Thinking about doing a no spend weekend with kids, but unsure how to go about it? Even when you’re serious about saving money, it can still be tough to stick to a no spend challenge.
This is especially true when you have kids. After all, you want to make them happy by buying them things they want and entertaining them with fun activities. It’s all too easy to justify spending when it’s for your children. That’s why planning ahead is so essential to sticking with a temporary spending freeze.
How to Have a Successful No Spend Challenge
To pull off a successful no spend challenge, you need to define your goal. Stopping all non-essential spending for a few days may sound super easy, but you’ll quickly realize how much you rely on the ability to spend to keep your kids entertained. It’s even harder on the weekends when families have the opportunity to go out shopping and visit fun spots.
A no spend weekend is a great goal to set because it’s a short-term commitment. You can keep your cash and cards tucked away for a few days- it’s so doable!
If you know that you’ll be tempted to spend if you’re out and about, be sure to avoid places that are spending triggers for you and your family. They might be certain stores, downtown areas, or even specific neighborhoods with shops, cafes, and restaurants you enjoy. Eliminate the temptation to spend by staying out of those places for the weekend.
Start your family’s no spend challenge well prepared. Plan out what activities you’ll do, the meals that you’ll eat, and where you’ll go over the weekend. You can hunker down and stay home, or head outside for free fun.
To help you put a plan in place for a successful no spend challenge, here are 25+ super fun ideas for a family no spend weekend with kids:
You don’t need me to tell you that getting the kids outdoors for fresh air and open spaces is good for everyone! Leave your wallet at home and head out to enjoy any of these free outdoor activities:
- Go on a hike or take a walk around a local trail or park.
- Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it outside.
- Go for a family bike ride.
- Take a walk and look for interesting things to take photos of.
- Do a nature-themed scavenger hunt.
- Go fishing or exploring by the water at a creek, pond, lake, or river in your area.
- Make a craft using found objects from a walk outside.
- Weed flower beds and teach kids about gardening.
- Look for insects and butterflies.
- Set up a tent and “camp” in the yard.
Out on the Town
Head out on the town without spending a dime! Bring your own snacks and an adventurous attitude. These ideas will get your clan out of the house to enjoy local sights, sounds, and more:
- Spend an afternoon at your local library.
- Be “hometown tourists” for the day and explore on foot.
- Check out “new to you” playgrounds.
- Visit a local farmer’s market.
- Find free outdoor concerts, festivals, and art fairs in your area.
- Volunteer to help clean up litter around the community.
- Visit a pet store to see the animals.
Around the house
You won’t have to hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored!” when you’ve got frugal fun ideas ready to go. Doing a no spend weekend with kids while stuck indoors may sound rough, but it can actually be relatively easy! These awesome activities are practically guaranteed to keep kids happy at home:
- Rearrange furniture or redecorate the kid’s bedrooms with their input.
- Get rid of old toys by encouraging kids to donate unwanted items.
- Organize toys together and show them easy ways to clean up every day.
- Go through their clothes and set aside outgrown items for storage or donation.
- Put on a family talent show.
- Do a science experiment with things you already have at home.
- Have a yard sale and teach kids how to handle the cash and make deals with customers.
- Build a blanket fort in the family room and have a movie marathon.
- Create a photo booth and take silly pictures.
- Rummage through the pantry and find ingredients to make your own brand new recipe.
- Bust out the playing cards or board games and have a family game night.
Have you ever done a no spend weekend with kids? How did it go?