33 Productive Things You Can Do Instead of Spending Money

published Dec 8, 2018
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(Image credit: Anna Spaller)

They say idle hands are the devil’s playground. Or is it an idle mind? When our twitching fingers tap from “add to bag” to “checkout” before we know what happened, it certainly feels like our good intentions of not spending money uselessly have been thwarted by a devilish boredom that whispers, pitchfork held aside, to go on ahead and just check to see if there are any good sales.

To save yourself from a spontaneous shopping spree, and to save the money you would spend on things you don’t need and may not even want by the time they arrive, get yourself busy.

Bookmark this list, or print it out, then pick anything from the list the next time you find yourself reeled in by those shopping apps:

  1. Groom your nails
  2. Clean the baseboards
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Visit the library and check out a movie
  5. Do a puzzle
  6. Polish and seal your countertops
  7. Cut the dead spots off your plant leaves
  8. Read a magazine
  9. Make some tea, sit down, and drink it
  10. Make a list of goals
  11. Wipe down your plant pots
  12. Mist your plants
  13. Look through an old photo album
  14. Have a dance party in the living room
  15. Hand mop the kitchen floor
  16. Make a movie of your last vacation on your phone
  17. Print out a coloring page or download a coloring app
  18. Update your budget
  19. Refill your salt and pepper shakers
  20. Refill your hand soap throughout the house
  21. Sweep the front and back porches
  22. Clean out your fridge
  23. Organize your mess of food storage containers
  24. Chop all the veggies for the meals you’ll cook this week
  25. Rainbowtize your books
  26. Play a board game
  27. Collect all your coins and count them
  28. Match the socks in the “lost sock” bin
  29. Write a thank-you card
  30. KonMari your t-shirt drawer
  31. Shine your sink
  32. Magic Erase your doors
  33. Clean your computer screen and keyboard

With this list in your arsenal, you’re one step closer to preventing idle spending from taking over your well-intentioned and well-apportioned budget.

What other free and inexpensive things do you like to do to stay productive?