Downtime is our precious commodity – it’s a time to decompress, enjoy our interests, and maybe even try something new for the heck of it. For fun and cheap hobbies that won’t hurt your wallet (hobbies are fun, but debt isn’t), keep on reading.
Fun and Cheap Hobbies
Learning a New Language
If you have an interest in other languages, take advantage of all the free resources out there. For beginners, there are online articles on basic vocab and conjugations to get started. Also, the more you listen, the more you’ll gradually understand. For listening, you can’t beat YouTube. Easy Languages, for example, has naturally fun immersion with authentic street interviews, with both subtitles in English and in the language of subject. You can also learn basic phrases by playing a podcast in the background – repetition works! Songs are another fun way to absorb a language.
Even your favorite streaming service that you’re already paying for could be another resource! Most of Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus’ shows have multilingual support, putting another spin on your binge shows. Depending on where you live, there may be language Meetup groups near you! You’ll get a lot out of practicing a new language with like-minded people. Joining a Meetup group is free, and the events are either free or involve some cost – for example, if the group decides to get lunch, you’d pay your own way. Just be sure to budget accordingly. Learning a new language that caught your attention doesn’t have to be a dry, boring experience.
Exploring the Outdoors
The outside world has plenty of room for fun and cheap hobbies. Walking and running are great for soaking in nice balmy weather. If you live near a pool, lake, or ocean, swimming is another fun way to be active. Or if you don’t feel like swimming, why not try fishing? You can also go hiking on a trail you’ve never been on before. If you’re looking for something particularly adventurous, try geocaching! For the especially daring, make the world your literal playground with parkour. It’s certainly one of the boldest free and cheap hobbies out there – but go about this with much caution. You could seriously injure yourself, and the medical bills certainly won’t be cheap.
For pure relaxation, scope out a spot at your local park to sit and read a book or listen to music. You might even meet cute pets on a walk, or new people if you feel like chatting with others. If you like watching the sunset, stick around at the park and watch the sky change colors. Fun doesn’t stop at the end of the day though – you can go stargazing at night. Whenever you feel bored and want to switch it up, going outside is a good place to start.
Having Fun Indoors
That being said, sometimes you just want to chill where you are. Books and shows are a great way to unwind, and you can always hit up your local library for new material (then rush home to your blankets and snacks). That’s just one example of free and cheap hobbies you can do at home.
Do you like pretty things? Learn origami! You can even use your creations as expressive, decorative flair for your living space. Or buy some inexpensive flowers (real or fake) to add color to your surroundings. Back to our earlier point about books – they’re not just for reading. You can create beautiful pieces of art from that old book sitting on your shelf. Or if you can’t part with any of your books, you can also buy cheap ones at a store to use for art. You can also try your hand at painting or calligraphy.
Being indoors is also the perfect place to master cheap eats! With the right planning, cheap is delicious! Master a dinner recipe that just might make it into your weekly rotation, or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, try a new dessert or pastry. More on that below!
Pantry staples are the foundation to great sweets. The Great Depression Water Pie made a big comeback during the pandemic, – it only requires a pie crust, water, flour, sugar, vanilla extract and butter. These pantry staples are low-cost, and you can get more than one use out of most of them before having to buy a refill. Another awesome 6-ingredient-only recipe is peanut butter bread, and it’s easy to make. Whether you’re trying to save money or money is tight, there’s no shortage of crave-worthy cheap dessert recipes out there.
Fun and cheap hobbies bring easy-breezy joy and relaxation in a fast-paced world. Have a blast!