Some days off are meant for purely relaxing. Others are meant for checking things off our to-do lists that we can’t get done during the course of the work week.
If you’re looking for productive things to do on your day off—including ideas that may improve your money mindset and financial fitness—we have 21 good ways to get started.
How Staying Productive Can Improve Your Money Mindset
If you have a lazy day off, it might wind up costing you. The temptation to spend when bored is real. When you have nothing to do, you may turn to online shopping, dining out, or other pricey leisure activities to fill your time.
There is of course a time and place for spending on leisure, but there’s a big question to ask yourself before spending that money. Specifically, are you plunking down that cash because you will get something out of the experience or purchase or are you simply doing so because you’re bored?
Staying productive on days off can be a form of financial self-care. It can help you avoid unnecessary spending which, in turn, can make other leisure time feel even more enjoyable.
Productive Things to Do on Your Day Off
Not sure what to do on a day off? Consider checking one or more of these productive activities off your to-do list. Any of them can help you feel more organized and in control of your finances…and perhaps even your life!
1. Planning a Vacation
Instead of going out and spending money, stay home and plan an upcoming vacation. Money will be spent on that vacation, and a little planning can go a long way to make sure the vacation goes well and that investment pays off. You might even open a travel fund account and begin saving.
2. Checking Your Credit Card Statements
Need a friendly reminder not to overspend? Review recent credit card statements to get an idea of how budgeting is going and to make sure all charges are accurate. If you’re carrying a balance, you might hatch a plan to pay it off.
3. Taking Quality Time for Yourself
We can all decide what quality alone time means to us. That may mean pursuing a hobby like painting, reading a good book, or going for a long run. There are plenty of relaxing activities to enjoy that don’t cost any money and recharge you for the work days ahead.
4. Reviewing Your Career Goals
While it may not sound fun to sit down and think about work outside of working hours, there’s a lot of value to be found in peaceful reflection. Spending time reviewing career goals when there are no Monday-to-Friday stressors or distractions can make it easier to find clarity.
5. Starting a Side Hustle
Speaking of work, a fun and fulfilling way to make career progress and some extra cash during downtime are some benefits of starting a side hustle. Think about some fun options that you would enjoy which might also allow you to try out new skills and career options.
6. Catching Up on Important Errands
Running errands isn’t always fun, but not having them hanging over our heads sure feels good. If you have a day off, spending a couple of hours in the morning to tackle them can leave the rest of the day wonderfully free. Plus, you’ll get that “I’ve got this!” boost from knowing you’re in control of those to-do’s.
Earning some extra endorphins is a great way to stay healthy and feel happier on a day off. Sweat it out, and then enjoy the extra energy and mood boost that comes from a good workout.
8. Mapping Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Money Goals
Social media’s effect on finances may have some upsides, but on a day off, why not stop scrolling and start setting money goals. Similar to setting career goals, a day off is the perfect time to think critically about any short-, medium-, and long-term money goals to set. How to get started? Review your current financial situation, reassess your budget, and make a plan for working towards your financial goals such as buying a house, paying for a child’s college education, or paying off debt.
9. Getting a Haircut
A fresh haircut can put a bit of pep in anyone’s step. A definite self-esteem booster for most of us.
Giving back to our community is a great way to spend free time. There are so many different causes worth giving back to, from food banks, to animal shelters, to beach cleanups. Volunteering can even help borrowers pay down their student loan debt.
11. Updating Your Online Resume
If you’re looking for a new job, the weekend is a great time to update online resumes on social media platforms or job searching websites. There are loads of templates online that can help you spiff up your resume, too.
12. Reading a New Book
With so many distractions on busy days, it’s hard to find the time to read. Make reading a new book (or an old favorite) a priority on your next day off. There’s nothing like the escape of a good story, whether it’s historical fiction, a murder mystery, or whatever else catches your attention.
13. Taking an Online Class
Whether you want to learn a new work or personal skill, there’s an online class out there that can help you productively use your time off. From learning how to code to cook, almost any topic is available these days, whenever and wherever you may be.
Recommended: Can You Take Online Classes While Working?
14. Spending Time With Loved Ones
Productivity can mean a lot of different things. For example, spending time with loved ones can be extremely beneficial as it helps us build a support system and provides personal gratification.
15. Unsubscribing From Unwanted Emails
Have half an hour to kill before meeting up with friends? Chip away at unsubscribing from all unwanted emails. The lack of digital clutter can be super freeing, even if you don’t achieve “inbox zero” just yet.
16. Updating Your To-Do List
Want to get things done on a day off, but don’t know where to start? Sit down with a pen and some paper (or a doc on your phone or laptop) and write an updated to-do list. Of course, it’s not necessary to tackle the entire list in one day, but do schedule when to check the most urgent items off the list.
17. Checking How You’re Doing With Your Budget
Budgets only work if you check in to make sure they’re sticking with it. A good habit is to eyeball your budget weekly to make sure it’s still on track. If not, see what spending changes need to occur the rest of the month. There are all kinds of apps to help with this; your financial institution may have a great one to use. Don’t have a budget yet? Get started by creating a line-item budget.
Recommended: Guide to Cash Cushions
18. Planning for Next Week
Get organized for the week ahead so it feels less stressful and intimidating. Do meal prep, clean up the house, organize your bills, and make sure all work clothes are washed and ready to wear.
19. Finding Networking Opportunities
Nowadays networking can all be done from home online. Hop on websites like LinkedIn and see who’s worth connecting with professionally. Send some connection requests or messages to get the ball rolling and build your career.
20. Adjusting Your Tax-Withholding if It’s Not Right
Sick of owing taxes each year? Check your tax withholdings to make sure the correct amount is being deducted from your paychecks. Adjust it accordingly if needed. That quick move could save you some money headaches when tax season rolls around.
21. Cleaning Your House
A good cleaning session can help make a home more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable to live in. Imagine your place freshly vacuumed or the bathroom scrubbed as motivation.
The Practical And Financial Benefits of Being Productive
While it may feel counterintuitive, being productive on a day off can have many benefits. Not only can being productive help you feel better and cut down on unnecessary stressors, it can also help you save money. How? To start, being productive helps us feel less bored, meaning we are less likely to fill our time with shopping or other expensive activities. Being productive also helps us stay organized and gives us the time we need to set financial goals and manage our budgets.
Banking With SoFI
As you can see from this list, there’s no shortage of productive things to do on your day off. Whether you choose to spend your free hours taking an online class, reviewing your budget, or outside running, you can relieve stress and get organized. Feeling in control and more relaxed are terrific benefits worth pursuing and enjoying.
If setting financial goals is at the top of your weekend to-do list, it may be time to find a banking product that can better suit your needs. When you open an online bank account with direct deposit, SoFi can help your money grow faster. SoFi Checking and Savings puts tools at your fingertips to help you set savings goals, and with direct deposit you’ll earn a competitive APY and pay zero account fees. Your money can keep working hard for you even when you’re relaxing.
What is considered wasting time on your day off?
When deciding what things to do on a day off, only you can decide what’s a waste of time or not. For one person, organizing their receipts is a waste of time; for another, it’s productive. The same holds true for reading a book. The key is to find a way to balance productivity and relaxation as you define them.
How can I productively treat myself on my day off?
If you’re wondering, “What should I do on my day off?” and want to come up with something that is a productive treat, you might consider a hike, reading a new book, or taking an online class. All have positive benefits in terms of self-care and fun but don’t cost much.
Is traveling considered productive?
Traveling and gaining new experiences and insights beyond your local community can indeed be a great way to be productive. Travel can help us learn, grow, relax, and return home with a new, refreshed perspective.
Photo credit: iStock/MesquitaFMS
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