How to do more with less

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a range of fun activities. Find new hobbies, spend time with your loved ones and make the most of your free time without worrying about splashing too much cash.

Read on for some low-cost leisure activities to kick-start your year…


1. Search for local gigs

You might think music gigs or stand-up comedy is out of your budget, but you'll find loads of smaller (and cheaper!) gigs happening in venues near you. Bars and theatres now host more intimate gigs to give up-and-coming talent the chance to shine. Bag your front row seat and enjoy a fab night out for less.

2. Host your own cocktail-making night

Nights out can be pricey. In fact, research suggests that Brits spend over £20 on drinks alone! So if you’re trying to cut down on spending, why not host your own cocktail-making night instead? Head to your local supermarket and bag all the ingredients you need to make some of your favourite cocktails or mocktails.

If you’re hosting a night with friends, ask everyone to bring an ingredient with them. You’ll have your very own cocktail-shaking station all set up in no time.

3. Tuck into a half-price meal out

Sometimes a fakeaway just doesn’t cut it! Eating out might be a must if you’re a keen foodie. Bargain hunters will be pleased to know you could get tasty discounts on thousands of restaurants across the UK with tastecard. Membership costs £29.99 per year but you could save an average of £23 every time you dine out.

Those looking for a loan could be in for even bigger savings… If you take out a loan directly with Novuna (via our website, on our app or over the phone) by 29th February, we’ll give you a FREE twelve-month tastecard membership so you can eat out for less all year round.

4. Enjoy nature

Whether you prefer walking, hiking or biking, get out and about with your friends or family. There are plenty of parks and countryside to check out – and you could even take a picnic along with you.

Fancy heading further afield? Check out public transport routes to give your trip an eco-friendly twist.

5. Check out a new gallery or museum

Whatever your interests, you’re bound to find an exhibition to suit your tastes. The BBC has a free museum finder that provides ideal inspiration if you have little ones to entertain.

Many galleries and museums are free to enter. So you’ll find a fun day out for the whole family without you needing to tap your card at all!

6. Go for a discounted day trip

Loads of family-friendly attractions offer discounts and vouchers – you just might have to seek them out to find them!

Sites like Groupon and Wowcher often promote money-saving deals but you might also want to keep an eye on your favourite attractions’ social media channels for the latest offers or promotions.

Did you know you can enjoy serious savings on days out and attractions with a tastecard membership too?

7. Plan a board game night

Gaming bars are particularly popular at the moment, but you can recreate the experience at home! Pick a few different games to play and invite your friends round for a board game tournament.

If you’re weary of playing the same games, why not host a board game swap party? Ask a group of friends or family members to each bring a couple of their old board games to swap with the rest of the group. You’ll all end up with a different board game to try – and it won’t cost you a thing.

8. Turn your hobbies into a money-maker

Doing things you love might not cost the earth… in fact, you could find you can make a bit of money instead! Whether you’re a keen knitter, a fab photographer or a green-fingered gardener, there are loads of ways to make some spare cash. Check out our blog on how to make money from your hobbies for inspiration.

9. Kick-start your reading resolution

If you’re keen to read more this year, make use of your local library to enjoy access to hundreds of books for free. You may find your local library can even order in specific books you want to read.

Libraries often host events and activities for children, too. So if you have little ones the library might be a great place to visit for a low-cost afternoon outing.

10. Volunteer your time

Volunteering not only gives you chance to take part in a new activity and meet people, it also helps you to connect with your community and allows you to give back. National Council for Voluntary Organisations research found that 87% of volunteers met new people by volunteering, with 75% stating it helped their mental health and wellbeing.

There will be lots of volunteering opportunities available in your local area. Perfect if you’re looking for something fun (and free!) to do.


Get into good financial habits

While money management might not sound like a particularly fun activity, it might be worth setting some time aside to get your finances on track.

If you’re not sure where your finances are at, make sure you set a budget. Look at what money’s coming in versus what’s leaving your account – keeping a close eye on what you typically spend your income on. You might spot ways to cut down on your spending pretty quickly, such as cancelling subscriptions you don’t need.

Most of us think about spending much more than we do about saving. If this sounds like you, why not give one of these easy money saving challenges a go?

With a bit more cash tucked away, you’ll be in a great position to save up for special events, bigger projects or unexpected purchases.

For more money-saving tips and tricks, bookmark our blog!

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Written by

Luke Hilton

Luke Hilton is a Warrington-based email content writer and designer in the financial services industry. He enjoys mixing analytics and creativity and can usually be found with his head buried in stats, piecing together the patterns that make good content. In his spare time, the drive to figure things out continues with what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with DIY. With a keen love of the outdoors, Luke is usually up a mountain somewhere or in his garden growing his own oasis.

Friday 19th January 2024