Spending time with friends is an excellent way to pass the time without having to spend a lot of money. 

If you and your friends are used to hanging out in clubs, pubs, or restaurants, you could change things up and save some money. No matter where you live, there are plenty of places to go and do fun things that don't cost a fortune.

If you're having trouble convincing your friends to stick to a budget, be upfront with them. Tell them right away that you can't afford to spend that kind of money right now, and refuse to let them foot the bill. 

You can, however, suggest some fantastic alternatives.

Movie Marathon

If you’re looking for something that’s fun and free (aside from a Netflix or Disney+ subscription) then a movie day with your pals is the perfect option. 

If you’re fans of the Marvel universe, you could choose to watch their films in chronological order, or perhaps you’re fans of Star Trek and everything spacey. Whatever your preferences are, there’s plenty to be binged at the tip of your fingertips.

If you’re low on money and can’t afford to buy everyone’s drinks, make it a BYOB reservation and supply some snacks like popcorn and crisps for everyone to munch on while you’re having a movie marathon. Alternatively, ask your buddies to chip in with the snacks too!


A camping trip is a great way to spend time with your friends and family. If you have the necessary equipment, camping is a fantastic way to spend one or both nights of a weekend (or can simply borrow it). 

When you camp with a group, the total cost of everything you need – including food – is well under $10, and you get to spend several hours socializing, building fires, exploring the wilderness, and breathing fresh air. 

Late nights spent around a campfire with friends, swapping stories, and talking about life, are some of the best times spent with friends.

Play Sports

With your friends, take part in a game of your favorite sport. Take a football to the park and kick it around. Throw around a frisbee. Bring a basketball to the park and shoot some hoops. Play catch with a tennis ball. 

Playing a sport with others requires little equipment, but it provides everyone with a lot of beneficial exercise and enjoyment. It also provokes conversation and allows a group of friends to bond further. 

Spend your time throwing a ball and putting the world to rights with your friends, whether you’re talking about the Best 5 NHL arenas or getting tips for picking up girls. 

It makes no difference if you're bad at a sport; chances are, most of your friends are, and you can beat anyone who's even reasonably decent.

Make a Bucket List

Make a bucket list of things you want to do. Make a list of things you want to achieve, do, be, or see in your lifetime. Perhaps next week. 

Consider your job options as an alternative. Alternatively, video games that you'd like to own. Or Altern, life objectives, or this year's objectives. 

Lists are wonderful because they encourage you to reflect, dream, and hope. Having a good time with friends while bouncing ideas off one another improves a list and is a very thought-provoking way to have a good time.

Dust Off Your Consoles

If your friends would rather play with a joystick than a cricket bat, they're likely to have a favorite video game that will make this an entertaining evening. 

If you have carpeting, it's a good idea to keep the snacks drip-free and easy to handle. Bring over your friends' favorite sports video games, such as NHL and FIFA, and play to your heart's content. 

Watch the Game

Nothing beats inviting the guys (and, on occasion, the ladies) over to watch the big game. 

You get to watch a game you've been looking forward to with the people you enjoy spending time with, so it's the perfect opportunity to make sure you're not only enjoying the game but also enjoying each other's company. 

Put on your sports gear, plug in the surround sound, load up on snacks and enjoy the game with your friends.

Have a BBQ

Hosting a delicious BBQ is another great idea that can be done before, during, or even after the game. 

Grilling and chilling are two classic manly pastimes. It dates back to prehistoric times when our forefathers built fires and roasted meat on a spit, and it's as simple and uncomplicated as that old pair of sweatpants you wear every football Sunday. 

Take it a step further and play a backyard game of football as well as talking about cars and sports. It doesn’t have to be expensive either! Much like the movie night idea, asking your buddies to bring their own food and drinks makes for a cheap yet wonderful evening.

Have Some Friendly Competition

If you're broke or trying to save money, this isn't the best option. You can have a good time without going broke if you play with candy, chips, and cookies instead of cash. 

Why not spice things up by placing a wager on your favorite players and teams? There will almost certainly be one person in your circle of friends who holds opposing opinions on players and teams. 

You don't have to spend a lot of money—even a few pennies here and there can prove to provoke friendly competition!

Attend Free Local Events

Free local events are available all year. Look for events at local small businesses, such as a soap-making class at a local gift shop, a sewing class at a craft store, or a wine tasting at a local restaurant or winery. 

You could also attend events at your local library (or start your own if one isn't already set up). Pay a visit to a free museum or zoo (or find out when you might be able to get in for free). 

Do you live near any museums, zoos, or art galleries? Check their website to see if they have any free passes or if they offer free admission on certain days.

Workout Together

Make plans to meet up with a friend at the track, trail, gym, or yoga studio to check off that exercise box together. Endorphins are released as a result of both the exercise and the companionship in this two-birds-with-one-stone strategy. 

Another advantage of scheduling after-work workouts is that you can skip your morning workout and sleep in for a change. Working out with a friend (or friends) is also a great way of staying motivated, as you can spur each other on to hit new records and stay fit and healthy.

Make Some Money!

This is a great way to get rid of all the things you don't need but aren't necessarily junk. Gather a group of your friends and pool all of your "stuff"—wonky Ikea chairs and former university kitchenware for a one-weekend bash. 

It'll be a bit of a project, but by the end of the day, you'll be clutter-free, have a little extra cash, and perhaps even start a new tradition to share with your friends.

There are nearly endless options for free social activities you can do with your friends if you just choose to look for them and are open-minded about what you find. Simply put, be open to trying new things with your friends, even if you haven't done so before. 

You might discover something new that you enjoy, but at the very least, you'll have a fun afternoon with your friends without spending any money.


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