30 things to do if you’re on a budget in NYC

Sometimes, the city is expensive.

I know that Parker and I sometimes have to be creative with how we spend our time together. Here is a list of some things you can do while on a budget. Most are free – so try them out!

  1. Visit a local beach – you can get to Long Beach by LIRR in less than an hour.
  2. Sign up for a free class – workout with friends, go to a seminar, check out a workshop.
  3. Organize your closet – everyone loves spring cleaning, right? Get rid of clothing you haven’t worn in a year or doesn’t fit.
  4. Play some board games – The uncommons downtown has a ton of games and is cheap!
  5. Sunbathe on one of the piers on the west side highway or a rooftop.
  6. Go sightseeing – it’s ok to be a tourist sometimes.
  7. Host a dinner party – play music loudly and make it themed.
  8. Go on a bike ride – Citibike is very affordable and fun.
  9. Photograph local sights – learn new photography skills online and try them out.
  10. Visit a museum on a free day – the Moma has one on Friday.
  11. Volunteer for a local organization – research opportunities in your area and bring friends.
  12. Start a DIY project – Pinterest has so many fun projects.
  13. Bake some cookies or other sweet treats from scratch – then bring them to a friend as a surprise gift.
  14. Get rid of clutter – no one wants to be a hoarder.
  15. Do spa treatments at home – coconut avocado hair treatment anyone?
  16. Dance – In a park, at a club, in the street.
  17. Have a picnic – cook some things at home, bring a blanket, and find a park. (candle in a mason jar makes it extra special)
  18. Start planning your next getaway – planning fun trips away helps you plan budgets + creates excitement.
  19. Watch the sunrise – wake up early and bring a thermos of coffee. 
  20. Make your own jewelry with old beads, buttons, or chains – mix it up with items you own and don’t wear.
  21. Tie-dye a t-shirt – super easy. Teach a kid how to do it and make it a group activity.
  22. Have a bonfire – you’ll most likely have to leave the city for this one. Worth it.
  23. Put your favorite photos in a frame – repaint frames to create a cool wall gallery.
  24. Organize your makeup – do a make-up swap with friends of products you don’t use.
  25. Browse the farmers market – try some local honey + fancy cheese.
  26. Go to a free event – New York has so many.
  27. Practice a new language – Rosetta Stone has a few sample classes.
  28. Re-write your goals + visions and put it on a board you can see daily.
  29. Babysit for a friend and give them a date night that they probably need.
  30. Write encouraging letters and pass them out to strangers.

What is your favorite activity to do that is free?

Images via Bench & Compass

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