Things To Do When You’re Bored And Broke

Budget Things To Do When You’re Bored And Broke

I don’t really get bored, probably because I always have an unaccomplished list of things to do composed in my mind. I am more familiar with being broke, thanks to my natural inclination to buy pretty things the moment they enter my line of vision. So, here are a few ideas of free/relatively cheap activities to do after a particularly bad case of impulse buying:

  • I probably shouldn’t be suggesting more shopping, but go to the pound shop and buy as many interesting things as you can for three pounds. Eg, items for your own spa night, books, sweet treats and hot drinks, craft materials, gardening equipment, movies.
  • Gather up items you no longer use and put them up for sale on Gumtree/Ebay/give them to charity.
  • While you’re on Gumtree, look for free items that people are giving away; you might find a treasure.
  • Make your own bookmarks with your favourite quotes/images on them.
  • Go to a language exchange/a reading group/a craft group in the library.
  • Host a dinner party for friends where you agree on a meal to make and each person brings one component of it. Each bring a board game and a type of fruit juice and make non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Start a sketchbook and draw pictures that summarise the moments of your day.
  • Make a wish list and start a savings jar to save towards it. Once you buy one item, add one more to the end of the list.
  • Create a cosy corner in your home of interesting objects/candles/lights to make it more homely.
  • Take pictures of the most beautiful and the most ordinary things in your life.


  • Read reviews on and make a reading list for this year.
  • Go to and type in ingredients you already have in the house; it will come up with recipe suggestions based on what you have on hand.
  • Read blogs that focus on your areas of interest.
  • Go to the sea, sit in front of it with a cup of coffee and read or write, listening to the waves.


  • Have a picnic or a drink in your garden on a picnic blanket.
  • Start growing your own herb garden/potted herbs on your windowsill.
  • Watch hauls on ; they’re really addictive and good for zoning out to. There are many different kinds, relating to whatever you like to collect.
  • Go to the library, get a book on a specific type of crafting and make something from it as a gift for someone.
  • Go to a craft fair with a small amount of cash to spend and look around at the interesting handmade items.
  • Get on a bus and go somewhere you never usually go to. Take pictures along the way.
  • Write a funny fictional short story involving yourself and people you know.
  • Go shopping for one specific thing you haven’t tried before, eg, butter mint tea, chilli chocolate, an item from the Asian supermarket.
  • Buy a DVD in a charity shop and have a movie day, with homemade snacks and the comfort of your sofa instead of the discomfort of an uncooperative cinema seat.
  • Go for a long walk in an unexplored direction and stop at every place you’ve never been to along the way.
  • Make a photo album with captions and embellish it an ebullient way.
  • Make a collage out of items you find lying around the house; you’ll feel childishly creative again.
  • Try to complete an entire novel in one day. Set yourself a monthly reading challenge.
  • Make French toast with your favourite toppings or try more adventurous ones.


  • Go for a long drive along the coastline or through the countryside.
  • Sit outside and watch a sunrise or sunset with a drink and still your thoughts.
  • Draw any object around you in your own style. Start a book of random sketches.
  • Have a bath while you listen to jazz or classical music.
  • Start a collection of thrifted items, eg, hats, earrings, belts, teapots, records, antique books.
  • Go for a walk and look for berries/flowers. Bring a basket with you and collect things along the way.
  • Sit under a tree and read. I find that it makes me feel more wistful and more likely to become immersed in the storyline.
  • Make yourself a reading corner in your house, with a comfortable chair, a blanket, cushions, quiet music, a lamp and a place for your tea.
  • Make a gratitude journal and note down anything small that has brightened up your day.
  • Start a dream journal and document your most bizarre and funniest dreams.
  • Learn about types of flowers, so that when you go for a walk you can identify them.
  • Get a set for painting your own mug/moneybox/decoration.
  • Look through your jewellery and put items out on display so you don’t forget to wear them and then rotate them when they have had ample use.


  • Collect flowers and petals and press them in a book.
  • Look up recipes online for soap/hand cream/face masks and make your own at home with natural ingredients.
  • Soak your hands or feet, moisturise them and give yourself a free manicure or pedicure.
  • Cook takeaway-style meals and freeze them for future days when you are pressed for time and just want to reheat something.
  • Experiment with coffee shop-style coffee, using syrups and different varieties of milk. Get cheap coffee stencils to decorate the top with cinnamon or chocolate.
  • Freshen up your home with pretty flowers.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for inexpensive things to do on an empty day! Hope you find some creative things to do when you’re bored, broke and on a budget 🙂

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