understand the fun of anything, and could be taken to something grand, magnificent and beautiful and be completely unimpressed. The other day I went to London for a comic Expo, and my housemate who is like this was only interested in comic book stores (which is great!) But when we visited the amazing British museum just down the road from the comic shop, well he just wanted to go back to the train station even though we still had like 3 hours left in a city that has a bazillion things to do in it!!! D:

  36. What a Joke..The Only thing I agree with is the Sex part.. I live in NYC and let me tell you something…..You need to spend money to do something or you sit on the street like a BUM. The Only gardening you can do is grow pot, the outdoors is just concrete and homeless people trying to save money, concerts suck cause music today sucks, picnic are fun if you don’t mind getting stabbed by gang members, To much pollution to see stars at night, podcasts are free for a reason (they suck), If money is needed why volunteer when i can use that time to get a job, why swap my clothing for some dirty shit from another dirty ass, Journals are for retards who like to incriminate themselves, Fighting ans sex is the only way to keep fit these days otherwise pay to go to the Gym or for equipment….Also Nature sucks, ask anyone from Indonesia or New Orleans or Italy or China and they will agree along with many others.

  37. Pingback: 5 tips towards staying healthy this summer « USDemocrazy.net Blog

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  39. Unlike the commenter before me, I think sex and concerts are the best suggestions! True sex can lead to children, obviously, that is why you need to use protection. I am pretty sure unsafe sex was not being promoted.

    Also I believe the word free was used before concerts. I absolutely love going to concerts and meeting new people, sometimes meeting the musicians. Everyone comes together and it’s a very peaceful environment. : ]

  40. lovely post …loved every bit of it..

  41. I’d just like to point out that sex is free until somebody gets pregnant. Then it’s expensive.

  42. my god… I became increasingly haunting as you continued to name fun alternatives, that I’d done them ALL! And i’m STILL bored… My god.. .what am i to do? I’ve LITERALLY done everything, and then some. I’ve even joined about 20 meetup groups. I’m simply a restless spirit. I suppose MONEY is the greatest thing and substitutes are the things that don’t matter.

    DOLLA DOLLA BILLS, YA’LL!

  43. My friends and I like to host themed parties where we hang out and play games. We’ve had a mustache party (we all had to draw them on or if you were capable of growing one out, go for it) We’re planning a blanket fort party in the near future. Everyone must be PJs. Everyone brings a snack and we hang out and play board games, cards, video games. It’s a great time.

  44. GREAT INSIGHT AND IDEAS!!!! I’M STARTING RIGHT AWAY! YAY FREE-NESS!!!!

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  46. The greatest entertainment is living in the moment – NOW. Not something that requires external sources (music, materials, TV, etc). Joy comes within, pleasure comes from the outside.

    Regarding sex, well, what about those are waiting til marriage? The author of the article is married. It makes those who are not sexually active, left out. My g/f (geat person) is Catholic and I’m not. But she wants to have a long-term committed relationship with me first before we do the thing. I’m a person who’s 100% committed and will stick to that, if it makes her happy.

  47. “Browse the web” is conspicuously absent on your list… (and I found your site through StumbleUpon, so it’s doubly conspicuous)

  48. What about wishing?! Take a picture of yourself with your wish and post it on our website at ihave1wish.blogspot.com! It’s quick and easy and…. (gasp)… FREE!

    ihave1wish’s last blog post..i have 1 wish launch video!

  49. Thanks for the ideas! I’ve just recently heard about this guerrilla gardening business and it sounds so neat and fun too (Though it would only be free if you’ve already got loads of plants that could be transplanted or grow from cuttings). And I live in Nashville, where in the summer we have movies in the park during the week, and swing dancing on weekends. So fun!

  50. totally creative. What a good list. some ideas we just need to be reminded of and you have done this is a very enjoyable way. Thanks

  51. Pingback: Broke? 20 Fun Things to Do Without Spending a Dime « Life is Beautiful

  52. What wonderful insight! When you really think about it, there are plenty of things to do, to keep us busy for free!

  53. Most of this list I do already because I’ve been broke for quite some time, but I admire your creativity!! I will definitely try the clothes-swap and the craigslist idea!! I’m bookmarking this page under my favs!

  54. Excellent post, and site….I will definitely take the suggestions into consideration. Some other free, fun activities are watching little league sports events, daydreaming, and camping. I would like to participate in the free sex more, but I’m encountering a dry spot.

  55. Thanks for this. I love your ideas and thoughts. It is hard sometimes to remember all the little things that make life great. I had never heard of guerilla gardening and now I want to do it. Maybe even at night so people awake to bizarre but inspirational changes :)

  56. Debbie,
    Yes, your idea is perfect.

  57. This is very cool. I loved the suggestions. You’re right; I sometimes forget how much beauty is right outside my door. Thanks

  58. The chorus to the song is the first verse. stick in every other verse or every third time. I like it! Is there a melody?

  59. My favorite free activity is sitting still. Finding stillness. A bench facing the beautiful American River on the bike trail. A quiet walk through Sly Park. No iPod. No frisbee. No boombox. Not even a book. Just finding a spot where beauty waits to be discovered. Along I-80 on the way toward San Francisco from Sacramento, there’s an absolutely gorgeous set of green hills dotted with small trees and bushes. In the early morning or late afternoon, the light on them makes them glow. Just quietly sitting in my car for a half hour or so enjoying that view fills my heart with thankfulness and hope.

  60. this was the best blog i read all day. and it was freeeeeee!

    Ohhh, and #11 – meeting people online to chat with. seriously, no joke, i lead people through meditations on http://woome.com. Do you know how many people have never meditated before? And that is free and beneficial too!
    :D

  61. Head over to MIT and learn from there free courses. MIT offers the entire curriculum online for you to download.

    From Physics, Chemistry to Language and Management, it’s all there. Do a search for MIT Open Courseware.

  62. Your writing and your design both have a nice enjoyable flow to them!

    You should know however, that while “the best things in life” you describe in this post are indeed “the best things in life to a lot of us” cost has little to do with it!

    I have been so broke I went legally bankrupt…..and I am now on the other end of the spectrum…a multi-millionaire. (Sceptical? Just google my name to read an article in a major newspaper where I am whining about the tax assesment on one of my properties..)

    I guess the point I am trying to make is that the things I enjoy MOST are EXACTLY the same things I enjoyed MOST when I was flat ass broke…in fact the money has made little difference in my life…..I am not happier or unhappier…I am not healthier nor am I less healthy…(just older! LOL!)

    I do basically the same recreational things I did when I was broke..ride my mountain bike….surf the internet for people with interesting blogs!……walk my dogs along the dike everyday to pick up my 9 year old daughter from school…..and we live in the same 1100 sq foot little OLD house on one acre……we have the same friends…..you know, when I was broke, I always thought that having a lot of money would change our lives….it didn’t.

    The ONLY thing that really changed was the fact that we should no longer HAVE to worry about money…..though we do….go figure, eh?

    Michael Rytter (Guitar Wood)’s last blog post..Guitar Headplates

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  64. @Hanno: Wtf, dude. The mother with 8 kids in America CHOSE to have them! She’s addicted to babies; she admited it! Not to mention it was invitro- she shouldn’t have had that many to begin with.

    Oh, and she said look out for FREE concerts. Guh. D:

  65. Wow very relaxing article nicely illustrated.

    You’re right in recession times we all need to be much more creative.
    Money can lack in such periods so it’s time to become gardeners for our family sell on eBay and be aware there are solutions.

    Regards,
    Arthur

    Positive Attitude Restored’s last blog post..Image Search For Your Online Content

  66. Chris, you are so awesome! :) I hope someone creates the music for this.

  67. srs eu gostaria, claro que se possivel enviarme o material em PORTUGUÊS BRASIL pois não estou conseguindo entender nada.

  68. We ain’t got no money
    What we gonna do
    Well I got 20 things for a poor boy
    To green those poor boy blues

    Plant some flowers
    in an ugly patch of ground
    Plant a kiss on your baby
    when no one’s around

    Plan a picnic;
    Go to a park,
    look at some stars,
    On a walk after dark

    See them there apples
    On that there apple tree
    Climb up there when no ones looking
    Give those apples to me

    We could go to the library
    Get a book on local plants
    Then we could learn to eat for free
    After we brush off the ants

    I hear there’s old people in the park
    We can listen to them sing
    And when the night comes and they start dancing
    Why don’t we just join in

    I don’t have a radio
    I don’t like to watch TV
    But I know this crazy girl makes a crazy music show
    And puts it on the Web for free.

    Invite some friends to your place
    Bring some old books and CDs
    Give em away cause we don’t need em anymore
    And get some new ones for free

    Surf online for some free stuff
    Yes people just give things away
    Or get together with some friends your size
    Trade clothes and gossip all day

    We could try to draw a picture
    Or make a scrapbook instead
    Make a greeting card, it aint hard
    To let grandma know you aint dead

    Loved your article. Turned it into a song. Hope you like it. If anyone comes up with a chorus please let me know.

  69. I enjoyed the piece because these are all things that I do regularly. It makes me hopeful that these activities will become mainstream. My husband and I planted butterfly weed and flowers in several neglected locations. We went back to visit and saw that catepillars abounded! Now we are looking forward to seeing butterflies flitting around previously unslightly areas. The plants are actually very attractive and we are pleased that no one has disturbed them.

    You can also volunteer at the local theaters to assist with seating, set up and just about anything needing done. This way you can see plays, performances, etc. for free. For singles, this is a great way to meet people with similar interests. — Then you can move on to the sex part!

    Many cities have “walking tours”. This is a great way to exercise and see your city at the same time. The tours usually include historical sites and great information about the city’s history.

    Also, being broke is not the same thing as being poor!

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  71. There are some great suggestions listed and contributions from USA and Aust. I offer 1 suggestion and 1 warning.

    1 Warning: if you identify yourself with ‘broke’ ‘poor’ ‘poverty’, you will attract more of that. It is unhelpful to use these words, and all related words, in your language, just as unhelpful as it is to ‘think’ of yourself in these terms. As you demonstrated, fun and life’s enjoyment is not dependant on money. It is what you do with your life that creates the fun, not the money. So while I was delighted to read the great suggestions, I was concerned at the references to ‘broke’ mentality, (which is a personal negative value judgement based on your perceived worth as a person in ratio with your $ wealth). I encourge everyone reading this to think about life in terms of creatifity, opportunity, prosperity. There are plenty of ways to progress, financially, personally, etc. Find a way that’s ethical and right for you. Please use words in your language that promote positive outcomes. The power of language is enormous. The power of your thoughts is MORE enormous.

    1 suggestion: if you have a front lawn, how about, mowing a great design in the lawn. You can do this by mowing ‘in’ the design and leaving the rest to grow longer for a week, or mowing ‘out’ the design (like a film negative) eg mowing short around the edge of your design leaving the design part long. You could get the kids to design something simple and help ‘them’ mow it. The whole family is involved from design to implementation to review. The kids learn a lot more than how to mow. Everyone learns about planning, goal achievement, rewards etc. The simplist mow to start with, I am guessing, is a smilie face. Draw it out, start with the smile, (tilt the mower up on back wheels and walk to nose area, mow, tilt and walk to eyes, etc). This can last a week then mow in a checker pattern by going up and then across. Each week think up a new design. How about, I LOVE YOU, or, FUN, Your community will notice it, your kids will enjoy it and everyone benefits in some way. I remember mowing checkers and circles but not words. That’s my new invention, just thought up for this comment contribution. But I can definately say that I had FUN, thinking this up and writing this out. In Oz we have a saying that I want to use here. How good is THAT!
    Very kind regards from Jane.

    jane’s last blog post..So, are you satisfied with your life.

  72. I never put forth the effort to find activities for free or otherwise due to being 48 yrs old and partnerless….but for some reason I decided to follow up on the email and I am glad I did. Good stuff here….Thanks, Gregg T.

  73. Try volunteering to help maintain your favorite mountainbike trail. It’s a great way to meet someone kewl to go biking with.

  74. Fantastic! Very well put. And a great reminder that I am so ready for summer. I love all these things!

  75. Fantastic list – lot’s of good ol’ stand by’s and some new twists. Will definitely share with others!

  76. This is such a positive, awesome article! Way to be someone who ismaking a good difference in the world!

  77. How not to make this sound like spam. I do a little volunteer work with ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation] as they have an Island in secondlife [which is a free virtual environment to explore]… anyway they have loads of podcasts on all kinds of things. I love the science ones with Dr. Karl the best. You can get them at abc.net.au

    Wolfie!

  78. Galleries (unlike museums) are free.
    In New York City, you can spend a weekend
    and not see all the great shows and new artists.
    If you check out the listings, you can even
    drift from reception to reception getting
    a nice wine buzz …………

  79. Great post Sarah.

    Hanno’s comment regarding sex & concerts particularly amused me. Bar humbug and all that. Hanno reminds me of me… miserable bugger lol

    Taking a walk in your local park and noting the wildlife is such a fantastic idea. In a world where we are becoming ever more reliant on supermarkets and fast foods, it is critical that we don’t loose our knowledge of basic skills such as foraging off the land.

    Regarding sex – yes please :-)

    SolReka | solar powered products’s last blog post..Ex MI5 head raps UK Government about Police State

  80. What a great list of things to do, very impressive and I love the photos too. I love to walk and enjoy the outdoors, and being unemployed right now every penny counts. There are so many things you can do without having to spend money.

    Tony’s last blog post..Message From Management

  81. Thanks for the great ideas! Another thing that I usually do when I’m broke (which is primarily ALWAYS) is to search around the house for recyclables and make art with them. I’ve made pencil holders out of cans/jars. I’ve made cool keepsakes boxes from Tampax Pearl boxes decorated with wrapping paper. I’ve also repotted some plants into old milk containers. The possibilities are endless, but if you’re a crafter, make sure to use your trash to make treasures!

  82. Hanno,

    Much of the summer theatre/concert in the park stuff is put on by volunteers. I know because I was one of them. My group spent months rehearsing to perform two musicals for two summers and I didn’t see a dime. All funding for costumes, sets, etc was paid for by community sponsors and any extra money was saved to fund next year’s show. The director and production staff may receive a stipend but it’s not much. I stage managed another summer show and made $200 dollars; just enough to pay for my gas going back and forth from rehearsal.

    We also have a community band in the summer that is comprised of volunteers. Both groups are directed by the high school music/theatre staff and they put on really good shows.

    If you want the higher end of the theatre world:

    The city of Albany, NY and various other businesses sponsor a yearly musical starring professional actors and crew, some from Broadway. The musical runs all summer and there is also a youth show that runs for part of the summer. It’s free to the public. The only request for money is an entertaining song and dance at intermission, but it’s still a donation. Totally optional.

    NYC offers “Shakespeare in the Park” each summer. It’s free to the public (you have to get a ticket but that’s to make sure they have enough seats) and the actors are professional. This summer, “Twelfth Night” is starring Anne Hathaway. In previous years there have been other stars such as: Patrick Stewart, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Jimmy Smits, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt, Sam Waterston, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Martin Sheen, and Al Pacino (the latter two of whom appeared as Brutus and Marc Antony in a toga-clad production of Julius Caesar!). I’m sure other cities have similar professional (if not quite so star studded) theatre available.

    There are free shows available everywhere during the summer. So pack up a picnic basket and get some friends together. Just don’t forget the bug spray!

  83. Pingback: Broke? You Can Still Have Plenty of Fun | Lighter Footstep

  84. The woman pictured at the beginning of the article is the most beautiful person that I have ever seen. simply amazing eyes and smile.

  85. My kids and I LOVE the library. There are so many resources at your fingertips – and it’s all free! For a fun activity we sometimes go on a scavenger hunt in our library. We choose a topic – going green, life in the 80′s, cats, Costa Rica – whatever we think may be interesting on any particular day. Then we each search the library for 2 or 3 items related to that topic. It can be a book, song, CD, poem, recipe, or other item. Our finds become the topic of conversation at that nights dinner – if we can stand not to tease each other with the gems we’ve found.

  86. Pingback: Eco-nomical savings at Whole Foods, museums, stovetops, and more | green LA girl

  87. Hi Hanno,

    Well, we can only hope that people are having RESPONSIBLE sex. :) And remember, Octomom wasn’t having sex – she had fertility treatments and embryos implanted!

    And as for the concerts, I was suggesting people look for FREE concerts, as are often offered in parks in the middle of summer. I agree, most concerts are way overpriced.

  88. SEX & CONCERTS

    Great story but cant agree with above 2 activities. China, Africa and India is full of poor people with loads of kids. Then you have Octomon in the US with her 14 kids…poor people normally tend to have loads of kis…they dont neaad encouragement.

    Concerts…just a waste of money…This is where people who earn $70 000 a year go and wathc people who earn $ 10 000 000 a year.

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  91. I love the photos you chose, Sara! Thanks!

 

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