Are you trying to cut back on spending money, but find yourself sitting around thinking that there is absolutely nothing productive or useful to do if you can’t spend money? You may have come in here with that mindset, but my hopes are that you won’t leave with it, because there is stuff you can do that won’t cost you a dime and will help you be more productive. It’s a win-win! Here’s a list of 30 productive things to do instead of spending money.
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30 PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO INSTEAD OF SPENDING MONEY
1. CLEAN ONE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE FROM THE CEILING TO THE FLOOR
Aaaahh, cleaning. We’re off to a great start, wouldn’t you say? Don’t worry – there will be things on this list that are way more fun than deep cleaning a room.
Choose a specific room or spot in your house then do a thorough deep cleaning from top to bottom.
Use cleaners that you have on hand and this won’t cost you a dime…and your house will look great because of it.
2. LISTEN TO A PODCAST
This one can either be done while you’re sitting on your couch, doing laundry or cooking dinner, or it can go hand in hand with doing a deep clean of one room in your house.
I find when I turn on some tunes, a sermon, or podcast while I’m cleaning it makes it feel like it goes by way faster since you’re taking your mind off of a chore that you don’t necessarily like and indulging yourself into what you’re listening to – and before you know it your whole house will be clean in the blink of an eye. (Or so one can dream, right?)
3. PLAN OUT YOUR OUTFITS FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS
What is on your schedule for the next few days? Work, errands, babysitting, cleaning, or relaxing? Whatever it is, take some time right now to go and plan out outfits for whatever you are doing.
Knowing that you don’t have to worry about picking out what to wear over the next few days might even give you time for a few extra minutes of precious sleep in the morning.
4. ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY
Go through your pantry and toss the food that is long expired, then act as if you work at a grocery store and “face” all of the products.
Organize them nicely so the labels are all facing out and bring the older stock to the front row of your pantry so it can get used up before it goes bad.
5. ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET
Like organizing your pantry, organizing your closet is another great thing to do that won’t cost you one cent.
Take every article of clothing out of the closet and dresser and you might be surprised at what you find. Pieces of clothing that you may have completely forgotten you had!
Bring the articles of clothing that found their way to the bottom of the pile and stayed there, and put them on the top of your clothes pile so you remember to wear them.
6. GO THROUGH YOUR FRIDGE
And figure out how you can incorporate food that is getting to the end of its life or leftovers into tonight’s dinner to make a delicious meal.
Try to cut back on your food waste and get creative with your meals!
7. WRITE DOWN WHERE YOU WANT TO BE IN THREE YEARS
Where do you see yourself in three years, or where do you struggle to see yourself but only wish it could become true? Write it down then write down all of the steps and life changes you need to make to get to that place.
What’s a dream of yours that you just long would become a reality? Capture that and realize that nothing is going to change if you don’t – then go out and change what needs to be changed!
8. TELL PEOPLE YOU KNOW ABOUT EBATES
Did you know that you can earn $15 for every person that you refer to Ebates? Sure, it’s not huge money, but it does add up to a significant little amount of spending money!
You can sign up for Ebates here (for free!), then find your unique referral link and share it with your friends and family.
So, rather than spending money, you can be earning money instead!
Aren’t familiar with what Ebates is? You can find out what they’re all about right here in this post, 5 Cash Back Sites You Need in Your Life.
Plus you get a $10 cash bonus when you sign up through my link. And who doesn’t like free money?!
9. MEAL PLAN
If you’re looking for something to do that doesn’t require you to spend even a cent, but in the long run will end up saving you and your family money – then meal planning is the thing for you.
Before I started meal planning for my husband and I, we were spending way too much money on groceries per month… for just two of us… it’s embarrassing.
After I started meal planning (and failed miserably, then started again and actually learned) I was able to cut my husband’s and my grocery bill in half every month.
It amazes me how much money I was wasting on groceries. I love to cook, so of course I needed to try making something new every night of the week – and thankfully meal planning doesn’t require me to stop doing that.
It still allows me to have freedom in the kitchen but enables me to save money by not buying food we don’t need and showing me unique ways to use up our food before it goes bad.
If you’re interested in meal planning, I have a detailed and easy to follow 6-step guide that will show you how to start meal planning the easy and right way. You can find the free guide here!
10. MEAL PREP
Now that you’ve got your meal plan figured out, you can start prepping all those dinners.
I find that prepping food before making the entire meal really cuts down on the amount of time that you spend in the kitchen all at once, and makes for easier meals.
Use food that you already have on hand and start prepping away.
11. BRING YOUR NEIGHBORS A PLATE OF HOMEMADE COOKIES
If you love to bake then this is an awesome excuse to be in the kitchen baking a big batch of cookies.
Even if you’re not so keen on baking, give it a shot and try making some cookies, muffins or bars to bring to your neighbors.
12. CREATE SPACE FOR A GARDEN
Go scout out your backyard and picture exactly where you’d put a garden if you had one. Then stake it out and start making it happen.
There’s nothing quite like fresh vegetables that go from your garden straight to your plate. It really makes all the hard work pay off.
If you don’t have sufficient space in your backyard for a garden right now, consider buying a few plant pots and growing a small indoor garden.
You can grow everything from small herbs to tomatoes, and more. I have a list of a few more things you can grow indoors in this post, How to Homestead When You Live in Town.
It’s full of great information if you’re longing for a more self-sufficient lifestyle but are stuck living in town. Go check it out!
13. GATHER ALL YOUR SCATTERED PICTURES
Do you have loose pictures that have been scattered everywhere from the living room coffee table to the office desk? If so, go around your house and gather them all up.
You can then either pick your favorite few and put them in frames, or you can put them all in a scrapbook to create a neat little keepsake to look back on in the years to come.
Look in your local newspaper or online in local groups and see if there are any organizations going on that are in need of volunteers.
Give up a few hours of your day to lend a hand to someone in need – you’ll feel great about it.
15. DO THE LAUNDRY
I know, I promised after number one (deep clean a room in your house) that there would be things on this list that are much. more. Fun.
But doing a few loads of laundry is a fantastic way to catch up on some work around the house and feel productive while doing it.
And who knows, doing the laundry might be more fun for you than deep cleaning a room (it certainly is for me!).
Do you find that your house is becoming a clutter zone? Try decluttering and getting rid of some stuff that you no longer like or use.
If you have a hard time thinking of things to part with, you can find a few ideas in this post, 20 Things to Declutter From Your Home Today.
17. HAVE A GARAGE/YARD SALE
If you went through your closet and found a bunch of articles of clothes that you no longer wear, you can either donate them or gather a few friends and family members together and put on a garage sale.
The same goes for all that stuff that you just decluttered from your house. Obviously, that sock with holes in it most likely won’t be a hot seller, but there are plenty of other things that I’m sure you could sell in your garage sale.
This will allow you to make a bit of money off of your stuff, which is always nice. And it’s a good excuse to spend the day with a few good friends – who knows, you might even meet some new friends.
18. START YOUR OWN RECIPE BOOK
I’m willing to bet that you have at least a couple recipes that you just love and love to make. Create your very own recipe book of recipes that you know you like.
Then if you’re ever stuck at dinner time trying to think of something to make, you don’t have to sift through thousands of recipes that you’re just not sure if you’ll like. You can go into your nifty recipe book created with yours and your families favorites in mind, and make something you know will be a hit.
19. ORGANIZE YOUR SPICE RACK
Or spice cupboard. Wherever you keep your spices, go through them. Make sure they’re all still good and refill the containers that are getting low.
You might even find a new spice to use for dinner tonight.
20. ORGANIZE YOUR RECEIPTS
Do your receipts scatter from Montana down to Texas? I know mine do. They have a way of getting everywhere.
Something productive you can do is gather them all up, get rid of the ones you don’t need, then file the ones that you do need.
21. OFFER TO DOG WALK FOR THE NEIGHBORS
Do your neighbors have an energetic dog that just needs to get out for some fresh air? Offer to take their dog for a walk.
This won’t only benefit you by getting you out of the house and stretching your legs, but they may also pay you, or you could just do it out of the niceness of your heart.
22. FIX SOMETHING AROUND THE HOUSE
Is there something that desperately needs fixing around your house? Take it upon yourself to fix it. If you don’t know how, try to find a Youtube tutorial to walk you through it.
But if it is something that could be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing – you’ll definitely want to get an expert
Coloring doesn’t have to be childish! You might be surprised by the number of adults who choose to sit down and color for a bit of relaxation.
24. REARRANGE A ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE
Do you feel an itch for some newness in your life? Try rearranging a room in your house. It might even end up looking better after you rearrange it than it did in the first place.
And if you just don’t like how it turned out you can always put everything right back into place.
25. FIND SOME SIDE-HUSTLES OR WORK FROM HOME JOBS
Brainstorm to find some side-hustles that will help you make extra money, or if you’re looking to quit your 9-5 you can search for real work from home jobs.
If you’re interested in working from home, I’ve put together a list of work from home jobs that you can find here, 7 Legit Work From Home Jobs (So You Can Finally Leave Your 9-5).
26. TAKE SURVEYS
One of the most widely popular ways to make some extra money online is by taking surveys. A couple of the most popular survey sites are Survey Junkie and Swagbucks. They’re both free to use, so you can sign up and start earning right away.
27. WASH AND DETAIL YOUR CAR
My husband’s and my car gets super dirty so fast, both inside and out. I know it’s long overdue for a spring cleaning (maybe last year’s spring cleaning…).
I should definitely take my own advice here and give our car a much-needed wash and detail.
28. CREATE A GRATITUDE LIST
Think of a few of the things that you’re most grateful for and write them down.
Creating a gratitude list is a fun way to help you see how blessed you truly are, even if your life isn’t looking up at the moment.
This exercise will help you look past the glum and see a few good things in your life, even if they are few and far between right now.
29. CREATE A STOP DOING LIST
Today instead of creating the traditional to-do list, try going in the other direction and create a stop doing list.
A stop doing list is a list that gives you permission to stop doing certain things. Things that are only adding stress into your life.
There will be things in life that we can’t control, that will stress us out and we will have to deal with whether we want to or not – but creating a stop doing list gets rid of those unnecessary things that are sucking your time and energy from you and hindering you from giving your all to the things that really matter.
30. SORT THROUGH YOUR EMAILS
I have so many useless emails sitting in my inbox. Some open, some unopened. You know those emails that are just junk, but somehow made it to your inbox anyway?
Somehow – it’s beyond me – my email account has accumulated to about a million pages long, at least that’s what it seems like.
Does your email account look anything like mine does? Finally sorting through emails can be a long, painful task. But it is a task that should be done, and the more you do it, the easier it will get.
With these 30 productive things to do instead of spending money now in your hands, which ones will you do? Of course you don’t need to do them all – that would take a long time. But you can start with one or two and refer back to the list as you need to.
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR WHAT SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO INSTEAD OF SPENDING MONEY ARE!
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