A few months back I wrote a post entitled Retired and Bored? Try This! People loved it! Well, I loved it, anyway. I’ve noticed some Google searches for things to do in retirement but for those with little money in my stats. The list in the post above had some pretty expensive things on it, but it had a few cheap and free items too. This list, however, is all free stuff.
Don’t think there’s a lot to do that’s free? Well, you’re not looking hard enough. This list doesn’t include the obvious, like taking a walk or breathing. These are genuinely fun and interesting stuff that usually won’t cost you a dime. One caveat, however, transportation and food will cost you money, but I can’t help that. So, retired, bored and broke? Read on:
- Libraries – Libraries are free, not counting the taxes you pay to fund them. You can borrow books of all kinds and many offer free movies to borrow. Lots of libraries offer free wireless internet and even computers if you don’t have one (but then how are you reading this?). Many offer free book clubs, classes and seminars. You might even find free coffee, though I won’t vouch for its quality!
- Sex – Yes, sex is still free. It’s fun, can help your relationship and is good exercise. Well, if you’re doing it right it’s good exercise. Actually, having sex has all kinds of health benefits, both mental and physical. What’s that you say? You don’t have a partner? Who needs a partner? Of course, if you want a partner, seducing them may cost money, but after that the sex is free!
- Take Pictures – If you already own a digital camera, and who doesn’t anymore, go take some pictures. Looking at the world through a camera lens can give you a whole new perspective. It almost forces you to slow down and take in your surroundings. Since digital pictures don’t need to be developed, it is truly free after the initial investment. If you don’t own a traditional digital camera, use your phone or take stills with a video camera. You may never do anything with the photos, but you might get something worth framing or just some neat desktop wallpaper.
- Go swimming – I bet you have an ocean, lake or river nearby with public access. Go swimming. You don’t need concrete and chlorine or a white sandy beach to enjoy swimming. My boys and I go fishing in a nearby reservoir every summer. We always end up swimming. Sure the beach is rocky, but we wear shoes. The wife and I have gone skinny dipping at a secluded beach at another nearby reservoir several times! Sans kids, of course. It’s great fun and free!
- Go Shopping – Huh? How is shopping free? I didn’t say you had to buy anything! The wife and I go window shopping all the time. Go to a big mall and wander around. Go to an electronics store and play with all the gadgets on display. Test drive a car, just for the fun of it. If you have a specialty store, like Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops or Scheel’s, those are like mini natural history museums. All free!
- See a Youth Sports Game – From t-ball to high school football, go see some kids play sports. It’s fun and exciting and usually free. Youth leagues offer fun and excitement and almost any sport you could think of. Many high schools offer free attendance to certain games during the year and let me tell you, the games are every bit as exciting as pro sports and the seats are a lot better. Your local high school might let senior citizens in free. Beats fifty to one hundred bucks to see a bunch of millionaires play.
- Do Some Planning – Planning is free. Whether its financial planning, planning for a trip or just planning a day out, the planning part is free and fun. Plan out a savings strategy and then what you will do with some of the money you save. Plan your next big trip. Whatever. It’s fun to dream about what you’re going to do someday and it doesn’t cost you a dime. If planning isn’t your thing, think of it as dreaming and it will be more fun.
- Learn to Maintain Your Vehicles – OK, even if you change your own oil or air filter it costs money. But it costs less than having it done by a shop and you have to do it in any case. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have a sense of satisfaction doing something yourself. Since maintaining a vehicle is part of the cost of ownership, the savings are like found money. Change your oil, then drive down and spend the money you saved on lunch or ice cream.
- Start a Blog – Blogs, like this one on WordPress, are free. Sign up and two minutes later you have a blog. Blog about your hobby, blog about your grand kids, blog about politics. It’s free and fun. No guarantee anyone will read it, but really blogs are for you. You can even make it private and only let family members read it or just keep it to yourself. You never know, you might find more people want to read what you have to say than you think. I have hundreds of visitors every week.
- Learn Something – Read up on World War II, learn to shuffle cards or to play cribbage, learn how to edit all those videos you’ve taken over the years into a movie. Most of this is free. Use the library or the internet as a resource. Learning how to repair your own computer, for instance, is a great skill and can save you money when something goes screwy. Learning a new card game, for example, can give you something else free to do. You’ll never run out of new things to learn.
OK, there it is. If these aren’t enough, search the internet for other ideas. Plus there are always the mundane free things to do, walking, exercise, reading, etc. This world has so many things to do that there is no excuse to be bored, even if you are broke. Try these ten things and see how they suit you then try finding stuff on your own. Life is too short to be bored and sometimes the only thing you really need to do is get up off your butt.
- BONUS IDEA! – Work at being more frugal. Being frugal can save you money that you can spend on the fun stuff. Cancel your cable TV and plan a night out every few months with the money you saved. Shop for groceries smarter and use the money you save to go out more often. Sell that Lexus and buy a Hyundai and use the extra money to take a dream vacation. Best part is that becoming more frugal is better than free. It actually puts more money in your poket. Then you won’t be be stuck at home with no money to do anything, reading this blog looking for ideas to keep yourself entertained.