Being home after completing my first year of college has taught me many things. How to sleep in, how to spend my time not doing work and perhaps most importantly, how to save money. It's summer! I want to go out and have fun with my friends, which almost always requires money. Not spending money is really hard. Saving it appears to be even more difficult. If you find yourself in a similar situation, and think your summer is going to be lame, don't give up hope! From someone who feels your pain, here are some ways that you can have a good summer without spending (much) money.
Gather your friends together, make popcorn and pizza rolls, and have a movie marathon! Whether it's Disney, "Lord of the Rings," "Hunger Games" or "Star Wars," you're sure to have a blast. If you have the space and the time, consider making it a weekend movie marathon-sleepover event. If you're having more than a few people over, you can even ask them to bring food, so you don't have to worry about providing for a large group all on your own.
Take a walk with a friend or your dog and explore somewhere new! If you're not a fan of the outdoors, much like myself, take exploring to a new level. Explore a local library or a town nearby. Just make sure you have a general idea of where you are, and say safe!
Learn something new.
Many friends of mine have taken on a challenge, where they attempt to learn something new every week for ten weeks in the summer. You can learn many things from library books, YouTube videos, or how-to guides online. Pick up calligraphy, yoga, or new recipes for cooking and baking! Just make sure your new hobby does not cost an arm and a leg and you'll be good to go!
Visit a pet store/adoption center.
If you're not allergic (and even if you are, and are willing to risk your allergic reaction for cute animals), this can be a fun and free way to play with the animals. Some places will even let you hold and or play with the puppies or kittens!
Create or have someone create a scavenger hunt for you.
This doesn't have to be as cheesy as it sounds. You can create a treasure hunt with your best friend by placing pictures of you together around. You could also have family place clues around town or your neighborhood for you to find and decipher. Pinterest most definitely has more ideas here and here.
Local libraries, summer camps and programs, and places around town are always looking for more help during the summer. Even if you are looking for ways to make money this summer, volunteering can still be something you do for fun. Lending a helping hand is a good way to spend your time and work hands-on in your community.
Have a water gun/water balloon fight.
One of your friends is bound to have water guns or balloons lying around the house. All you need is a backyard and a hose! If you have a large friend group, think about organizing a game of assassin to spice things up.
If you're from the Philadelphia area, Radio 104.5 offers free concerts at several different points during the summer, but they're not the only ones. Several parks, restaurants, and organizations have live music during the cool nights. This is a fun way to chill out, and pay homage to local artists and music.
Start a garden.
Whether you are growing vegetables and fruit, or flowers and trees, start planting those seeds! Knowing that something is depending on you for growth and progress can increase your mood and give you an excuse to wake up early and be productive.
When you do spend money this summer, remember not to splurge on unnecessary things. I'm not saying you shouldn't go out, and I'm not saying you shouldn't spend a cent. Just find an equal balance. Personally, I need to save money to pay for school, so I'm looking for free entertainment. Hopefully this list helps those in the same or similar positions!