A big part of being frugal is having good money management skills. Still, another significant aspect is having good time management. The saying time is money is around for a reason, right? Making the most of our time is an essential part of all things finance. Good time management during the week will allow you to prosper not only at your 9-5 but also at any side hustles. Weekends are a great time to have fun, rest, be active, get going on a side hustle or, you know, be social (frugally, of course). Below are some ways to make the most of your weekends.
Have A Plan
Like your finances, getting the most out of your weekend requires setting some goals and having a plan. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have each minute of your weekend accounted for, but you should have a general idea of what you’d like to accomplish. Having a plan of what you want to do and when will significantly help you manage your time. Too often, we go into our weekends without purpose and wind up not being able to get to everything we’d like to.
Learn a Skill
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a foreign language or learn to play a musical instrument. The weekend is a great time to do just that! Make sure you block off a set timeframe to do so. Learning a new skill can be difficult, and the best way to learn is by practice and repetition. That doesn’t mean doing something once or twice for fifteen minutes. Most skills will take hours upon hours to really get down. The more time you set aside on your weekends, the faster you’ll learn!
We spend forty hours a week sitting at our desks, and it’s a significant detriment to our health. It can be challenging to be active enough before or after our workday too. All this sitting makes it all the more important to get active on the weekends. You can go on a walk, run, hike, or bike ride, but whatever you do, make sure to work up a good sweat. If you count your steps, set a loftier goal than the traditional 10k mark. Why not go for 15k or even 20k?!
For as important it is to be active during the weekend, it can also be a great time to rest and recharge your batteries. I’m not saying to sit around all weekend relaxing on the couch, but you most certainly shouldn’t be over-exerting yourself. Getting some exercise in is a great idea, but don’t overdo it. For as much as our bodies need to be active, you need to know when to take a step back and let yourself recover both physically and mentally. Doing a low-impact exercise like yoga is a great way to fit both rest and exercise into the same activity.
Don’t Wear Yourself Out
Along the same lines, we tend to think of the weekends as our time to party. Although that may be true, it’s not the time to wear our bodies down even more. Too much drinking and not enough sleep isn’t out of the ordinary for many of us, but it’s not going to lead to your best performance at work or home. When you go out, drink in moderation and catch up on some much needed sleep when necessary.
Get the Little Things Done
Have a To-Do list a mile long? The weekend can be a great time to get all those little tasks that you’ve been putting off done. If they are around the house, knock them out early in the day. This way, you can still be productive while waiting on a store or other services to open. Knocking items off your To-Do list early in the day will allow you to have plenty of time to do whatever else you want for the rest of the day, and you’ll feel better too.
Get Your Side Hustle On
If you want a side hustle to be successful, you need to put in the time. Getting into it during the week can be difficult. No matter your side hustle, the weekends are a great time to get back to them. Make sure you set aside the right amount of time and dive in. The more time and effort you put into them, the more you’ll get back.
Get Out of the Weekday Routine
No matter what you decide to do with your weekend, make sure you break out of your routine. There are many different activities you can do, but work shouldn’t be one of them. Don’t fall into a typical weekend schedule either. Sure, there can be a few weekend activities worth doing every weekend, but make sure you can change it up as much as possible. Our 9-5’s can be dull enough, no reason our weekends shouldn’t shake things up a bit.
Frugal Weekend Ideas
Need help thinking of fun ideas for the weekend that won’t break the bank? Below are my top weekend ideas for the frugally minded.
Weekends are a great time to socialize, but not every activity has to cost a lot. Here are some great ideas to do with others while keeping the costs down.
Throw a Game Tournament – Board Game Style
Dust off some of those old board games or get some new ones, invite some friends over, maybe have a few drinks and enjoy a good old-fashioned board game night. There are definitely more interactive games like charades or other guessing games that only get more fun as the night goes on (ala more drinks, but not too many, right!).
Throw a Game Tournament – Video Game Style
Video games are a great form of entertainment and can be a great way to get together with friends. Have some friends over and bust out NBA Jam, GoldenEye 007, or any other classic game. For the younger generation, you can battle it out on Halo or Counter Strike from the comfort of your own home. Either way, it’s fun!
Join a Local Club
Check out Facebook, Craigslist, or any other social media, and you’ll likely be able to find a local club that meets on the weekends. Find one that involves one of your interests, and head over. Nothing beats meeting new people with the same hobbies as you.
Have a Firepit
Suitable for most times of the year, a good firepit is a great way to spend your frugal nights. Have a few friends over and chat around the fire or sing a few songs.
Visit a Friend
Have a friend you haven’t seen in a while, the weekend is a perfect time to catch up.
Local Free Sports Clubs
As mentioned before, you can find many local clubs that suit one of your interests. If those interests are sports, I’m sure you can find a group of people that like to play as well. Meet up, get some exercise and make a few new friends in the process.
Play Sports with Friends
You don’t need an entire club to play most sports. Grab a few friends and get on the field, court, or pitch. Play two on two basketball, have a three-point contest, HR derby, or a PK shootout.
On Your Own or With Friends
Not all your activities have to involve a group. Sometimes we need some alone time, right? Here are a few things you can do with friends or on your own if you so choose.
Netflix has it all. Great shows, endless movies, documentaries, and a slew of other programs you can watch on almost any topic. If you have a subscription, the weekend is a great time to dive into a show you love or find something new.
It’s never been easier to binge on your favorite movies. Have a trilogy you love or one you’ve always wanted to see? Hop on your favorite streaming service and have at it.
There are tons of games you can play online these days. Most involve a social aspect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play some on your own too. If you already have a subscription to a paid one, get your money’s worth. If not, find a free one to kill some time and relax.
Fly a drone
If you’ve got one of these fantastic flying machines, you know how much fun they can be. Don’t let it collect dust in the corner. Charge that bad boy up, head to a park, and start flying!
No matter how busy we are, volunteering is always a good idea. On your own or with friends, you’ll be providing an excellent service to a community or organization that relies on the time of others to survive.
Getting Active Idea
It’s essential to be active on the weekends, time to work up a sweat with these frugal physical activities.
Free and super easy to do. Just put on your shoes, go outside and walk!
Not for everyone, but a good run is great exercise and cheap to boot.
It might take a bit of research to find an good place to swim, but it’s some of the best exercise you can get. Swimming is a zero-impact exercise and a great cardiovascular workout.
Find a state park or other trail-friendly area and get exploring. Many trails lead to parts of nature you can’t find anywhere else.
Kayaking is an excellent upper body work out and being out on a lake or river can bring a sense of calm and peace to your weekend. If you want to ramp it up, find some good rapids near you and have fun.
Like kayaking, rafting can be a fun way to get some exercise and break away from your routine.
Ideas With Kids
Kids can seeming chase bubbles for hours on end. If you have a machine that will do it for you, it’s even better.
Build a Fort
This one might be more for the dads out there as building a fort can be just as fun now as it was when you were 8. Get every available blanket, chair, book, and any other fort building material you can find and go to town.
Run Through a Sprinkler
On a nice hot day, nothing beats running through a good sprinkler. If you have a few minutes and a drill, you can make this awesome setup.
Go to a Playground
There is certainly no shortage of playgrounds these days. Go to a favorite or find a new one close by. Head out on your own or bring a few friends and let the kids run loose. You’ll get outside, and they’ll wear themselves out (hopefully).
Hobbies are a great way to spend your weekend and usually are relatively frugal as well. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
You might not have the greenest thumb on the block, but that shouldn’t stop you from growing some veggies or planting some flowers. It never hurts to have fresh food or to improve the look of your home.
Eating out can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet. Take up cooking and see what you come up with. There are all sorts of exciting recipes out there to try.
Like cooking, baking is a great way to get a tasty treat, but without all the sugar you’d find in the same item from a bakery. There are plenty of different options out there to try.
Drawing is a great way to relax and spend some time on your own. There are plenty of youtube videos that can get you up to speed, and when you’ve gotten better, you can move on to real world inspiration. Head out to a park or other scenic view and get inspired.
Painting can be a bit messier than drawing, but that can be part of the fun! The best part is about being an artist is that you can make it anything you want. Don’t be afraid to tap your inner Monet and see what comes out.
Woodworking can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. As always, there are plenty of DIY sites that will help you step by step in creating your very own wooden masterpieces.
Other DIY Projects
Really any DIY project is a great way to use your weekend time. It will undoubtedly be cheaper than buying the product or service. You’ll also be gaining a skill plus the satisfaction of a job well done.
You don’t need to read a novel or anything educational. Find something on any topic you’re interested in and read up. There are plenty of ways to find cheap reading material. Online, libraries(remember them?) and book swaps can be found everywhere.
Go to a Flea Market
All those DIY projects and hobbies other people have to wind up somewhere. A flea market can be a fun way to find creations made by other people. If you’ve recently picked up a hobby, try becoming a seller at one.
Attend an Outdoor Concert
During the warmer months, many parks will hold outdoor concerts or other events for free. Find something local and enjoy the outdoor entertainment.
Get Your Learn On
There are plenty of ways to relax during the weekend, learn a few things, and still be frugal. Here are a few ideas.
Listen to a Podcast
There are tons of free podcasts out there that will help you learn something. Any topic you can think of is covered by someone out there. You just need to dive in a find the right one for you.
Take a Class
There are a lot of places that will offer classes for people to take. Libraries, local colleges, and other institutions will be able to provide you with a class worth taking.
Take An Online Course
Maybe there isn’t a course close enough to you that you are interested in. Lucky for you, it’s 2021, and we have this thing called the internet where you could take a class being offered anywhere in the world. There is this other useful site called “Google” you can use to find a course you are interested in at a reasonable price.
Go to A Museum
Most museums are very affordable and can provide you with a full day’s worth of information and activities. You can venture to a larger, more popular one near you or find more locally focused ones. Either way, it can be a fun day out of the house.
There are many different ways you can spend your time on the weekends resting, being active, being social, or spending some time alone. No matter what you decide to do, make sure you a clear idea of what you what to accomplish for those precious 48 hours. Just like anything else, if you don’t have a plan, you’ll wind up not getting much done, and you’ll have that much more piled on your plate. The weekends are your time to do whatever you want. Make sure you get the most out of them!
Have other ways to make the best of a frugal weekend? Leave ideas in the comments!
Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he’s not out there changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, a Mets game, playing video games, or just playing around with his kids.