Getting stuck on how to have fun while you’re getting out of debt? I have a few fun things that are free that you can do so you can skip the FOMO.
When I was paying off debt, I wanted to still have fun. But fun takes money, right? While I loved splurging on getting my nails done, I knew there had to be other activities that I could do for free.
Look, no one said you had to sit at home, eat rice and beans, and stare at the wall while you pay off debt. Au contraire, my friend. I have 11 ways to have fun while getting out of debt. It’s a list of things I still do even as a debt free millennial.
Check out this great collab video I did with Kelly with Freedom in a Budget!
I have a big box of scrapbooking supplies and I love digging into it and creating something new. Often times, I’ll create homemade cards or notes using scraps that I already have. It’s a creative outlet for me and gets me into my zone of genius.
My best friend also got me this adult coloring book and colored pencil set. I love turning on a Disney movie and coloring to my heart’s content. Yes, I’m 30 years old and still 10 years old simultaneously. Judge me.
I’m a huge advocate of taking a break from social media and getting back into books. Lately I’ve been reading, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” and it’s been so inspirational.
When I’m not reading self-help books, I also read as you know a ton of personal finance books. But my first love was fiction. I love the Harry Potter series. I love “In Cold Blood,” and other fiction stories that can get me lost in the moment.
This book was seriously good!
Play a musical instrument
This one actually goes out to my husband, who has three guitars. He even found a hand-me-down bass guitar in his fraternity. Someone lovingly scratched, “F*ck You Jared” into the side of the bass. We don’t know who did this, but we love the bass just the same. He loves playing a game called Rocksmith. It’s like Guitar Hero, only better because it uses actual chords and teaches you how to play.
Why not pick up a musical instrument that needs some attention? Speaking of which, I need to pick up my viola again. I played since I was 10 years old. After 20 years of playing, you think I wouldn’t neglect the thing!
“Why not pick up a musical instrument?”
At-home happy hours
A favorite fun thing to do that Kyle and I both enjoy are at-home happy hours. Whether it’s the two of us or we invite friends over, it’s a great way to connect with friends without paying a bar tab. Think about it. Why do you go to happy hours? Is it because of the drinks? No. It’s because you enjoy being social and in a social setting. Why not bring that to your house? I did this a lot during my debt free journey.
You know you are a 90s baby when you know how to beat the bosses in Super Mario World on Super Nintendo. Kyle actually got the new Super Nintendo Mini for Christmas in 2017 and it is so much fun playing.
Instead of going out, we’ll have a Mario Party. I have even done this at our friend’s house because they have Nintendo Switch where you can add like, eight players. Just call me Princess Peach. We have a lot of laughs and it’s free!
Who doesn’t have fun with this guy?!
One of my favorite things to do at home is to cook. If you’re not a big fan of the kitchen, I get it. It takes time. Things get messy. But I truly zone out when I’m chopping up vegetables or perfecting my next cookie recipe. There’s something fun about trying a new recipe.
My friends who love to cook share recipes with me and I have even turned my cooking and baking skills into a way that serves. Kyle gets a home-cooked meal and I can treat my friends to special goodies.
Free local festivals
I love attending local festivals that have free admission. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the scenery without spending money. There is a big Irish Festival in San Diego for St. Patrick’s Day each year. It’s free to enter and you can enjoy a parade beforehand.
There is also a big art walk in April that I love. I make a fancy at-home coffee, enjoy free music and look at all the art. Local festivals are a great way to have fun while getting out of debt!
Bring a blanket and enjoy the sunshine! As it becomes warmer outside, pack a picnic and a good book and hit the park. I love people watching and dog watching here. And it gets you away from your electronics and back into nature. Smell that? That’s the smell of nature.
“Smell that? That’s the smell of nature.”
Most parks also have nature trails, so hit them up! Now that we live in San Diego, we have taken advantage of the trails in the Sierra Nevadas. What’s great about hiking is there are no entrance fees. All you need is a pair of comfortable tennis shoes or hiking shoes and plenty of water!
I got so into hiking that I picked up a pair of Merrell hiking shoes that were within my budget. I also recently met up with a guy who created Hiker Crate, a monthly hiking subscription box. Now I’m getting thirsty for those trails just typing this.
The Merrell’s that I hike around in.
One of the best things that we can give is time. I would say this is even better than giving money. Time is finite, and you can do a lot to give back. Volunteer at your local church, animal shelter, or an organization that you love.
I like to volunteer with the SD Entrepreneurs Group because I love connecting with other entrepreneurs. I get to help out with events that can be stressful for the organizer. And I’m also meeting really interesting people who have great business ideas.
Here’s me with Bethany Bayless and PT volunteering at
Pot luck parties
Do you see how many ideas I have that involve food? I can’t help myself. Invite people over to have a pot luck! This is a great way to see your friends without spending a bunch of money on food.
Utilize what you have in your refrigerator already and have a pot luck. You could make these themed, like Best Instapot Pot luck or a chili cook-off. Nothing says fun like free food, am I right?!
Have fun while getting out of debt
Brainstorm a list of fun things you can do while getting out of debt that are free. I also refer to this list as my contentment list. What are the things that fill you with joy that don’t cost money? This list aligns with your values.
Your values make up who you are. Don’t be afraid to lean into something that feels authentic to you. Even if it means missing out on a pricey concert or getting your hair done. If you love art, why not pick up a pencil and sheet of paper at home? If you love golf, why not practice your swing outside? When you get creative on how to have fun without spending money, you find contentment.
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