Broke and Bored?: Fun Things to Do for Less Than $5

This week I found myself scavenging for loose change under the seats in my car so I could to afford a long anticipated vanilla double-shot latte. It cost me like $5! When did coffee get so expensive? (Okay, that's another story.)

It seems like everything fun or delicious costs money. You might feel like when money is tight or non-existent the only option on a friday night is to sit and stare at the wall.

But instead you could go on a hunt to capture a chipmunk with friends! Kidding. But my friend just told me that in college he and his friends' were on a mission to capture a live chipmunk, cage it, and then make it domestic. By domestic I mean that my friend was convinced that he could actually train the chipmunk like a pet dog.

So these guys spent the day hurling their bodies around a park trying to capture these little critters. Hilarious . . . and scary! (Do chipmunks have rabies? . . . moving on)

If the chipmunk hunt doesn't appeal to you, here are some more creative and inexpensive ways to fill those empty pockets with fun and excitement this summer:

  1. Have an 80’s movie marathon. Rent as many 80’s movies as you can find and watch them all weekend. You can get them at the library for cheap; well, usually for free. You can explore other decades too. My friends and I propped our feet up one night for black and white movies from the 40's-50's.
  2. Bring back coloring books. That's right. Jesus told us to be like children. So let's gear up. You can buy a few books at the dollar store with some sweet crayons. You and your friends can decorate pages while listening to your favorite iTunes mix.
  3. Make a “how to” youtube video. It could be about anything – make macaroni and cheese, boil an egg, or give instructions to your favorite dance moves (breakdancing, crunking, popping, freestyle, hip hop). Teach me how to dougie! See how random and weird you can make your video. Get creative.
  4. Water Balloon Fight meets Capture the Flag! Balloons + Water + Swimming suits + a bunch of friends = Epic Adventure. Make teams, hide around your neighborhood, and play capture the flag.
  5. Spend the whole night talking in a different language accent. This may sound ridiculous, but it is super funny. Especially if you are horrible at them. My brother laughs at me because my English 'accent' sounds like I am Australian man from India. Apparently he hasn't heard the Austrialan/English/Indian dialect. (*Ahem, ok, let's just pretend that exists)
  6. Rearrange Furniture without telling anyone. Your room and your muscles are in need of a work out. So get the Fung-Sway on and arrange your room or the family room in a new way. Make new shapes, but act like you have no idea what the family is talking about. See if anyone even notices.
  7. Bring a pile of your laundry and play reverse strip poker. Don't get scandalized. This is all about adding clothes and it is super fun. Each time you lose a round add a layer of clothing. By the end you should look like are a big marshmallow of layers. Make sure there’s air conditioning!
  8. Teach yourself how to Knit. Knitting is super cool
  9. Connect to a random relative member. Your cousin who you haven't seen since last Thanksgiving is in need of some LOVE. So pick up the phone, skype, or facetime. I am not talking about that 'odd' uncle you try to avoid. Think of someone you haven't reached out to in years. Surprise them!
  10. Make a bucket list with list with a friend. We all have things we want to do or accomplish in our life: Go Skydiving. See the Grand Canyon, Marry a really holy (and attractive) Catholic man . . . Oh wait. That my list. Whatever your dream items are, take some time to write them down and start accomplishing them!

The point is that a lack of funds shouldn't keep you. With child-like attitude and a sense of adventure make some memories that you will remember without going into more debt before college.

And maybe if you spend less money on entertaining yourself, you can afford that cup of coffee for the road.

About the Author

National Speaker. Youth Minister. I am preparing the way of the Lord . . . I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile I keep dancing. For more info on Mary and her blogs or speaking go to: