75 Ideas for Spending Time Together Instead of Money

As Friday rolls around it can be so very tempting to make plans to go see a movie with my hubby or take the kids to a bowling alley to spend the evening together. Recently I was challenged to go a month without spending anything extra on entertainment with my family, in my marriage, or with friends. So, I put together a list of 75 Ways to Spend TIME together instead of MONEY in case you are pinching pennies like me.

20 Ideas for Family Time 

  • Spontaneous Dance Party
  • Lego Building
  • Super Hero Party
  • Wash the Car together, then clean off the bicycles too.
  • Board Games
  • Talent Show
  • Fancy Dinner
  • Video Game Tournament
  • Art Creating and Show
  • Storybook Reading
  • All About Me Poster: feature each member of the family and allow them to cut out pictures and decorate a poster with things they love and enjoy to do. Display the posters where everyone can see them.
  • Color pictures together
  • Baby Book Organization
  • Family Photos on the TV: connect your computer to the TV and do a slideshow of baby & family pictures. This is easy to do if you have an HDMI cable.
  • Backyard campout
  • Simplify bedrooms and make a donate pile
  • Volunteer together
  • Go to a Free Movie Night in the Park during the Summer
  • Go to a museum with a free entrance
  • Dream up a vacation and set up a plan to do it!


15 Ideas for You and your Spouse

  • Borrow a movie from a friend or family and have a movie night in
  • Take a walk and hold hands
  • Volunteer together
  • Look through your wedding pictures and have the same meal you had at the wedding
  • Have a picnic where you once went while dating
  • Go to a museum with a free entrance
  • Candle lit dinner after the kids go to bed
  • Read together
  • Play cards or a game or put together a puzzle
  • Workout together
  • Go for a bike ride on your local greenbelt
  • Work in the garden together
  • Finish up a honey-do project together: this one may require some money to be spend depending on how far into the project you already are.
  • Budget meeting: This is something that may not seem like quality time together…but it really is. Being on the same page financially is one of the best things my husband and I have done in our relationship.
  • Dream up a vacation for two and set up a plan to do it!

Here are also 105 Cheap Date Night Ideas with your loved one!

15 Ideas for You and your Friends 

  • Volunteer together
  • Swap recipes
  • Try making a new recipe for lunch together
  • Scrapbook old trips or memories of fun times spent together.
  • Play cards or a game
  • Window Shopping
  • Sign up and participate in a Free Community class
  • Make coffee/tea at home
  • Do an at home mani/pedi
  • Get the kids together and catch up while they play
  • Make a time capsule: You could grab one of these, but since the goal of this is to not spend extra money use a Ziplock baggie and box, then just tuck away the box in an attic for a set amount of time until you plan to reopen the capsule.
  • Go for a walk/run/bike ride and set up a fitness goal to hold one another accountable
  • Sit around a backyard campfire and reminisce on “old times”
  • Video Games (this was my husband’s contribution!) 🙂
  • Dream up a friends weekend getaway and set up a plan to do it!


15 Ideas for your Kids’ Friends 

  • Host a toy swap
  • Coordinate a clothing swap
  • Video game tournament
  • Play at a park or explore nature together
  • Lego Day
  • Reader’s Theatre
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Write a letter to each other
  • Play Dominoes or another game
  • Coloring contest: you can print off coloring pages from several websites for free.
  • Bike Rodeo: take the bikes out for a ride and create different challenges that everyone can do together.
  • Movie and Popcorn night
  • Run through the sprinklers in the summer or build a snowman in the winter
  • Make a sticker book: I have a laminator (that I LOVE) and all of the sleeves needed, so I am printing off coloring sheets and grabbing stickers out of the collection that I already have so the kids can make a sticker book.

Check out these other Arts & Crafts projects for Kids!

10 Ideas for Time Outside 

  • Go for a hike (Ridge to Rivers) to watch the sunset
  • Go for a nature walk hunt
  • Play at a park
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Toss a frisbee or play ultimate frisbee with friends
  • Sidewalk chalk obstacle course
  • Toss rocks in the river
  • Leaf rubbings
  • Rainbow of colors
  • Start a rock & minerals collection: Here’s a great reference book if this is something that interests you!

Overall, spending quality time together doesn’t have to put a strain on your budget. Enjoy the moments you have together, and you’ll see that those quiet and simple moments add up to be the special memories in your life!

So now I challenge you! Go a whole month without spending extra money on entertainment. Can you do it? Give it a shot!

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