It’s essential for us to have some fun in our spare time. Bringing joy into your life doesn’t have to come with a price tag for hundreds of dollars, either. Taking up a hobby is a great way to keep your mind and body productive, doing something you enjoy in your downtime.
With so many hobbies out there, how do you select which one to dabble in? The best hobbies cost little to no money, and if you do have to open your wallet, you usually get more than your money back in satisfaction.
We put together this list of 30-cheap and fun hobbies that keep you busy, without turning you broke.
Learn a New Skill
Use platforms like YouTube to look up informational videos on new skills. Learning something new is the best way to keep your mind active, especially during your senior years. Pick something you have always wanted to learn and spend a few hours researching the topic. Whether it’s learning to knit a sweater or build a new garden shed from scratch, there are informational videos on YouTube explaining how to do it.
Play Free Games on Your Phone
We all have smartphones in our pockets. Visit the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, and purchase some affordable games to keep you busy in your downtime. Killing time on your commute playing Fortnite will make the minute’s whizz by, and you’ll be at your destination in no time. Compete with other players from around the world in a multi-player setting, and meet new people from other countries. If you get good enough, you could compete in the global arena for large cash prizes.
Learn a Card Game
Card games are one of the oldest forms of entertainment. When the power goes down, or your phone goes flat, most people turn to cards for entertainment. Teaching yourself a new card game or a card trick can pass the time, and you learn a new skill as well. Learning a card trick or two makes you a hit at parties, and you’ll impress all of your friends at your next get-together.
Studies show that CEOs read around 60-books a year. If you have a passion for reading, then set aside some time during the week to pursue your hobby. Unlike hobbies that require the use of a computer or device, you can take a book with you anywhere you go. Kill time on your commute with a good book, and watch how much new information you learn over the year. If you don’t enjoy reading, then try listening to audiobooks instead.
Listen to Your Favorite Podcasts
The Apple iStore and YouTube are home to thousands of podcasts on various topics. Podcasts are a great way to keep up on trends you like and discover new information on topics that interest you. Search your hobbies on YouTube, and you’re bound to come across more than a few channels that dedicate discussions to your favorite pastimes. Download the podcast to your phone and listen to it in traffic on your way home.
Take on a DIY Project
If you’re more of a hands-on type of person that you are a tech-head, then take on a DIY project. Building furniture and art using materials like wood, plastic, and metal is a great way to explore your creativity. There’s always someone needing a DIY project, and you’ll probably find that everyone in your neighborhood has a project they need you to work on in your spare time. It’s an excellent hobby that can earn you some extra cash on the side.
Stream Movies and Entertainment Online
If you’re more of the type of person that prefers relaxing in your spare time, then kick back on the couch and sign up for a streaming service. Using Amazon Prime or Netflix will keep you busy with thousands of hours of entertainment. Check out all the latest movies in theaters by signing up for a community that advises you on the best streaming services for the best content available.
Learn an Exotic Language
Does the lingering and romantic sound of the French language turn your curiosity? Maybe you always wanted to learn Spanish, but never had the time? If you enjoy linguistics, then sign up for a course to learn a new language. By taking on a second language, you expand your world view, and it could come in handy when traveling later in life as well.
Research Your Heritage
Do you know your family history? If you want a meaningful hobby that puts you in touch with your heritage, then research your family tree. This project may not sound like it takes a lot of your time. However, you might find it hard to trace your roots back over more than a few generations. Understanding where you came from is key to understanding where you are going in life. Researching your family tree is a rewarding experience that’s worth the hassle, especially if you’re a history buff.
Cooking and Baking
If you’re a whizz in the kitchen, then why not take up cooking as a hobby? Your family and friends will be glad that you found a new hobby they can enjoy as well. Learn to cook outstanding meals and desserts. Take a class on baking, and get creative in the kitchen. Your kids will be your new best friends as they sit and wait for the oven to open, and the choc-chip cookies to cool.
Take Up Homebrewing
If you fancy yourself as a connoisseur when it comes to beer, and you can’t stand drinking the swill from the liquor store any longer, take up craft brewing. Becoming a self-ordained brewmaster is an exciting experience, and selecting your ingredients, tweaking your recipe, and tasting the final product before bottling makes this a rewarding hobby.
If you love digging for treasure, then why not try storage salvage? Pay a few bucks for the contents of old storage lockers on auction. This hobby could set you back anywhere from $5 to $500 per locker, depending on the auction. However, you’re sure to find a boat-load of stuff in the locker that you can sell on eBay or in thrift stores to cover your costs and more.
Unleash the creative side of your mind and design t-shirts online. You can sign up for a site like tee-spring, and sell your designs for a side hustle. Promote your t-shirts over social media and build a following. You could also make one-off prints and custom designs for your friends.
Play Real Estate Investor
Do you enjoy looking at properties with your partner? Spending a day visiting show houses and imagining yourself moving into your dream house is a fun exercise that motivates you into homeownership. You’re bound to come across plenty of deals, and if you’re savvy, you could make money by sourcing them for investors.
Today’s cellphones come with cameras that are more powerful that some professional lenses. You get all sorts of lens accessories for cellphones as well, turning them into proper digital cameras. With a cheap upgrade, you can start pursuing your dream of becoming a professional photographer. Start snapping, and build your portfolio in your spare time.
If you love animals, then register to be your neighborhood dog walker. This hobby is a great way to get to know your neighbors, and everyone gets some exercise. If you live in an apartment building by yourself in a city, you don’t know, registering as a dog walker is a way to get to know other people and spend some time in the company of animals as well.
If you like riding boards, then take up skateboarding. The Tony Hawk Initiative is on a mission to build skate parks in every city in America to expand the culture of skateboarding. Buying a skateboard and accessories is cheap, and entrance to most parks is free. Spend your time mastering the ramps and carving the bowl.
Some guys just like to lift heavy stuff. Strongman is a competitive sport that requires you to do impressive feats of strength. Training for a strongman competition involves hours of work in the gym and maintaining a strict diet to fuel your body’s needs. Being a top performer in strongman competition requires strength, iron will, and plenty of dedication.
Founded by Greg Glassman in 2000, CrossFit is now an international fitness sensation with “boxes” popping up in cities all around the world. Get fit and healthy with this exercise system, and build a bunch of new relationships with your gym pals while you develop your body.
It’s you and the open road. Join a running club and meet with like-minded people as you pound the tarmac every morning. Runners claim the sport is addictive, and all you need are a good pair of shoes to enjoy the road.
Investing in a bicycle is reasonably expensive. However, after you lay down the initial expense, it’s a relatively inexpensive hobby to enjoy. Ride trails, compete in downhill racing or get out on the road. Join a cycling team and make some new friends.
Training at a gym costs a few bucks a month, but the benefits you get from training are well worth the money. Develop relationships with other martial artists, and test your physical skills against each other on the mat and in the cage. Practice your Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Thai boxing, and wrestling skills, and try your hand at competition.
Play Frisbee Golf
Have some fun in a park with a frisbee as you play frisbee golf. There are numerous courses spread all over the country. Most of them don’t charge much in the way of maintenance fees; some are even free to play. Get out for a walk on a course in the fresh air and enjoy the time with your friends and family.
Hike through the great outdoors and take in the scenery while you fill your lungs with fresh air. Hiking boots and gear are an expensive investment, but they’ll last for years. Spend days hiking and camping on public land, and see what the American wilderness has to offer you.
Buy some eyeglasses and bird guides, and enjoy afternoons on your balcony watching the local bird population. Check out all the species and study up on your knowledge base about these creatures.
America has some of the best national parks in the world. From Yellowstone to Yosemite, spending some time exploring the heritage of the country is a worthwhile endeavor. Planning and preparing for your trip is half the fun, and you get to take advantage of the world’s natural beauty while you get some exercise.
Swimming and Snorkeling
If you live near the ocean or around the Florida Keys, then take up snorkeling and swimming in the sea. Being out in the big blue is a calming and thrilling experience. All you need is a mask, snorkel, some fins, and a friend.
IF getting into the deep water terrifies you, then try your hand at bodysurfing the shore break. Its loads of fun when the waves get big, and quite exhausting as well.
Get out into the backline at your local beach break with a surfboard or a bodyboard. Enjoy hours in the waves while you clear your head from the stresses of the day.
Walks on the Beach
Sometimes, the simplest things in life make us feel grateful for who we are and our place in the world. Closing off the day with a sunset walk on the beach with your partner is a fantastic hobby to enjoy.
The Final Word – Pick something that Resonates
When choosing your ideal hobby, we recommend that you make a list of your top three choices. After defining your list, write out the pros and cons of the hobby. Take note of the impact it will have on your social life, your mind, and your body.
The best hobbies offer you a holistic benefit that enhances your life. After finding the hobby that’s right for you, spend as much time on it as you can. Some people are fortunate enough to build businesses based on their hobbies, making their work more meaningful.
You never know what kind of opportunity is lurking around the corner for you.