The idea of going out for the evening can be pretty enticing after a long day. Even if you don't end up going out, it's still easy to order food or shop online from home. The problem here is it usually costs quite a bit of money. Sometimes we go out for fun, but other times it's because we're bored. And while boredom has its benefits, it can become a costly pastime if left unchecked. If you want to save money by staying home, but you don't know what to do, this list will help. In this article, we share 55 ideas on what to do at night when bored to save money.
Benefits of staying home
Staying home may at first seem like a dull choice, but there are a ton of benefits to it. Other than teaching yourself frugal living and being content with what you have, here are some other great things that come out of staying home.
You can learn new skills
Staying home pushes you to develop new ways to spend your time. You might become great at poker, crafting, sports, or any other pastime. It can increase confidence and take away the feeling of needing to spend money to have fun.
You'll save money
Dinners out and entertainment are fun at the time, but you may wind up spending hundreds of dollars extra each month or more! Saving money is the big reason for staying home. When you choose activities that don't require spending, you can turn around and save that money or mark it for some other important thing.
55 Budget ideas for what to do at night when bored
That being said, if you are wondering what to do at night when bored, here are our top ideas!
It should be an obvious one, but before you do anything else, decide where your money will go with a budget. Put it in categories and work on saving as much as possible. If you can, leave a little money for fun.
2. Decorate your space
Start with one room and begin dreaming about how you want it designed. Complete with furniture, paint, and decorations. Once you have the plan in your mind, you can try to find low-cost options that fit your ideas.
3. Sing along to a musical
If you don't know what to do at night when bored, this is fun. Start up a favorite musical and grab your hairbrush to sing into.
4. Try a new recipe
Eating at home saves money, plus it gives you something fun to do with your time. Try recipes online or check out a cookbook for new ideas. We have a ton of ideas for cheap meals!
5. Go for a nature hike
Check out your surroundings by going on a hike. Or a walk around your neighborhood if you don't want to go far. It's good exercise, you get fresh air, and it costs no money.
6. Mail cards
Spend time picking out a card, writing something thoughtful to someone you care about, and then sending it to them in the mail.
7. Start a side hustle
If you're at home not spending money, you might as well make some. There are a crazy number of side hustle ideas out there, and many you can start without even leaving your house.
8. Rearrange a bookshelf
It's a fun distraction, and you might find books or items you didn't even know you had. Arrange by author, style, color, or topic.
9. Read a book about finance
After you've gotten those books organized, find one about finance and start educating yourself about money. You can take in information at your own pace and find out things you didn't know before. There are a ton of great finances books!
10. Watch YouTube
It can be entertaining or educational, depending on what you choose to watch. Try a little of both and subscribe to some YouTubers that inspire you. Be sure to check out the Clever Girl Finance YouTube channel!
11. Download money-saving phone apps
A lot of apps can help you save money through budgeting, banking, or finding deals on items you purchase. Download some and try them out.
12. Clean out your inbox
Cleaning out your inbox frees up mental energy and can keep you from missing necessary appointments or meetings. It's a good idea to do a weekly clean-out of your emails, at least.
13. Do all the laundry
If you're struggling with what to do at night when bored, why not get everything done at once? Launder the clothes, linens, and towels, so everything in your home is fresh and clean.
14. Deep clean the carpets and floors
It isn't something we think to do daily, but our carpets and flooring can get filthy over time. For a fresh and tidy home, try deep cleaning the floors.
15. Clean all the windows
Try cleaning every window in your home, inside and out, with window cleaner or just water and paper towels. (If you live on the second floor of an apartment, clean the windows you can get to safely.)
16. Organize the closets
Just because closets are for storage doesn't mean we shouldn't organize them. Make yours more functional by taking the time to declutter and clear them out. Maybe create a capsule wardrobe while you are at it!
17. Create a nighttime routine
Create a nighttime routine to end the day with. It can include reading, making dinner, meditation, picking out clothes, and bedtime. It's up to you.
You can buy coloring books to enjoy, or there are even coloring apps for your phone. Coloring is a relaxing way to pass time.
19. Review multiple banks to find the best deal
Spend a night researching different banks to check their fees and benefits. Then decide which is the best option and open an account.
20. Clip coupons
You can do this literally if you get the paper, or more likely, use some other coupon apps to find deals on things you already need.
21. Check on your investments
Investing is necessary for the health of your money. Take a look now and then and see if your investment portfolio needs to be rebalanced or is good the way it is.
22. Take a free course about money
There are tons of great classes that are focused on getting you the financial information you need - for free! Clever Girl Finance offers free courses about money right on our website.
23. Try out an investment calculator
These are fun, and you can find a lot of free ones online. Try plugging in different numbers and time frames to see what amounts you come up with at retirement age. You might even find yourself investing differently after this.
24. Order a financial planner journal
Financial planning journals are available online in printable form or as journals. They can help you track your money goals, and the cost is relatively inexpensive. You can also find printables at more affordable prices.
25. Improve your resume
If it's been a while since you've looked at your resume, it might be time to update your job and skills sections. If your resume is already pretty great, this is your chance to tweak it and make it perfect.
26. Sell unused items around the house
It can make you money and is an excellent answer for what to do at night when bored. It also clears out your home, leaving you with peace of mind. Less clutter can help you focus and feel better in your environment.
27. Repurpose old furniture or other items
If you have any old furniture, you can try to repurpose it. Turn it into something new or at least clean it up and make it functional again. Even if you don't feel like you know what you're doing, it's still fun, and you'll likely end up with something cool to show for it. When it comes to what to do at night when bored, this can be a lot of fun and rewarding too!
28. Start a Weekly Dinner
Make dinner for your friends at your home, and take turns eating at each other's houses. You could even save money if you get several people involved. You can meet weekly, monthly, or more often if you want. There are so many great frugal meal ideas.
29. Work on your car
Working on your car is a great habit and skill to develop. Learn how to change a tire, the oil, and check the vehicle to see if it's running well. It can save you money on car expenses, and it can even be a hobby.
30. Automate your tasks
We all have routine tasks that we complete each day, but could you save time by automating them? Automating things like shopping and bill paying means you won't even have to think about it. Spend an evening automating everything you can think of.
31. Go paperless with bills
Choosing a paperless billing option is great for the environment and can make it easier to keep track of important paperwork. Opting for paperless billing means you'll have access to an electronic file instead and can give up spending all that time on unnecessary mail.
32. Strategize with a friend or partner about money
Sit down and think through your goals with someone that you trust. You can share your dreams about money and careers and figure out steps you want to take to get there. Having an accountability partner is a great way to get support with achieving your goals.
33. Create the ultimate home theater
Set up a home theater that's perfect for you and your family. Gather everything you need for a great movie experience: beanbag chairs or pillows, the ideal film, movie-themed snacks, and even a projector to make it feel like you're watching something on the big screen.
34. Face yoga
Doing facial exercises is very good for you and can even help you look younger. Set aside a few minutes in the evening to do this.
35. Indoor herb garden
You can make your garden using a pallet board and some small herb plants. Hang the herb garden from a wall near the window. You can tend to them each evening, and you'll always have fresh herbs and seasonings for your food.
36. Check your credit score
You can do this on websites or apps without spending any money or lowering your score. It's an excellent way to check on your financial health.
37. Track your spending
It's something that only takes a few minutes a day. When you get home for the evening, track the amounts you spent that day. Write it down or use a spreadsheet, and soon you'll have a clearer picture of how you spend your money.
38. Go shopping
You heard right - go shopping - sort of. When you're home at night and tempted to spend money, go online to your favorite store and add whatever you want to your cart. Then wait a day and check back in. If there's anything you need from the cart, find coupons or promo codes to get a lower price.
39. Go outside
Even sitting on your front porch counts for getting fresh air. It's essential to get as much sunlight as possible and spend time outside, so make it part of your evening routine.
You can learn this art quickly from books or videos, and then you have a fun new hobby. Try working on this in the evenings. It's a relaxing activity, perfect for after work.
41. Upcycle clothes
You can use your time in the evenings to upcycle your clothes. Not only does it help put a stop to harmful fast fashion, but it's a great way to create your style.
42. Build or fix something in your home without going to the store
Suppose there's something in your home that needs maintenance, like a squeaking door or a wall that needs paint; fix it yourself. Make it your mission to DIY all your home projects at night.
43. Get a pet
Some pets are more costly than others, but you can find many pets that need homes even if you don't want to spend a fortune. You'll be busy in the evenings feeding and caring for your pet, and they make great companions. When it comes to what to do at night when bored, this can be very fulfilling.
44. Meal prep for the next month
You can meal prep at night for the next day, or if you want to be super productive, prep for the next month. You can make freezer meals and have dinner options for weeks.
45. Trade wardrobes with a friend instead of throwing clothes away
If you have a friend who's a similar size to you, try trading some of your outfits for theirs. You both get a new look without spending any money.
46. Go to the library
There are some free options for what to do at night when bored. Most libraries have set hours, so this may be more of an early evening activity, but still. You can check out some books or movies and have hours of entertainment available.
47. Board games
Become an expert at one or try to win them all. You can play games online, but you might also try hosting a game night.
48. Call friends - on the phone
Yep, it's pretty old school. But talking on the phone can be fun, and you can discuss more things than people usually do through text.
49. Video chat with long-distance family
Maybe you have relatives you haven't caught up with lately that live far away. Schedule a video chat to talk. It might become a weekly thing if you enjoy it.
50. Rearrange the photos on your walls
Do you have a lot of pictures or prints around your home? Try something new by taking them all down and hanging them in new patterns or different rooms to make a significant change.
51. Go through memory boxes
Everyone has at least one box of mementos, photos, etc., that they've saved through the years. Find a night when you have some time and go through the box, reminiscing and deciding what to keep.
52. Clean out your office
Do you have old paperwork that needs to be filed or shredded? Clean out your home office and get it organized so you enjoy working in it.
53. Create a relaxing atmosphere
Your home should be a place to unwind after a long day. When you get home at night, take some time to light candles, play quiet music, drink some tea, and generally relax in a calm space.
54. Do nothing
When was the last time you sat down and did absolutely nothing? Not reading, checking emails, or texting, but just sitting and enjoying the moment? Most of us don't do this often enough. Even five minutes a day of doing nothing is beneficial.
Find a podcast that interests you and listen to it when you are at home at night. Extra points if it's a financial podcast!
What to do with the money you save
More money is a great thing! Now that you aren't spending as much going out in the evenings, you can use that money elsewhere. Here are some ideas.
Start an emergency fund
Everyone needs one of these for security and peace of mind. Things happen, like car maintenance or a leaky roof. But Bankrate says that less than 4 out of 10 people in the U.S.A have $1000 saved in case of an emergency. An emergency fund ensures that you have what you need when this occurs, without wondering where the money will come from.
Begin by saving three months of your paycheck amount, and then up to 12 months. It depends on job stability and your preference, so find an amount that makes sense for you. Set aside what you would have spent going out each month until it equals the amount you want for your emergency fund.
Pay off debt
Think about how much quicker your debt payoff would be if you put all your "going out" money towards it! It's a great way to fast-track your debt payoff and get you to where you want to be faster. If you genuinely want to see results, try this.
Any time you want to spend money going out at night, take the amount you would have spent and apply it directly towards your debt. As you watch the amount owed drop, you'll know you made a good decision.
Save for retirement
It's something most of us put off until later, but regardless of whether we save or not, retirement is a fact of life for the majority. It's best to prepare by stashing away a percentage of your income each month in IRAs or investments. That way, you'll be ready for the future, and you can know that the money you aren't spending is making your later years better.
Asking yourself what to do at night when bored? A ton!
Staying home to save money and choosing to save or invest that cash for other purposes is usually a great decision. Although there's nothing wrong with going out and having fun now and then, being more budget-conscious is a choice that helps you out in the long run. These 55 ideas for what to do at night when bored can help you change your habits and create a frugal lifestyle!