There’s a common misconception that if you’re living on a budget, you’re limited to evenings on the couch with nothing but Netflix and a bag of potato chips to occupy your time.
But the truth is – hobbies don’t have to be expensive, and whoever said they do probably wasn’t thinking very creatively. You may be saving to get out of debt, or with an aim to invest and escape living from paycheck to paycheck.
You have your reasons for not wanting to spend very much money – and I’m cool with that.
So, if you’re thinking “I need a hobby!” but don’t have much cash to spare – this one is for you.
I Need a Hobby!
Here are 47 low-cost hobbies that’ll totally cure your boredom:
- Have Your Say!
- Listen to Podcasts
- Watch Online Documentaries
- Learn a New Skill
- Start a Blog
- Start a YouTube Channel
- Start a Podcast
- Sell Stuff Online
- Sell Clothes Online
- Grow your Instagram Account
1. Have Your Say!
Are you into telling people how much you like (or dislike!) certain products, TV shows, or brands? You’ll absolutely love completing online surveys, then.
Companies in every sector need people like you – and you have time to spare. Check out Swagbucks, Branded Surveys, or Survey Junkie for a hobby that’ll pay.
You will also get a $20 cash bonus just for signing up!
Swagbucks - Easy Online Rewards & Surveys
Sign Up Bonus: $10
Swagbucks is a legit money-making app where you can make money taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and more.
2. Listen to Podcasts
There are a ton of interesting and informative podcasts on every topic imaginable! Listening to podcasts can be a great way to spend time without spending money – and learn something new.
Have you checked out the Millennial Money Minutes podcast yet? We talk about money – and how to have more of it. Ain’t that right up your street?
3. Watch Online Documentaries
Documentaries are an excellent way to educate yourself about the world we live in. There are countless documentaries online worth watching right now – and the best thing is that they’re completely free.
4. Teach Yourself a New Skill
Youtube is free – and jam-packed with videos on how to get good at doing stuff. It has tutorials on anything you can think of, from “how to design a cool logo” – or “how to do front flips”. Just be careful with that one.
5. Start a Blog
Love writing – and have a keen interest in something? Then you’re perfectly equipped to start a blog! Not only is it an inexpensive way to spend time – you could actually make money blogging in the long run. Even big money – if you’re committed.
Not sure where to begin? Check out my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog!
6. Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube isn’t only a great way to learn – it’s also a great place to make some money! With more and more people consuming video content, YouTube is the place to be.
And if you become popular enough, your new hobby could become an additional source of income.
Interested in Getting Started on YouTube?
Price: $4.99 Kindle, FREE Audiobook
In YouTube Secrets, online video experts Sean Cannell and Benji Travis draw on a decade of experience as well as interviews with more than 100 top creators to give you a step-by-step YouTube success playbook.
7. Start a Podcast
Is there a topic you feel you could talk about for hours? Why not start a podcast, then? Recording it doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need is a decent podcasting headset you can get from Amazon for less than $50.
You’ll feel great about having created something cool – and you could also make money doing it!
8. Sell Stuff Online
With many easily accessible selling platforms (think eBay and Amazon, for example!), it has never been easier to become a seller online. Weird things bought on eBay include wine corks, discontinued products – and even toast that looks like the Virgin Mary. I kid you not.
9. Sell Your Clothes Online
Got a wardrobe full of clothes you’re unlikely to wear ever again? Apps like Poshmark and Mercari are great places to get rid of old clothes and make some extra money.
10. Grow Your Instagram Account
If you like snapping cool shots on your phone and sharing them online – then this one’s for you. Not only is growing your Instagram account a way to showcase your photos, but – if you are motivated and persistent enough – it could also make you money.
11. Learn to Code
Coding is one of the most in-demand tech skills! Try Codeacademy or Coursera for simple and free classes.
Writing can be a fun hobby – whether you keep a daily journal, or immerse yourself in creative storytelling.
If you get hooked and want to start making money through writing, you could always make freelance writing one of your side hustles.
Reading has been a popular pastime for centuries. Most communities will have a library you can access for free. These are the top books that will help you make more money.
14. Learn a New Language
Think Italian is sexy? Then how about expanding your vocabulary beyond the words “pizza” and “pasta”? There are tons of free resources for learning a new language out there, including apps like Duolingo.
15. Learn to Play an Instrument
Learning to play an instrument on the cheap is super easy. Find a used instrument online or ask around – some people give them away just to get rid of them. Check out YouTube tutorials – and soon you’ll be performing at family gatherings.
See ME play a folk song about FIRE! 🪕
16. Get in Shape
With the abundance of free exercise tutorials, why not make exercising your new healthy hobby? Add a healthy diet on a budget to the mix and use the extra time you have to get in shape!
Hiking isn’t just a really fun way to spend your weekends – it also has many health benefits. If you don’t already own a pair of hiking boots, you will need to invest some money at first – but after that, it’s all free.
Remember how excited you used to get about camping as a child? Bring back those days! It doesn’t have to be expensive – check out these tips for camping on a budget.
19. Riding a Bike
You know, bikes weren’t meant to be sitting in a garage gathering dust… Make biking your new hobby!
Running is a completely free hobby that has a ton of health benefits!
Live by the water? Ideal! And if you don’t – community pools are cheaper than you think.
22. Join a Sports Team
Love playing sports? Check out your local park or recreation department – and join a sports team!
23. Do Yoga
Yoga is good for the soul – and your pocket. While attending yoga classes can be expensive, there are plenty of online tutorials and apps that teach you how to do yoga for free.
24. Practice Meditation
Meditation is a great way to gain more control over your thoughts – and generally, bring more zen into your life. Apps like Insight Timer and Aura will introduce you to meditation for free.
Want a hobby that’ll earn you karma points? Find a local animal shelter or charity – and go dedicate some time to a cause you believe in.
26. Learn to Bake
The best thing about learning to bake? You get to eat the treats! There’s plenty of information about how to do baking on the budget online.
27. Grow Your Own Vegetables
Have you ever envied people with their own vegetable garden? Why not try and do it yourself? Gardening can be pretty inexpensive – and you may even save on your grocery bill!
28. Can Your Own Food
There are many good reasons to can your own food – from saving money to the fact that canned foods make fantastic gifts!
29. Brew Beer or Cider
Brewing your own beer or cider isn’t as tricky as it sounds – and there are many resources online on how to get started. You may need to invest a little bit of money to kick things off – but think of all the money you’ll save in the long run.
30. Ferment Wine
Making your own wine is really simple – and you hardly need any equipment to get started. Plus, once you get going, you can have homemade wine in just a month!
31. Restore Old Furniture
Want a really cool hobby? Restoring old furniture will be just your thing. Check out your local flea markets for cheap furniture, then find upcycling inspiration on Pinterest.
32. Sketch and Paint
Sketching and painting can be a really relaxing way to spend your evenings. The best thing? Your work could make unique and very affordable Christmas presents.
Got a knack for art? Try origami! This Japanese art of folding paper into various shapes can be a fun and creative way to pass the time.
34. Pottery Painting
While attending a pottery workshop could cost a bit – pottery painting at home is dirt cheap. All you need is a couple of clay pots (a few bucks at your local garden center!) – and some acrylic paint.
Want a low-cost dose of happiness? Try knitting.
36. Sell Your Work at a Local Craft Show
Once you’ve taught yourself how to make cool things (e.g., painted plant pots, origami animals, paintings, etc.), why not sell them at a local market or craft show?
37. Play Cards
Playing cards is an awesome way to spend an evening with friends on the cheap. It’s also a great way to meet new friends! There are literally hundreds of card games you could play – just maybe make sure there’s no real money involved…
38. Learn a New Board Game
Board games never get boring! Learn a new board game – then invite your friends round to play.
Couponing is a great way to pass the time and save money. Warning: it can get addictive…Our favorite app to find deals and get cash back for purchases you make at the store is Ibotta.
You don’t need an expensive camera to enjoy photography – your phone camera can take photos that are just as amazing. There are plenty of online resources that teach you how to get good at it – and they won’t cost you a dime!
Are you really good at maths – or know a language someone may want to learn? Become a tutor in your area or an online tutor– or sign up for sites like iTalki – and make a buck teaching people!
Investing can seem like a mind game – but it doesn’t have to be. If you have some free time, why not learn more about investing – and lay a foundation for financial independence?
There are tons of really informative and useful articles out there. Start by learning about the best investment strategies.
Budgeting as a hobby? Yawn. But it’s actually a lot more fun than it sounds. Create a budget for the upcoming months, and find ways to make more, save more – and spend less.
Personal Capital is a cool app that makes it easy to manage your money.
44. Catch up with the News
While reading the news may not sound like a very fun hobby, you’ll be surprised by how much is happening in the world every day!
45. Bust a Move!
Love dancing? Then, put some music on and bust a move! You can do it solo, or get a group of people together and see if you can all learn a dance routine. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Whittling can be incredibly creative – and fun. All you need is a raw piece of wood and a sharp knife (careful, though!).
47. Get to Know Local People
Meeting new like-minded people is a great way to spend time. Go to local festivals and workshops, or sign up for Meetup. You never know when you might make a new useful connection…
What is the Best Hobby for You?
The main takeaway of this post: hobbies don’t have to be expensive. Most hobbies can be cheap – and some (like blogging, for example) can even make you serious money.
I came across this quote the other day which kinda sums it all up.
Get 3 hobbies: One to make you money, one to keep you in shape, and one to be creative.
I need a hobby, do you? I hope this list helps you find all three!
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