Did you know the average American family spent $243 monthly on entertainment in 2022? And this is obviously for those who go to the movies or museums for leisure. The cost gets astronomical for the people who travel, go yachting, or do big-game hunting to kill boredom.
Simply put, we live in a world where the “ideal leisure activities” are costly.
Luckily, you don’t have to engage in such expensive activities to ward off boredom if you don’t have money. Whether you are trying to save money for a big purchase or to clear up your debts, there are frugal entertainment activities that you can do.
Looking for cheap ways to kill boredom? Read on.
1. Read a Book
Books can transport you to another world, thus ideal for anyone seeking to keep their brain engaged. The good thing is that books are readily available and do not cost an arm and a leg. You can easily acquire them for dirt cheap or get them for free.
You can read them from a park, library, or at home. Aside from killing boredom, books make you smarter and increase your brain power.
Not sure where to start? Book recommendations by genre always work. If you are starting to develop reading as a hobby, it is best to start with light reads that are likely to keep you hooked.
2. Explore Nature
Are you near a park or in the countryside? If yes, take a walk occasionally to clear your head or escape the city’s busy life.
You might encounter beautiful flowers, trees, and rocks along the way. Further, you can carry headphones and listen to music as you walk. This simple method will help you appreciate nature and doesn’t require money to indulge in it.
Besides, you could get many physical and mental health benefits from interacting with Mother Nature. You can also go picnicking or hiking with friends. It is an excellent way to interact with the planet, all while exercising your body.
3. DIY Projects
DIY projects allow you to get creative on a budget! Craft a unique item on your own or by following a tutorial. For example, you can frame a mirror and hang it in your living room. You don’t have to be skilled to make something good. Take these projects as learning opportunities; you will get better with time and practice.
Moreover, you can follow video tutorials online on how to make certain things. DIY crafts also allow you to showcase your imagination.
DIY projects could go from home renovations to making Christmas or Valentine’s Day crafts with your children.
4. Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill is an interesting way to kill boredom.
There is something you have wanted to learn for ages. Why not take your free time and start doing it? You can learn many things, from cooking, photography, video editing, social media management, dance, or a musical instrument.
Luckily, you can acquire a skill online and for free with technological advancement. All you need is an internet connection to teach yourself something online. Learning a new skill gets you out of your comfort zone and fosters connections with other like-minded individuals.
5. Solve Puzzles and Brain Games
Solving crosswords, Sudoku, or playing brain-training games is a cheap way to stimulate your mind and have fun. Puzzle and brain games are a great activity with your friends and family, whether in the evenings or at parties.
There are simple and complex puzzles for you to engage in. Whether you are a pro or just starting out, there is a level that will challenge you and keep your mind jogging.
Luckily, buying these games is not expensive. In addition, these games can be found on the internet, and you can play them over and over.
You don’t have to spend any money to keep fit. Skip that pricey gym membership and work out at home. You can walk or jog around your neighborhood before or after work.
Further, you can create a home gym using dumbbells and skipping ropes. With a home gym, you can work out whenever you feel bored or during your work breaks. This is an ideal activity for anyone with fitness goals such as losing weight or toning their body. It is also excellent for people who enjoy working out and use it to release steam.
Body-weight exercises, including push-ups and squats, don’t require any equipment. Take part in such exercises and save money.
Consider using your free time to share your time, knowledge, and talent with the community. It won’t cost you anything. If anything, you can gain so much experience volunteering with different entities.
Volunteers are needed in so many parts of the world, so don’t get bored at home; go out and help somewhere if travel is your thing. You do not have to volunteer in your small town; you could always look for something thousands of miles away.
You can clean walkways, tutor children, keep seniors company, and be a tour guide. Volunteering is suitable for your resume, helps you meet new people, and gives you another perspective on life.
8. Write or Journal
Expressing yourself through writing is a fun way to keep busy during your free time.
Write about anything, from hobbies to your day-to-day life. Sometimes, you only need a digital notepad, pen, and paper to express yourself. Free platforms such as Blogger and WordPress are ideal for sharing their thoughts, opinions, or experiences online. A quiet environment is needed for effective writing, so consider that.
Journaling is also a good strategy to take for your mental wellness. Have so many cluttered thoughts? Use your book and pen to get organized. It will go a long way in your mental health journey.
9. Board Games or Card Games
Board and card games are perfect for frugal entertainment. Playing ludo, chess, scrabble, and other board games can help fight boredom at home.
Other than being pocket-friendly, these games help bring people together. They also teach people, especially children, how to follow rules. You can buy second-hand cards or board games if you are on a tight budget. The good thing is once you buy your set of board games, you can use it many times without getting bored.
You may also want to browse the internet for downloadable games and play them when boredom kicks in.
10. Listen to Podcasts
Are you a fan of consuming audio content? Consider listening to podcasts to ward off boredom. Podcasts cover diverse topics, including politics, relationships, finance, travel, comedy, and crime.
Podcasts are inexpensive and easily accessible. You could listen to podcasts on the go on platforms such as Spotify and YouTube. Further, you can listen to them while carrying out other activities, such as preparing a meal at home or working out.
Other than entertaining you, there are a lot of educational podcasts you could consume. For instance, there is so much you can learn from finance and health podcasts.
11. Learn a New Language
Joining a language class can be expensive. Luckily, there are learning resources that could help you make baby steps in the language you want to learn.
Instead of joining a class, you can use free mobile applications such as Duolingo and Babbel to study a new language. You can also check out online course providers, for example, Coursera. Mastering another language requires you to practice consistently and to be patient with yourself. While you will not be fluent in a year or two, the small baby steps would be worth your time and patience.
Additionally, earning a new language strengthens your brain power.
12. Watch Documentaries
Documentaries are one of the most readily available forms of entertainment and knowledge you can use when bored.
There are numerous documentaries on platforms such as Netflix and YouTube. Visit such platforms when boredom kicks in. It won’t cost you much money to access them. Like podcasts, documentaries cover various topics, including food, politics, crime, culture, and money.
Not sure where to start? You could find recommendations from communities with the same interests as you. A lover of true crime? Joining true crime Facebook and Reddit groups is a sure way to find where to start.
Gardening is an activity you can do for fun and also a way to save money on groceries. It involves planting, watering, pruning, weeding, and spraying your plants.
Interestingly, you don’t have to have a garden to engage in the activity. Use your backyard, pots, or balcony to plant flowers and herbs and tend to them occasionally. Gardening tools are inexpensive and easy to find. You could buy them from second-hand shops, borrow from your neighbors, or the library.
Moreover, there are videos online to help you with gardening. You do not have to pay for such.
Tending to plants helps you connect with nature and adds greenery to your surroundings.
14. Art and Drawing
Grab a drawing book and sketch something down. By doing this, you deviate your mind from the norm. You can sit outside and sketch whatever you see, say a house or a hill, or follow a YouTube tutorial.
Drawing helps you concentrate on one thing and can become a hobby if done repetitively. You can also invite family and friends to drawing challenges, which is a great way to bond during meet-ups or get-togethers.
You could also make your visit to the museum or parks more interesting by bringing your drawing kit and sketching what you see.
15. Cooking Experiments
Do you cook at home and enjoy it? Well, take your cooking a notch higher by trying out new recipes. On top of killing boredom, this helps you discover other tastes and ways of life.
Imagine trying a cuisine from South America with your ingredients without traveling to that part of the world. Social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Facebook make it easy to get recipes and watch videos of how different foods are cooked.
Find recipes you would love to try and spend your weekends trying new meals. You could also find recipes by the ingredients you already have to save money on buying new things. For example, if you have had pumpkin flour sitting in your pantry for ages, you could search for “recipes using pumpkin flour” and select what works best for you.
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