How to Spend More Time as a Family without Spending Money


Spending time with your family is one of the best ways to show them you love them. Money can buy a lot of things but it can’t buy time and memories. When you make the time to do things with your family, you’re creating special memories that will last forever.

That said, some families simply don’t know what to do together anymore. We’ve become a society attached to cell phones and other electronics. It’s become such a common way of life that it can be difficult to remember what it was like before them. While electronics have their time and place, sometimes they take up too much time that you could be spending with the ones you love.

Yet another hindrance to families spending quality time together is money. A lot of people are struggling with their finances these days and many forms of entertainment can be pricey. You might worry that you can’t hang out and do fun things as a family unless you’re spending money on a vacation or some other type of “experience”. While these things are nice in moderation, there are plenty of great ways to spend time with your family without spending any money at all. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Here are some ways you can spend more time as a family without spending money:

  1. Have a movie night – You can watch something you already own or pick something free to watch online (Netflix is a winner for this). Make snacks, bring blankets and cuddle up, or whatever works for your family.
  2. Make and eat dinner together – Having dinner together is great for quality time but what if you also made the dinner together? You could do an old family favorite or try a brand new recipe together.
  3. Go to free shows/museums – Another great idea is to look around your area for free shows or free museums (some paid museums also have free days) and spend the day there together as a family.
  4. Bake together – You could bake a cake and decorate it together or bake some cookies or a favorite treat.
  5. Do arts and crafts – You don’t have to be a great artist or a skilled craftsperson to enjoy arts and crafts together as a family. In fact, sometimes part of the fun is because you don’t know what you’re doing, and you can learn it together.
  6. Put on a show – You can enjoy a little family theater together. Do it traditional style, or record with your phone and make your own video.
  7. Go to the orchard – You can go to an orchard or farm and have fun picking apples, pumpkins, or whatever is in season at the time. Come back home and make something with it, too.
  8. Go for a walk or hike – How easy is it just to take a walk? It doesn’t cost you anything and it doesn’t require any special tools. You can look at nature, or chat while you walk or hike.
  9. Puzzles and games – You can enjoy a regular game night and do puzzles or play board games. Board games can be fairly inexpensive, you can work with the ones you have, or you can also check Freecycle and yard sales for unwanted games.
  10. Have a picnic – You can do picnics all year long if you make it an indoor/ outdoor picnic, based on the weather. When it’s too cold (or wet) to go out, just pull out a blanket on the floor and picnic right there inside. It can be a lot of fun. The kids love it and you get fun time together.

When you’re deciding what you can do as a family that doesn’t break the bank, let your kids join in on the planning. They may have some great ideas to add to your list. In fact, you could create a Family Fun jar or box and put all of your ideas on slips of paper and add to the jar. Then, when it’s time to do your family time, you just pull an idea out of your jar or box and get to it. Another spin on that idea is to use Popsicle sticks and a jar. Write the ideas on the sticks and place them in the jar. It can be a lot of fun for the kids to pick the ideas, too.

These are just a few ideas for how to spend more time together as a family. You should try to come up with even more that your family will enjoy. Let this be your springboard for action. You can sit down and talk about ideas together. Commit to spending more time together like this, and then just make it happen!