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Are you looking for ways to make yourself happy but don’t want to spend money on it?
Well, look no further! Happiness doesn’t have to be expensive.
In fact today, we’ll be talking about 20 activities that are absolutely free and can put a smile on anyone’s face.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, situationally restricted or simply living paycheck-to-paycheck, these ideas are designed with happiness in mind and they work for everyone!
Join us as we explore different ways of making ourselves happier without spending even a dime.
Table of Contents
#1. Bake a Cake
Not a baker? Even better!
The less skill you have with whatever you chose to bake will make the experience more memorable.
Maybe you will make a mess. Or maybe the cake will turn into an epic fail.
Either way, you will create lasting memories doing this simple, free activity.
#2. Learn About Your Town
There is a lot of history in your town, regardless of its size.
Take a trip to your local library and see what you can learn about the area.
You might even find historic places in your area that you can go visit.
#3. Take Control of Your Future
Another option is to spend a few minutes increasing how much money you save for retirement or even opening up a Roth IRA.
While this might not excite you right now, the payoff is in the future.
When you have plenty of money to take your grandkids on epic vacations or explore the world yourself, you will thank yourself for taking the time to be proactive.
#4. Watch the Clouds
As we get older, many of us lose the imaginations we had as kids.
To rekindle this, lay out a blanket and watch the clouds.
Use your imagination to make images out of the shapes you see.
#5. Have a Water Balloon Fight
If you have kids, there is nothing more fun than running around having a water balloon fight.
Not interested in violence?
Then play the game where you toss the water balloons back and forth, slowly increasing your distance until someone drops the balloon.
#6. Learn Something New
When boredom strikes, it can feel like you’ve hit a dead end.
But fear not, as learning something new is something simple you can do to pass the time.
Believe it or not, a sense of satisfaction comes with expanding your knowledge base.
It could be anything, from learning a new hobby such as cooking, or a new language.
With so many resources available on the internet, the possibilities are endless.
Not to mention, taking the initiative to learn and grow outside of your comfort zone is always rewarding.
Who knows, you might discover a hidden passion in the process.
Exercise is a fantastic way to chase your boredom away.
While taking that first step and being active might be challenging, the benefits are worth it.
Not only will you be healthier, but it can help to change your mood for the better.
Every time I finish a workout, I am motivated to do more stuff for the rest of the day.
And with so many different exercises you can do, you will never run out of options.
For example, you can do bodyweight exercises or go for a jog or a walk.
If you have kids, you can make up funny dance routines that double as aerobic exercise or go outside and play a game of tag.
Meditation is an excellent way to clear your mind and let of stress.
All you need is a quiet space and some time to yourself.
You can listen to calming music or even download an app that can guide you through a meditation session.
Trust me, once you start incorporating meditation into your routine, you’ll feel more relaxed and focused.
So, try meditation next time you’re stuck with nothing to do. You might surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it!
When you’re bored and need a little mental stimulation, there’s nothing quite like a good jigsaw puzzle to brighten your day.
Not only is it a fun and engaging activity that can keep you occupied for hours on end, but it’s also completely free.
You can work on a puzzle alone or invite friends and family to help you put it together.
Instead of zoning out, do a puzzle and challenge your mind!
Of course, if a jigsaw puzzle isn’t your jam, do a word search or a jumble instead.
Books and e-books are easy to access online or at your local library. Plus, there’s a book for everyone.
Whether you prefer romance, sci-fi, mystery, or non-fiction, reading can take you to new worlds and introduce you to fascinating characters.
It’s also a great way to relax, de-stress and stimulate your imagination while entertained.
So next time you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, pick up a book and let the pages take you on a journey.
Volunteering is a great option that won’t cost you a penny and will leave you feeling fulfilled.
Volunteering allows you to give back to your community and make a difference, and it can also be a fun experience.
There’s something special about working alongside other volunteers who share the same passion and desire to help others.
Plus, you never know who you might meet or what new skills you might develop.
Journaling is the perfect way to pass the time when you feel restless.
There’s something so satisfying about putting pen to paper and letting your thoughts flow onto the page.
Plus, you can make it as creative as you want with doodles, stickers, or even writing prompts.
And the best part? You never know where your journaling might lead you.
One minute you’re writing about your day, and the next, you’re coming up with your next big creative idea.
#13. Figure Out Your Net Worth
OK, not everyone will be excited about calculating their net worth initially, but hear me out.
When you get an idea of your assets and liabilities, you know where you stand financially.
Then you can take steps to increase your net worth, either by increasing assets or paying off debt.
Either way, you get yourself in better financial shape, and this can lead to more opportunity in life.
#14. Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts may be the best thing to do when you are bored.
Not only is a scavenger hunt free, but you can do it indoors or outside, and creative people can even make their own game with specific rules.
Going on a scavenger hunt can be an adventure as you never know what you might find or who you might meet on the journey.
Best of all, the possibilities are endless since no two scavenger hunts are ever the same.
#15. Go To A Park
Going to a park might be the perfect solution for some free fun.
Not only is it a great way to get some fresh air, but it’s also a great way to be active and exercise.
Whether playing frisbee, having a picnic with your friends, or just taking a stroll, there’s something for everyone at the park.
Plus, the natural scenery can help you relax and de-stress.
At the very least, you can sit there and people-watch for a few hours.
#16. Get Lost on Wikipedia
Have you ever gone down the rabbit hole on Wikipedia?
If not, you have no idea what you are missing.
You can easily spend an entire afternoon learning new things.
I know, because I’m guilty of it.
To start, think of something you want to learn more about, then find it on Wikipedia.
Chances are, as you read about it, you will see something hyperlinked in the article that interests you.
Right-click on it so it opens a new tab, and keep reading the current page.
When done, read the other article. Again, while reading this, you might find a related topic.
The next thing you know, hours will have passed.
To keep things organized, you want to close out the tabs you’ve already read.
As one person says, “I go there to look up, say, the red-tailed hawk. Three hours later I’m reading about the Great Molasses Flood and have to make myself stop so I can get a few hours of sleep. Wikipedia will suck you in.”
Closely related to a scavenger hunt is geocaching.
Geocaching involves using a GPS-enabled device to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, that other players have hidden.
Geocaches can be found in parks, urban areas, and even in remote wilderness locations, making the activity a great way to explore new places and get some exercise.
While you can do this activity alone, the most fun is playing with a group of friends.
#18. Clean Your House
OK, I’ll admit that cleaning your house might not be the most exciting thing you can do when bored.
But straightening up can have a significant impact on your overall well-being.
Cleaning will remove dirt, pollen, and dander, making breathing easier.
Another benefit is an organized home will make you happier. Think of how stressed or annoyed you get when you see large piles of stuff everywhere.
Now think of how you feel when everything is tidy. It’s a game-changer.
Finally, you may discover things you longer use or need as you clean.
You can sell these things on Facebook Marketplace or eBay and make money. Or you could donate them and get a tax write-off.
While cleaning might not excite you, it is a great thing to do. And to make it more enjoyable, consider putting on your favorite music!
#19. Learn A New Skill
Learning a new skill has two primary benefits.
First, it will relieve your boredom quickly, and second, if you think it through, you can use the new skill you learn to improve yourself so you get a better salary.
When I was bored once, I learned how to write macros in Excel.
I quickly realized I could use this skill at my job.
Sure enough, when I wrote one for work, I produced twice as much as I used to.
When my manager saw this, we used it across the entire team, becoming more efficient.
I ended up getting a nice raise that year.
So think about what interests you and see if you can apply it to improve your work.
If you can do this, you might be able to get a bigger raise or get promoted.
#20. Have a Movie Marathon
You can do this one with some friends or by yourself.
Take a few minutes ahead of time to scroll through your streaming apps or cable to see what movies are on and set up a watch list.
This one is perfect for a rainy day or a cold winter day.
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It’s the weekend and your are bored. While you could go to the mall and window shop, this is a dangerous activity.
Advertisers are good at getting us to buy things we don’t need.
A better option is to find fun, free things to do.
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This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.