When life gets you down, hobbies are a powerful way to heal. Even Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg values hobbies so much that they are one of the things the company looks for in individuals when making hiring decisions. We all know, though, how expensive they can be, such as collecting classic cars and yacht racing. The good news is that you can still enjoy a side interest without coughing up a lot of money. Check out this mega list of cheap hobbies below:
Mega List of Cheap Hobbies
Instead of watching reruns of The Office on Netflix over and over, fill up your extra time with one of these hobbies instead:
Hiking or Biking
Both hiking and biking will not only keep you active and healthy, they will also be cheaper than a monthly gym membership. Even if you buy a used road bike that needs some TLC, the costs to fix will still be cheaper than a brand new one. And for hiking, you’ll just need a good pair of shoes.
Learn a New Language
There are several low-cost ways to learn a new language, even some free online tutorials. Udemy.com also sells online courses for a variety of skills, including learning new languages. You can often find great deals on the site and courses as low as $10 with the discount.
There is nothing like diving into a good book. Whether fiction or non-fiction, reading is great for stimulating the mind and keeping your vocabulary fresh. You can educate yourself on something new or get caught up in a fantasy land. The possibilities are endless with reading. Did we mention this one of the cheapest hobbies on our list?
Drawing and Painting
Drawing and painting are great ways to tap into your creative side. Expressing yourself can be therapeutic, and art provides the perfect outlet to do so. Even if you don’t feel you have any “talent,” you can get still get into abstract art. Some paints can add up in cost, like oils, but watercolors and the materials to use with them tend to stay lower in cost.
Photography is another hobby that can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Many photographers often sell old cameras as they start upgrading their equipment. With online sales groups, it’s easier more than ever to find a DSLR camera cheaper than what you could have years ago. There are also plenty of free online tutorials to show you the basics of how to work your camera. The rest involves practice because as we all know, practice makes perfect.
Listen to Podcasts
Another route to take to learn something new is listening to podcasts. If you’re looking for something to make your brain work less, though, there are plenty of podcasts meant for pure entertainment as well.
Cooking and Baking
Who doesn’t love food? Brush up on your cooking and baking skills by turning these activities into your hobbies. Incorporate it into your regular cooking schedule to help save money on any additional costs. We’re sure everyone else in the household will love your newfound hobby as well.
Writing and Blogging
Writing also allows you to tap into your creative side. Even if you don’t see yourself ever writing creatively, you can still use it as a way to release some pent-up thoughts. If you start writing enough or even blogging, you may even be able to make some money from this hobby.
Not only does volunteering provide an avenue to meet new people, it also helps the causes in your area. Consider turning volunteering into your hobby; there are several non-profits around you that desperately need some helping hands to execute their mission. It won’t cost you anything but your time, and any costs you do make during your volunteer time, including driving, can be considered tax write-offs.
If you live near a body of water and have friends with boats, fishing can be a cheap relaxing hobby. Even if you don’t have any friends with boats or who fish themselves, you can often rent a boat from a state park per hour at a low cost.
Gardening makes for a great addition to our list of cheap hobbies, but even better, it helps to save on produce at the grocery store. Even if you live in a more urban area, you can still plant a garden with some basics right out your window. Just turn to the internet to get started.
Learning how to play a new instrument can be costly, but musically-talented friends with extra instruments may be willing to teach you for free or for less money than what you’d pay a music teacher. But, you don’t have to learn to play to make music your hobby. Discover new bands, new genres, and really study music as your new-found side interest. It’s cheap and music helps to reduce stress and improve sleep quality, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Home-brewing could also be expensive due to the equipment needed, but there are many beginners kits to help you get started in this hobby. You might be able to find some low-cost equipment online such as eBay and flea market pages. But, with free tutorials online, you can brew your own cider, wine, or beer and save money going out in the long haul.
Become a Big Brother or Sister
Find a rewarding way to spend your spare time by becoming a mentor to the youth. They will appreciate the time you give to them more than you know.
When you thrift shop, you not only discover great deals, such as furniture and more, but you can turn these items around and sell them online as well. Although, you can also restore these goods and simply keep them for yourself instead of buying everything brand new.
You don’t necessarily need a pair of binoculars to indulge in bird watching, but it helps. The good news is you can purchase some basic ones at a low price. Bird watching allows you to enjoy nature and get some of that quiet time we all could use from time to time.
Yoga and Meditation
Yogis often say that yoga is good for the mind and soul. It’s also great for the body. Let go of your daily stress through yoga and meditation. You don’t even need to join a studio to get started, but many have discounted punch cards or drop-in rates so that you don’t have to worry about a month-to-month fee. You’ll still get to learn from the masters while saving some money in your pocket. Win-win.
We all have some extra photos lying around we don’t put in frames, or, even worse, ticket stubs we don’t know what to do with. Scrapbooking makes for a great hobby to take all your memories and turn them into a visual book. Plus, the cost to do so is as low as you want to make it.
Other than the cost of a good pair of running shoes and some weather appropriate clothing (dry fit shirts, for instance), running is an inexpensive hobby that is also great exercise. Make it a hobby by signing up for local races, increase your mileage, and find new routes to run on.
If you live near a body of water, swimming can be a great seasonal hobby that is free.
Camping at campgrounds or in a park is cheap, and it’s a nice alternative to an expensive hotel. You can incorporate hiking with camping to turn it into an all-out getaway at a much lower rate than what you would spend staying in a city for several nights in a row. It’s a great way to travel without breaking the bank.
Knitting might be old-fashioned, but it’s still a tried-and-true craft. Plus, as you develop your skill, you can even start making your own mittens, scarfs, and sweaters, which can all add up in cost when buying from retailers.
Investing is a hobby that, with diligence and research, can pay off in a big way. Check out our investing tips for beginners here.
Join a Local Sports Team
Not all local sports come with a lot of costs. For example, a flag football team might require nothing more than a $20 payment to get started. But, there are also plenty of people just playing pick-up games just for fun (and for free). Joining local sports teams allows you to be a professional athlete on a local level while also introducing you to new people and keeping you active.
As with bird watching, you do not necessarily need any extra tools to stargaze. Telescopes are expensive, but there is much to see in the night sky with the naked eye. All you really need is a field away from town so that you can get the best views.
Local shelters always need volunteers to help around their facility, and dog walking is just one of the ways you can help. You can also offer to walk dogs for professionals in the community or for people going out of town on the weekends for an hourly or weekend rate. A hobby that provides an opportunity to make some extra cash plush play with dogs? Where do we sign up?
Learn How to Computer Program
Technology continues to evolve, and computers have become a major playing role in its continuing rise. We felt our list of cheap hobbies wouldn’t be complete if we did not include computer programming. Plus, when you learn how to program, you also give yourself some new potential career opportunities. If nothing else, it’d be another way to make money on the side.
With a GPS device, you can get started on geocaching right away. This interesting hobby will send you on multiple adventures to find some hidden treasures. You can then share your experiences with others in online communities and the like.
Become a Brand Ambassador
When you become a brand ambassador for a product or business, you often reap the benefits in freebies. Gyms, fitness gear, and jewelry brands are just a few examples of common industries looking for people to represent their brand online. Many will have their own terms and conditions, but with a social media account and an affiliate link, you can make money or get free merchandise (or even gym memberships) for sharing photos doing things you do every day anyway.
Learn to Dance
Dancing can be a fun way to exercise, and the internet is full of videos just waiting to teach you some new moves.
See? Not all hobbies have to cost an arm and a leg. What would you add to our list of cheap hobbies?