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While you try to adhere to a strict budget and follow a frugal lifestyle, you may think the fun has gone out of life.
You may not be able to afford the movie theater or dinner out on the town a few nights a week, but there are still plenty of things you can enjoy that is in line with your budget.
Starting a new hobby is a wonderful way to expand your mind, stay busy, and keep your mind off your bank account. People often spend money unnecessarily out of boredom. Hobbies are an effective way to redirect your attention.
Here are 29 frugal hobbies to get you started.
1. Start Volunteering
Volunteering is not only a way to give back to other people, it has huge benefits for your own soul. There are thousands of ways to volunteer your time. From the traditional soup kitchen to building houses for the homeless, volunteer opportunities are everywhere.
VounteerMatch.com is a good first step in finding local organizations in need of an extra hand. The people you meet and the work you do through volunteerism may even change the course of your life.
2. Become A Mentor
Spend time with a local child in need through organizations like Big Brother, Big Sister. As a mentor, you can have a substantial impact on a child in need of guidance and attention and won’t need to spend a dollar to be successful.
Walks in the park, bike rides, and similar activities help create a bond that can change lives. You can also mentor in other ways. Reach out to older students studying your line of business and help them with school issues, finding a job, and understanding more about the career they plan to pursue.
3. Give Comfort To The Elderly
If you have a nursing home in your community, schedule some time each week for a visit with the residents. Many people living in nursing homes are without family and see only the staff each day.
The staff can point out the people most in need of good company. If you have a talent, like singing, you may even wish to provide some free entertainment to those who could use a positive boost in their day.
4. Explore Your Neighborhood
All you need is your feet to take up walking. Walking is not only good for your heart health, it’s a totally free activity you can do to learn more about where you live. Most every place in the country has something cool to explore.
Nature trails, hidden caves, secret side streets may be waiting for you right down the road. Visit the local library to learn about potential adventure spots, pack a lunch, and hit the road.
5. Become A Museum Enthusiast
Even if you don’t live in a large city, there is a good chance your area still has museums to explore. Many museums offer free admission and special events at no extra cost during off peak hours. You can spend a lot of hours visiting exhibits and learning more about your local area and history in general.
6. Setup Game Nights
Provided you have the board games and some snacks in the pantry, a game night costs nothing extra. Enlist fellow board game lovers to join you one night a week for a few hours to play one specific game or different games throughout the evening.
Alternate houses where game nights are held to give everyone the chance to get out of the house from time to time.
7. Organize Events
If you feel your local community doesn’t have enough to offer, volunteer to organize events on your own or as part of the community recreation group. Use your creative mind to plan activities for families, area youth, adults, and even pets to boost recreation in your area.
You may also use your organizing talents to help raise funds for others in need.
8. Learn About Local Wildlife
A few books from the library can help you identify local flowers, birds, and other wildlife in your immediate area. Use the knowledge you’ve gained to find them in nature while on a walk or hike.
9. Teach A Class
Your local community center may offer opportunities to teach a class using your own expertise and skills. Consider helping others learn how to do yoga, paint, make crafts, or write stories.
There are a lot of skills that you can teach in a weekly class. You may also consider teaching others through online courses on YouTube and other websites.
10. Start Meditating
Meditation is a powerful way to reconnect with yourself and the world around you. Learning to meditate isn’t difficult but it does take practice.
Meditation has been shown to be an effective stress reliever, anxiety reducer, and body relaxation technique that can help you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Learn techniques from library books or DVDs or through online videos.
11. Learn A Second Language
Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can choose a variety of languages to learn. Free tutorials, like DuoLingo, offer you the change to learn a language in your free time with no obligation. You can get by with a pen, a notebook, and a high-speed Internet connection.
12. Get An Education
Many of the top universities in the country, including Harvard, offer open learning course material online through their own website. Search for your favorite university or subject to find free courses in subjects your interested in.
13. Expand Your Horizons
Another online-based hobby can help you open the doors of your mind without having to spend a single cent. You can find a huge catalog of free documentaries on every subject you can conceive.
Watching documentaries can be inspirational and educational and become a more productive way to pass the time than watching traditional television shows.
14. Appreciate New Music
If you haven’t tuned into anything but the same radio station for the last few years, spend some time exploring other musical genres. Ask friends for recommendations and spend a few afternoons trying different music styles on for size.
15. Puzzle It Out
Jigsaw puzzles are a productive way to spend time and flex your brain muscles. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and there is a large variety of puzzles available to cater to your interests.
You’ll even end up with an attractive wall hanging you can use for decorating your home or to gift to a loved one.
Puzzles are also a great activity to keep the whole family entertained during rainy weekends or television-free school nights.
16. Start Writing
If you have a talent for writing, draft out story ideas or research non-fiction ideas you’d like to write about in your free time. The Internet also offers plenty of opportunities to have your work published on blogs and other websites.
With a bigger investment of your time and talents, you could also secure paid jobs as a writer or start your own blog to share information and opinions.
17. Make Money Matter
While you may be successful at reducing your spending, you may not be maximizing the real power of your money.
Use your down time to become educated on investments, savings plans, and other methods for growing your cash and protecting your future.
Online courses and other resources are available for free and you can use these materials to transform your finances.
18. Community Theater
If you enjoy live-action plays but can’t afford Broadway, check out local theater productions. Many offer a few hours of fantastic performances for a small ticket price.
If you have a passion for the performing arts, you may want to consider volunteering in the community arts program or becoming an actor yourself.
19. Cooking Lessons
Eating well while on a budget can be difficult. To pass time on a weekend, recruit your significant other or some friends and learn how to make new dishes on the cheap.
There are plenty of online videos and other free resources you can use for recipes. You and your friends can chip in grocery money to create a great meal for everyone while keeping costs low.
20. Join A Team
Lots of communities have low-cost sporting opportunities to help keep you in shape. Weekend softball games or weekly bowling teams is an effective way to blow off steam while making new friends.
Be cautious of the upfront and ongoing costs associated with team registrations. Some sports or organizations can be excessively expensive but there are likely free or low-cost opportunities available within your area.
21. Start A Garden
There are many benefits to gardening. First, you get to spend time with your hands in the dirt. Gardening is a great physical activity you can enjoy all year long. If you have the space, you can grow every kind of fresh vegetable you eat, cutting costs at the grocery store.
Even if you live in an apartment or a house with no yard, there is still a variety of plants that grow well on containers, including fresh herbs and spices.
22. Learn How To Can
Once you have an established garden, you’ll likely have a lot of vegetables you can’t use before they start to go bad. This is where learning how to can will further your investment in gardening supplies.
Research recipes for soups, salsas, pickled vegetables, and other canning specialties. Spend your down time canning what you pick fresh from your garden. Canned goods also make good gifts for people in your life, helping you cut additional spending throughout the year.
23. Train In Martial Arts
People of all skill levels can benefit from learning a martial art. Not only do you get in shape through regular exercise, you also learn discipline and a new perspective on life. Martial arts classes are often available through community centers at a lower cost than private lessons.
You can enrich your life and occupy your time with regular martial arts training.
Here are some costly hobbies that can make you some side cash:
24. Scrapbooking memories
Scrapbooking is an enjoyable way to organize your photographs and memories. You’ll need to invest in paper supplies, glues, and some decorative materials to start creating books. There is also a cost for processing your photographs.
Scrapbooking can help you reduce clutter and allows you a creative outlet on otherwise boring nights and weekends.
How to earn a little money: People who don’t have time may have a storage box filled with pictures. If you’ve got a knack for scrapbooking, you can earn money helping others preserve their memories.
25. Restore It
If you have a knack for making old things look new again, you can spend your time fixing up furniture, vehicles, and home décor items You’ll spend money on paints, varnishes, tools, and other supplies to refurbish the pieces.
You’ll also spend money and time cruising the local flea markets and auctions to find the pieces you want to transform.
How to earn a little money: You can sell rehabbed vehicles through local newspapers or using your own social media. To sell crafts and furniture, contact local consignment shops or set up a vendor spot at local events and farmers markets.
26. Brew Some Beer
If you’re a beer expert, you can learn how to brew your own beverages at home. There are plenty of tips online for brewing all types of beers. Your finished product will serve you well and makes great gifts for friends and family.
You’ll spend money on ingredients, equipment, and supplies, including the bottles you need to store your products.
How to earn a little money: Home-brewing is one of those side projects that has turned into a full-time career for many hobbyists. If you enjoy the brewing process and are receiving positive feedback from your taste-testers, you may consider selling your products to the public.
27. Raise Chickens
If you have the space and your community permits, you can start raising your own chickens. There is an initial startup cost for building adequate housing for your flock.
Ongoing costs include quality chicken feed, straw bales, and medical care. However, raising your own chickens can be a wonderful experience for the whole family.
You also have the advantage of fresh eggs and if you plan to raise your chickens for meat, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating.
How to earn a little money: If you’re interested in recouping some money to cover the cost of raising chickens, you can sell eggs and meat to others. If you have a big enough space, you can also raise chickens for others who don’t’ have the time or space for a monthly fee.
28. Become An Organizer
If you enjoy putting things in their place around your house, you can transfer these hobby skills into a real-life career. Start-up costs are minimal as you’ll only need cleaning supplies and organizational equipment to start helping others.
How to earn a little money: Many people don’t’ have time or interest in decluttering their living space but are in desperate need of help. Spend your time organizing drawers, cabinets, and closets while making money on the side. Advertise your services on social media, the local newspaper, or through fliers posted on community boards.
29. Try Photography
Photography is a popular hobby and one made more affordable by the invention of digital photography equipment. While you’ll pay a decent amount of cash upfront for a solid digital camera and other equipment, you can recoup some of that money by using your photography skills for cash.
How to earn a little money: Many websites pay cash for high-quality stock photos. Check out sites like iStockphoto and Shutterstock to learn more about selling your photos online and to private customers.
In addition to these tips, there are thousands more frugal hobby ideas out there to suit your interests and your financial capabilities. Don’t spend another second fretting over your financial situation when you can be out there, enjoying life and living it to the fullest.
Remember than any hobbyist likely has starter supplies they’d be willing to part with for a fraction of the cost of buying supplies new.
Let your friends and family know about the hobbies you are interested in pursuing and learn about their resources and available opportunities for procuring used supplies.
When you follow your passion, you’ll be motivated to find ways to afford the things you love to do. Whether or not you can turn your passion into profits shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the activities that enrich your life and give you something wonderful to look forward to each day.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of frugal hobbies. Do you have any frugal hobbies that you’d like to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!