24 Budget-Friendly Activities for Quality Bonding Time


In the age of technology, busy schedules, and a tough economy, it can be difficult to find the time and money to bond with those in our lives.

But there are methods to help you make the most of the time you have together that don’t include breaking the bank, such as gardening, taking free classes, and making an event out of necessary chores. 

We’ve searched for some of the ways that people around the world have connected the most with loved ones and found the 24 top budget-friendly activities for quality bonding. 

So whether you are looking for a new way to spend time with your partner, children, friends, or family, or just want to have some fun while staying on budget, check these out for some inspiration.

1. Cook a Meal

Potlock, sharing food with friends
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Cooking together, whether a meal or a dessert, is a wonderful way to bond and allows you to control the budget fully. 

You can spend as little as you want on your meal and keep it as kid-friendly as needed for your group. You could even opt for a potluck where everyone brings a dish if you want to try to cut back on costs.

2. Create a YouTube Channel

creating video tutorials
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Whether it’s public or private, a YouTube channel is a fun way to connect with loved ones via a common interest.

Consider creating makeup tutorials with your daughter or a couple’s goals channel with your significant other. There are endless ideas here that can bring you closer together. And even if you set the videos to private, you can share the URL with other loved ones so they can see what you are doing.

3. Wash Your Car

Hand holding a Chamois Cloth for washing the car
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It wasn’t long ago that chores like washing the car on a hot summer day were a great way to spend time together, and it still can be.

Get your swimsuits on and make it even more fun with water games while you’re at it.

4. Play Board Games

friends playing monopoly
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Board games and tabletop games are some of the best ways to bring people of all ages together.

Classics like Monopoly and Life are great, but so are modern picks like Cards Against Humanity and Codenames.

5. Have an Outdoor Movie Night

watching movie projected on cloth in the backyard
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All you need is an extension cord or, better yet, a projector on the side of the house to bring the theater to your yard.

Buy cheap snacks and popcorn, and don’t forget lawn chairs or comfy blankets in the grass.

6. Run a Marathon

Marathon Runners
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Not only is running the marathon gratifying but prepping for a marathon is a wonderful method for connecting in a healthy manner.

Consider starting with a 5k before working your way up to a marathon if it’s your first time.

7. Test Your Knowledge of Each Other

friends playing how well do you know me game
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A game that can be a blast with two or more people is to ask each other a series of questions and see who knows the other best.

This game is great whether you’re getting to know each other or testing how well you know one another.

8. Go Thrift Store Shopping

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For a fun shopping idea, set a budget and see who can make the best or most interesting thrift store outfit.

You may even find some treasures along the way, such as a rare collectible for a quarter or a silly antique painting for a dollar. 

9. Have a Dance Party

pajama party
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You don’t need a dime to have an exciting and hopping dance party at home, all you need is music and a dance floor, which can be your living room or your yard. 

Make things even more interesting by switching up the genres to something out of the box.

10. Go Camping

Father and toddler son camped in the backyard
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Whether you find an affordable camping spot or use your backyard and an improvised tent, camping is an incredible way to bond with your whole family. 

If your neighborhood allows it, consider building a fire for smores or buy a smokeless indoor fire kit.

11. Take a Nature Walk

hiking in nature
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Spring and summer are ideal for taking nature walks, which lets you connect and the great outdoors. 

Look up the best nature trails in your area and make a day out of it with snacks, backpacks, and plenty of sunblock. 

12. Volunteer

Volunteers with garbage bags cleaning park area
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Volunteering helps you bond with loved ones by contributing to the greater good, something that should be shared.

It’s proven that volunteering boosts self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Why not share those benefits?

13. Create a Sports Team

Kids soccer team
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There are plenty of organizations and local committees that let you sign up with a sports team to compete against others.

Sometimes, you can win prizes, while other times, you get to pick a charity that means something to you. 

14. Try Geocaching

Finding a Geocache
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Geocaching is a free adventure that anyone can go on as you join the world of “treasure hunting” and share your findings online.

To get started, download the Geocaching app and find the caches hidden all over the world.

15. Start Gardening

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Gardening is a fruitful activity that is not only budget-friendly but may also help you save money on produce.

The size of the garden doesn’t matter, so if all you have is a windowsill, the benefits remain.

16. Sing Karaoke 

Group of friends playing karaoke at home
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Karaoke is fun whether you do it at home or at a venue, so pick your favorite song and rock it out.

This can also be a wonderful way to bridge age gaps and introduce each other to songs of your time.

17. Adopt a Star

man pointing finger in night starry sky
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You can adopt a star for a very affordable price and consider it your family’s (or couple’s) special otherworldly entity. 

If you don’t need the official paper, pick a star together and “unofficially” call it your own. Just don’t forget to name it.

18. Take a Free Class

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There are many cheap or free classes you can take either online or locally that not only help you bond but also teach you a new skill.

Learning together is a wonderful way to grow closer and grant you each something that may benefit your future.

19. Go to a Murder Mystery Party

People having fun at Halloween party
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A murder mystery party is ideal if you want to plan ahead, though one person must be the host.

You can have as few as three people or as many as you want, so this is a fantastic choice if your whole family is involved.

20. Start a Book Club

Group of female friends at book club with eBook reader and novels
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Pick a book and set a schedule to learn more about how your loved ones perceive the world through what they pick out of a story.

The age of your participants doesn’t matter because you can always cater to the youngest in the group if needed.

21. Plan a Picnic

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A picnic at the park or in the backyard is a peaceful bonding activity that anyone can do.

You can take a cheap lunch and enjoy the nice weather, perhaps even branch out of your usual area and add a comfortable drive to the day out.

22. Paint a Mural

mural painting
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Whether it’s on a wall in your home or on the sidewalk, a mural is something that allows your family or friends to combine visions in your head to create a beautiful work of art. 

It can be fun to have a theme or let everyone go their own way and see how it plays out.

23. Do Blind Taste Tests

Blindfold Woman Blind Drink Taste
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Buy a few different types of ice creams or beverages and have fun guessing which flavor or brand you are tasting.

It’s fun to have one host who knows which flavor is which, but you can also take the labels off, so it’s a blind test for everyone.

24. Look for Local Events

People hanging out ordering food and drinks in a local park
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Resources like Facebook Events are an amazing way to find cheap, local family-friendly events, great for date night, or perfect for a friend group.

Sort by location and date to find an opening that suits everyone’s schedule.

Best Frugal Living Tips

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There is a misconception that living frugally means living a miserable life.

But the reality is, most frugal people are happier and wealthier.

Here are some simple steps to start living frugally and be happier as a result.


28 Stupid Ways You Waste Money

woman working from home on laptop looking worried, tired and overwhelmed
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You know you waste money right?

It’s a problem most of us face.

But sometimes you do really dumb things with your money that costs you big time.

Here are the dumbest ways you waste money.


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