You’re short on cash and totally looking for something of entertainment value to get involved in. While this particular set of circumstances isn’t the most favorable one, virtually all of us have been there. So, what are some fun things to do when you’re off the clock that don’t require a bunch of money?
To help with this timeless question of enjoying life on a budget, here are 16 simple ideas.
1. Become a Foodie
Who doesn’t like food? It draws us all together in a commonality that not too many other things can. Becoming a foodie is a great way to be drawn closer to others but to also satisfy your own tastes and curiosities. Experiment and try new recipes with the food you already have on hand, or shop with your newfound hobby in mind next time you’re out for groceries. This is also a great way to become knowledgeable about the health consequences of all kinds of foods.
2. Get Into Zoology
Zoology is the study of all kinds of animals. You too can become quite engaged in the topic without the need for much money. From bird-watching to general nature observation while out and about, one can really consume plenty of time here if they are interested. Even if you can’t get out far away from home, there are animals to be found even in the most populous of environments. There’s the internet too.
3. Become a Botanist
Botany is the study of plants. This area of interest can yield all kinds of learning possibilities and hobby time alike. Outdoor vegetation is one area to take delight in while indoor vegetation provides a whole other venue of possibilities. Basic supplies to get started can be found in nature for free or in the store or online for fairly insignificant sums.
4. Get Into Entomology
When you think of insects, you probably don’t immediately liken them to enjoyable things to do outside of work. However, there is a massive entomological hobby base out there. For those not in-the-know here, entomology is the general study of insects. Again, such a hobby can be quite cheap, if not free, and absolutely entertaining. Start and watch an ant colony develop and grow, get a pet spider, or even go out specimen collecting. There is certainly no shortage of insects in this world with which to learn from and be entertained by.
5. Consider Astronomy
If you have a natural interest in matters of celestial importance, consider getting into astronomy as an after work activity. Provided you have access to an area where nighttime light pollution isn’t an issue, looking up may be the only price you need to pay to engage in this great hobby. To take things a step further, amateur telescope kits can be attained quite often without breaking the bank.
6. Religion, Philosophy
The worlds of religion and philosophy are each massive enough to engage any percentage of the population for quite a long time to come. If you feel you may benefit from a little extra soul-searching or otherwise purposeful activity, consider philosophy or religion. Churches, meeting groups, publications, media, and more await anyone wishing to spend some time in this realm.
7. Start a New Self Mission
Maybe it’s religion, harmony with nature, quitting smoking, or just becoming a healthier, better you, there is never a bad time to start or research the aligns of a new self mission. No matter the shift you work or your individual background, this type of activity can lead to fantastic personal growth and a major loss in time spent bored and aimless. Which areas of you would you like to improve?
8. Work on Career Advancement
Similar to the above suggestion to start a new self mission, it’s seldom a bad time to begin thinking about how to get ahead in your career. Read books about your vocational area. Join newsgroups and get the latest scoop on the industry’s newest developments. Seek out, study, and talk to experts in the field. If career advancement is a goal of yours, why not apply this spare time toward that exact and very productive means?
9. Train Your Brain
Speaking of self advancement, there are many great ways to train your brain on the cheap, thus quite productively eating up any boredom time you thought you once had. Learning how to make your brain sharp and active is definitely a great use of otherwise stagnant time. You may try brain development games for adults which can be found online and in handheld platforms. The renowned wooden cube game, handheld brainteasers, and even games like the classic Chinese checkers game all help build brain function, logical decision-making skills, and also defeat the doldrums of boredom.
10. Clean, Maintain Old Contacts
Virtually everyone today has a long list of contacts, from their past through to their present. Many of us neglect to regularly maintain those contacts or even clean up these lists. As far as productive things to do outside of work, this single act can help out even when you are at work later on. Imagine the fantastic feeling of having a clean, organized, and current contact list in that cell phone, email, and Facebook account.
11. Become a Local Expert
We’ve discussed checking out a number of individual elements in your surrounding area for entertainment purposes, but to really take things a step further, try becoming a bona fide expert on all things local to your area. The people, the culture, the food, the natural landscape and habitat – all of these things and more contribute to the complexities and individuality of any geographic place. In turn, for those interested, there is plenty of material with which to become a quite learned, local expert.
12. Clean, Organize
Aside from just email and phone contacts, consider cleaning or organizing in other areas you may normally neglect. Clean out your closet, consolidate that packed glove-box in the car, or even clean-out and reorganize the fridge. You are guaranteed to personally benefit and kill some of that lingering down time all at once.
13. Get Into Charity
After work activity ideas don’t always necessarily have to be about you specifically. There is a whole world of charitable causes, no matter where you live, with which to engage and help out. This doesn’t always mean physical giving or monetary donations either. Get in touch with a local cause and help with research, word-spread, solicitation, and more.
Reading is a fantastic and typically affordable way to spend some of that extra time after work. Referring back to ways how to make your brain sharp and active, this is also a top-rated activity. Find a topic you enjoy or want to know more about, go to the library or bookstore, find a comfortable spot, and become absorbed.
15. Art and Music
The arts and music are meant for the passage of idle time and the conveyance of emotions and ideas. You can make your own art and music with homemade wares or get a little extra guidance with an app or online video. Nowadays, virtually anyone can become the maker of some really good stuff.
16. Phone a Friend
Finally, if the above 15 ideas aren’t getting you anywhere, phone a friend. Not only do we suggest this as a matter of staying in touch, but also as a way to further qualm the fire of stagnation and idleness. Ask them if they would be interested in any of the above-mentioned activities, and if so, if they wouldn’t also mind some company therein.
Whether it’s after work activities ideas you’re in search of or just some help filling those brief moments between responsibilities, these 15 tips are bound to present a little something of interest for nearly anyone. Money certainly doesn’t have to dictate every aspect of life. As proof, try one of these 15 activities or try coming up with some creative ideas of your own. The world is right there and yours for the taking, even when it’s fun and entertainment at stake.