Who doesn’t need a hobby? That’s how we spend our free time or take the much-required break from work to relax and unwind, right? Some people love to have plenty of hobbies. Others pick one or two. Some spend thousands of dollars while others choose hobbies that are cheap or even earn them money in return.
Everyone has their priorities, right? We have our reasons, likes, dislikes, and interests when it comes to choosing hobbies. Even binge-watching retro shows on the television, is a hobby! Why not? If this is what makes you cheerful or lets you to simply laze around and do nothing, it still counts.
A hobby is something you do to spend your free time without succumbing to boredom. The rest is left to the individual (just make sure it is legal). But a good hobby is one that lets you expand and explore your skills. It allows you to bring out the creative, inventive, and compassionate side of you and help you become a better person.
So if you are looking to try new hobbies but are wary of investing too much money into it, we’ve got something useful for you. This blog has a list of 31 cheap hobbies you can take up, some of which can bring you income. You can also invest a little more in these hobbies if you want to. But, either way, these hobbies are a good way to do something other than watch the television or stare at the ceiling. Exciting, isn’t it?
Let us get started with the list, yeah?
Food for Thought
1. Learn a New Language
We will start our list with hobbies that’ll improve our knowledge and skills without having to spend too much money in the process. Are you wondering how learning a new language is cheap? Haven’t we heard of language classes that cost a bomb?
Of course. But you would know that the internet is a wonderful place for those who wish to use it the right way. There are various apps and free online courses to learn a new language without any investment. While you can’t become a master translator, you sure can learn enough to speak, read, and understand a different language. You can rely on library books to develop it further.
2. Learn Crafting
Crafting is a creative hobby that allows you to use existing stuff and make new things. Whether you are simply painting old bottles or making jewelry from leftover metal and wood, crafting requires minimum investment from your side.
You can make use of leftover paints in the attic. Bring out the broken vase and turn it into an art piece. Make greeting cards from old cards and paper, repaint furniture, string beads to make chains and bracelets, and do just about anything to display your creative side.
3. Writing and Blogging
Writing and blogging can be two different hobbies though bloggers are writers. Be it fiction, short stories, poems, inspirational stories, or your personal experiences, ideas, opinions, and theories; writing is a way to express yourself.
You can start a blog for free and post your works on it. Share the links on social media platforms and with your friends. Interact with other bloggers and exchange ideas. You can convert your blog into a source of income by placing ads and having tie-ups with brands to promote them. As your blog becomes famous, you’ll have to invest in a website by buying a domain.
4. Reading Anytime
You can pick from a lot of books, right? How can we ever finish the books on the TBR when we keep adding to the list so often? Ask a reader about the TBR woes, and they’ll tell you about it all day long.
So is reading a costly hobby? It doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to spend most of your earnings on buying books. All you need a library card. Or maybe subscribe to the online libraries. Some are free, and some are paid. But the maximum amount you’ll pay per month will be equal to a book or two you buy. If you can read even 5-6 books every month, imagine how cheap it would be.
5. How to Sew
Sewing is something each one of us should know. The basic sewing skills can save us money in many ways. Firstly, you don’t have to throw away your clothes because they have a small tear in them. Take out the needle and thread and stitch it up. Bingo.
You can also use old clothes and dress to design new ones. Saw a dress that costs in thousands? What if you can make it at home? Even a secondhand sewing machine will do the job if you have the required skill. You can flaunt your dress and also boast about your skills that make you look like a model for a fraction of money.
6. Genealogy is Cool
Genealogy is the study of family history, lineages, and families associated with your name. It is a fascinating subject and is gaining popularity in recent times. With a lot of information believing online, many people can trace their family history into the past.
You might indeed have to pay for certain information/ files or even visit the place to know more. But by then, you’ll meet more people to connect with your family in one way or another. These connections will help you in gaining access to additional information. What if you turn out to be the great-great-great-grandchild of royalty? Why miss the opportunity? *wink*
Exercising can be Cheap
7. Go Biking- Say No to Taxi
Cycling or biking is a good way to stay fit and save money on transportation. Most of us would have a bike stowed away in the corner of the garage, right? Wash it, repaint it, oil it, and tune it a bit to get going. Buy a helmet (if you don’t have one), and start using your bike to roam around the area, or even go to school/ work.
You can buy a secondhand bike online or from someone you know. Add a basket at the front, and you can keep your groceries in it after a shopping session. The bike doesn’t require any fuel either. You don’t have to worry about using it too much.
8. Yoga Classes- Stretch and Bend
There is only one thing that Yoga needs- a yoga mat. Yeah, yeah, you’ll need to know how to do the asanas (postures) right. But that can be learned online (for free). Or buy a yoga DVD and start practicing at home.
Yoga is an ancient practice that helps in controlling the body and mind. It reduces stress, anxiety, and boosts immunity and self-confidence. Practicing yoga regularly will improve your overall health and make you radiant. One aspect you should be careful about is to understand and follow the instructions correctly. Any exercise, when not done the right way, will result in muscle pull or bodily injuries.
9. Swimming- Dive into the Rivers
Do you reside near a lake or a river? Maybe even the sea or ocean? Living close to a water body means you can swim for almost free of cost. However, not all of us are lucky enough. Still, you can get a pass to the local community pool without spending too much money.
Learning swimming might cost you a bit, but think back and remember if any of your friends or family members know how to swim. They surely can teach you, right? Make a deal and exchange one skill for another. They teach you swimming, and you help them with something else. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
10. Running or Walking
Running and walking does not need any investment except for a pair of running shoes. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to buy the best brand. You can easily get comfortable shoes even from non-branded stores and online marketplaces.
That said, if you want to, it’s your choice, isn’t it? Also, you don’t really need a smartwatch or a smart tracker to check how much you’ve walked and how many calories you’ve burned. You can also manage with what you have and take up running/ walking as a serious hobby. The only thing to keep in mind is the frequency. Be regular. That’s it.
11. Gardening Time- Grow a Plant Baby
You’d have heard of pet parents, right? So why not become a plant parent? Well, if you plan to plant a seed, nurture it into a sapling and a plant, that little green thing becomes your baby, doesn’t it?
Are you worried about the amount you have to spend on taking care of the garden? You’ll need the tools, manure, compost, and whatnot. But gardening doesn’t have to be expensive. Start with how much ever you can afford. Have herbs in pots and use them. Buy a few indoor plants or succulents. Search for plants that require less maintenance.
12. Meditation is Beneficial
Meditation is a part of yoga. It is highly beneficial to sync your body, mind, and soul on a single thought and provide relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. Meditation is absolutely free. But it does require effort from your side.
Meditation is not about sitting in a silent room and closing your eyes. It is the process of aligning your thoughts to get rid of negative vibes that threaten your peace of mind. It is the art of focusing on a single positive thought to absorb good energy. You should feel refreshed after a 20-30-minute session. Try to meditate at least once a week if you don’t get time every day.
13. Rock Collecting
Is that even a hobby? Definitely, it is. And we think rock collecting is a quirky and fun little hobby that requires no investment. You will only need to pick rocks (preferably the smaller ones) that catch your attention and take them home.
Rocks don’t need special care and attention. They don’t wither or rot. Still, you will have to either place them in your garden or around the home in a way to not cause harm to others.
So what more can you do with these rocks? Have to tried rock painting yet? You’ll need smooth and flat-surfaced rocks for this purpose. You can strategically arrange them in the house as a part of the décor. It’ll be fun, you’ll see.
Test Your Skills
14. Pickling and Food Preservation
Pickling and canning are old, traditional methods of preserving food. The produce from summer is saved to last until the next summer, especially to help feed the family during the winter, where all kinds of fruits and vegetables cannot grow.
Soaking vegetables in vinegar and salt, making jams of fresh fruits, sauces from tomatoes, etc. is a super cool hobby. If you grow your own crop or have access to the farmer’s market where you can buy produce in bulk for cheap prices, get started on canning and preserving them. You can even sell or gift some of the stock you create.
15. Cook and Bake Club
Cooking and baking are not chores. They are not boring. Oh wait, did the Master Chefs scare you with all the complex terminology and intricate plating? Well, you don’t have to follow the same (unless you prefer it). Plain old rustic cook is equally good and is more comforting.
Check if your elders have family recipes passed down from one generation to another. Join online food groups and follow your favorite celebrity chef on social media. Exchange recipes with friends and colleagues. Try new cuisines and add more dishes to your menu. You never know when you might even become a part-time chef one day.
16. Restore Old Furniture
Restoring old furniture is not easy. It is a physical activity and also requires dedication and some investment. However, what it requires the most is the skill to know how to turn something useless and ugly into something unique and beautiful.
Many people have taken up this hobby to cut down the waste they generate and reuse old furniture. Some of them even sell their restored pieces. That sure would be a hobby turned profession, right? Would you like to try as well? The internet (as always) will help you with the basics. You can join as an assistant at a store and learn a few skills straight from the carpenters.
17. Journaling- Improve Your Cursive Writing
Blogging may not involve handwriting (if you are used to typing directly into the computer). But journaling requires you to put the pen on paper and write down your thoughts. If you have lost in touch with writing and are worried about what your handwriting looks now, take up journaling or dairy writing.
This way, you will have to write at least one page every day. Instead of scribbling your thoughts, make an effort to present them clearly. Think of how your teachers at school made sure your cursive was perfect. It’s rewarding to get back the same flow. The pages with neatly written words will make your day for sure.
You Can Make Money
18. Become a Reviewer
How many of you read the reviews before buying a product? Even if it is something less than $5, will you not read the customer reviews to know if you can order it? While we all know how the reviews can be ahem… adjusted, we also know that there are people who make it a point to review each product or service they use.
In our day to day busy lives, we might forget to rate and review something we love. We are most likely to review something bad (right?). Why not make reviewing a hobby? You can share your views and reviews on marketplaces and other websites, including your blog. In fact, some people have blogs exclusively to post reviews about things they’ve bought and the places they’ve visited. Some of them get free samples in exchange for a review.
19. Garage Sale-ing and Thrift Shopping
How can shopping be a cheap hobby? Well, it can be if you are a smart shopper and an even smart spender. Do you know that some people have found absolute gems and antique pieces for dirt-cheap prices? Garage sales are a great way to check out things and pick something for a lesser price.
To make sure you limit your investment, be strict with yourself. Buy something only if you need it. A lot of things look cute. Doesn’t mean we have to buy them all, right? It’s the same with thrift shopping. You can get really good dresses, books, and other stuff for low prices so long as you stay in control of your expenses. Thrift shopping does not pay, but it does save money.
20. Buy and Sell Online
Here’s something that’ll pay. But you’ll need to spend some money first. Buying and selling is truly an art. It brings good profits if you get your calculations right. You can buy from garage sales, thrift shops, secondhand stores, etc. and sell them online for a slightly higher price. A lot many people do that, yep.
That said, you will need to be careful with the choice of purchases. Know who your target market is, what they like, and how much they can spend on the product. You’ll also need to be sure that they can’t directly get it from the original seller for a lesser price. It does defeat the entire purpose, doesn’t it?
21. Making Candles and Soaps
Scented candles and homemade skincare products are in great demand. Also, they are quite expensive, which many people are more than willing to pay. Anything without chemicals seems to demand that kind of price. But when you do the same at home, you’ll notice that it doesn’t cost as much.
The price includes labor and shipping charges, which you don’t have to pay if you make these yourself. Cool, isn’t it? And making candles or skincare products at home is not rocket science. With some research and a little investment, you can start on a small scale. You can also sell some of the products for a lesser price.
22. Editing and Proofreading
Professional editing and proofreading services will always be in demand. For that matter, you can also become a ghostwriter and earn good money. Professional editors need to have a strong knowledge of grammar, sentence structure, and language. The editor will usually proofread the document to make sure nothing has been missed, but some people hire exclusive proofreading services.
Students of literature usually take up these hobbies and convert them into side jobs to earn a few extra bucks. It helps them gain more expertise in the same field they want to make a career. Teachers are also known to make use of these opportunities.
23. Teaching Online
We’ve just talked about teachers, right? You can become one too, even if it as a hobby. Many platforms offer online classes, don’t they? Instead of joining the courses as a student, you can become a teacher. You’ll have to spend a few hours per week to make videos and upload them. The platform will pay you for the services.
If it feels too scary or complicated, simply create a YouTube channel and start posting videos. Share them on social media and increase the views. You would probably know that you can earn money by getting views on your videos and placing ads.
Geocaching is a fancy term for a treasure hunt. Mind you, it’s not just any treasure hunt. It’s the hi-tech version that is organized and comes with a super cool and friendly smartphone app. You can download the app from free and feed in the GPS coordinates of your place. It’ll then show the nearby places where hints/ gifts are hidden for you to find.
Once you reach the destination, start searching for the caches (which could be anything, literally). Find the caches and pick a little treasure from it. You can also place another piece of treasure for others to find. The caches also tend to have a small signature book for you to sign and register your entry. Awesome, isn’t it?
25. Explore the City/ Town
Why not become an explorer in your free time. Who knows what adventures these explorations might lead to? You don’t have to travel to new locations to become an explorer. There are so many hidden gems in and around almost every region that you’ll have a great time getting to know more about your place.
Carry a small backpack with essentials, talk to people you come across, and ask about the local history. Make sure you have the local map or at least the GPS on your phone so that you don’t end up exploring a little too deep into the alleys or woods and end up confused.
26. Get Interested in Birds
Birds are such cute little creatures, aren’t they? But do you know there are birds bigger than us? Well, it’s probably our luck that we don’t see them often around. The strange cries, the colorful feathers, their complex nests, eating habits, the baby birds, etc. fascinate a lot of people.
You’d have come across quite a few bird watchers sitting with their binoculars, making notes, taking pictures, and spending hours of their time studying these winged creatures. Bird watching doesn’t need more than a good pair of the lens (which you can borrow from a friend).
27. BBQ Time- Master the Art
Barbequing is an art. Oh, yes. It’s definitely not as easy as it appears to be. Standing near the hot grill and flipping burgers or meat is quite risky if you don’t know what you are doing. If you’ve always loved to visit a friend or family member just to taste their grilled food, why not make it a hobby and learn from them?
Of course, you can look for tutorials on the internet and start practicing. Remember to start small and follow the safety precautions. Buy the basic equipment before investing in the hi-tech versions.
28. Camping in the Woods
Camping doesn’t have to be expensive. You need a sleeping bag, a good tent, and your backpack with food and other essentials. You can either go camping on your own or with a group of friends and family. Very few things can surpass the feeling of spending the night under the vast sky and waking up to a lovely morning.
All you need to do is check the internet for interesting and safe camping locations around your region. Spending a day or two camping away from the city’s hustle and bustle will refresh you for the next few days.
29. Volunteer at Shelter Homes
Some hobbies are totally free. You don’t have to spend a penny unless you really want to. Volunteering is one such hobby. There is no rule that you’ve got to spend money to become a volunteer.
Many shelter homes ask for your time. You only have to allot a certain amount of time per week/ month and use it to help the people at shelter homes. Even if it is just listening to the seniors’ talk, it’s still a beautiful way to give back something while collecting precious moments.
30. Volunteer for Environment Protection
If you want to do more and make a difference to the environment, you can volunteer to take part in the cleanliness campaigns in the area. Cleaning rivers, lakes, beaches, etc. writing articles and organizing marathons for protecting the environment, volunteering at the eco-club to teach people how to be more environment-friendly, etc. are some things you can try.
You can also start at home by learning more about zero-waste and incorporating the changes in your daily life. Tiny things can make a lot of difference in the long run.
31. Mentoring and Coaching
If you don’t want to become a part-time teacher but still want to share your knowledge, try mentoring. The difference is that a mentor deals more on a one-to-one basis rather than with a large group of students at once.
You can mentor and train a child/ adult online or offline in the area of your interest. You can make money from it or simply volunteer your time and services. You’ll be making a great difference in someone’s life. Isn’t that satisfying?
If you don’t want to do any of these, you can always go back to binge-watching the television shows. Well, nothing wrong with spending a few long hours on the couch, right? However, we are sure you’ll come up with unique ways to try new hobbies without burning a hole in your pocket. Go, give them a shot, and have fun.