People find solace, comfort, fun, and relaxation in hobbies. The issue: Lots of hobbies cost money. You can’t take up automotive repair or equestrian without burning through loads of dough. But cash-strapped hobby seekers can rejoice! There are many wondrous pursuits that can be started with little or investment necessary. Found on r/AskReddit.
Learn a language!
Being multilingual is provides many benefits to your memory and organizational skills, and gives you a wide access to many new things and experiences.
It takes effort and time, but just do half an hour a day. There’s no rush, after all.
Duolingo.com is excellent and offers free courses on most Romance languages, and plan to add more.
I used memrise.com for Japanese, and I found it useful, as well. Though I did need to stop in order to put more time into preparing for college, so I can’t say anything about it’s advanced levels.
Of course, immersing yourself in language is always the best, so make sure you find a language with good movies.
I am sure this is the most uncool hobby of all, but I love to collect rocks and minerals. There is nothing quite like the thrill of finding a garnet in the wild! Or panning your first flake of gold. Or finding chert and quartz just lying there in the desert.
If you and your group of friends would be into it, paper and pencil RPGs usually don’t cost that much for several years worth of fun.
EDIT- for all who see this. /r/youenteradungeon is basically pen and paper RPGs without the pen ad paper. It might be worth it to check it out.
Writing is an excellent hobby to get into. Nice way to get your creative juices flowing and be a little more artistic. Try /r/WritingPrompts.
Addendum to writing, drawing is another nice hobby to pick up. All you really need is paper and a pencil. Don’t get discouraged if you’re crap at it, your skills will improve over time.
Hiking is another good one. It’ll only cost time and gas money but it’s worth it for the beautiful scenery and fresh air.
Similar to hiking, geocaching is another good one. Check out /r/geocaching
Learning to play instruments is another excellent hobby. You can find second-hand instruments at thrift stores (My sister got a secondhand guitar for $50). Also you can find plenty of tutorials online for free. Tryhttp://www.justinguitar.com/ if you’re interested in learning guitar.
You can always go hunting for new music to listen to and broaden your musical horizons if that’s your thing. Try /r/Alternativerock (in the sidebar there’s links to different music subreddits)
Gaming is another nice way to pass the time at minimal cost. You already have access to a computer and there’s tons of free 2 play games such as Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, Path of Exile etc. These games aren’t that graphically demanding so computer requirements shouldn’t be a worry.
Cooking is a fantastic hobby to learn. You’re essentially learning a life skill that is incredibly helpful and you’re making food. Only real expense is ingredients but /r/Cheap_Meals and /r/EatCheapAndHealthy can help with that.
EDIT: I’m aware LoL is chock full of microtransactions, it’s just a suggestion. I’m sure people can find better F2P games. Also add Dota 2 to the F2P list.
Download Python for free.
Download notepad++ for free (or emacs or whatever).
Reference python documentation for help.
Go to Project Euler for some problems to solve/learn to code on.
Edit: Click here for a list of other useful “learn to program sites”. Thanks /u/BiscuitMiscuit
You can buy a playble guitar for about $100, and if you’re not stupid it will last you a llifetime. Maintenance cost is about $5 every few months for new strings.
I know it’s not dirt cheap, but in the long run it’s priceless. I recommend starting by learning “The Joker” by Steve Miller. Pretty simple, and fun.
A short explanation:
find templates for models you’re interested in making (anything – model planes, model plants, model animals, models of videogame characters, you name it)
print them out (at home or at the copy shop)
cut them out
stick all the tabs together with glue
your own models!
It’s really easy to start, there’s an unlimited quantity of model templates available online, and you get the joy of creating something while also having it look amazing when it’s finished! Cutting and pasting is relaxing and rewarding. And, it’s super cheap to start – just get a cutting board, some scissors/a craft knife, some tacky glue, and have a printer handy.
Admire all the models here and here and here and here or just google search for a papercraft version of anything you want. Want a deer head mounted on your wall? Put a Mario question mark box on your desk? Whatever you want!
Birding. Sounds pretty lame, and I often joke that my young self would laugh at my middle aged self for enjoying this. I have a life list, and like a collector I enjoy adding new species to it. Also, it gets me outside in nature.
Brewing Beer – Maybe a $200 initial investment and then $30-$50 per ingredient kit (48 beers) after that. The problem is that you end up loving it and wanting to upgrade everything, so it can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to!
Hula hooping! (doing tricks and whatnot)
-A basic starters hoop costs about $20-30 the most (you can find a bunch on etsy.com). -I started about 3 months ago, all self taught. -There are great tutorital videos on YouTube. -Not only is it a good workout, but it is also challenging and fun to do. -So rewarding once you finally get a trick down perfectly.
Helping at your homeless shelter
They always need extra help
Their clients always need extra love
Take time to listen to them and ask questions
You will discover the vast diversity among the homeless
You will realize just how amazingly blessed you are
If you’re into cars and like going fast… Autocross!
You race your own car in a time trial thru a tight course set up (usually in a large parking lot) with cones, lasting usually -/+ a minute.
There are slaloms, sweepers, hairpins, chicanes, Chicago boxes and the occasional straightaway, among other fun course elements.
It’s extremely safe and not very hard on your car itself, mostly just the tires, sometimes the shocks. Some people call it the cracked cocaine of auto racing since it’s cheap, easy to get into and so much fun. Extra bonus is that almost everyone I encounter is really friendly and more than willing to give you valuable advice.
EDIT: To try it out, look up your local SCCA chapter and find out when and where their next Solo competition will be held. You don’t have to participate at first, but if they smell a newcomer, they will certainly encourage (and hopefully convince) you to give it a shot.
Literally ANY car is fun. The more “unsuited” for the course, the more fun sometimes!
Magic. A deck of cards and a good magic instructional book will keep you going for a year or two before moving on to more elaborate effects. It’s a great way to become the life of the party and to meet girls too.
Amateur Mycology – wild mushroom hunting! If you do your homework and read the right books you can easily learn which mushrooms to stay away from and even easier, learn which common mushrooms are delicious and where to find them.
My favorite mushroom book: Mushrooms Demystified by David Aurora, and The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (which is where I live).
Shaggymanes, Morels, King Boletes, chanterelles – go find them and eat them!
Sewing. Whether you are a guy or a girl, this hobby is inexpensive and so incredibly useful! You can get a used sewing machine for $20, mine was brand new at $100 (in 2003 and yes its still kicking) Once you get the basics of sewing down, you can hem your clothes, make them fit better, which will make you feel better, and you will look better! Scraps of fabric are everywhere and if you are really broke and a little creative, you can buy an article of clothing from a second hand shop and sew it into a unique piece that is just for you.
Community Theatre. Doesn’t cost a cent (except for show fees at some societies), get to meet and hang out with lots of cool people, and (if it’s a musical) singing increases your lung capacity and dancing is good exercise. Even if you can’t act, sing or dance they are always looking for people to be in the chorus. Just go and have fun while learning all about theatre and music. Best decision I ever made.
Disc golf. All you really need is one or two discs, around 8$ a piece. Large majority of the courses are free.
Volunteer firefighting. If you have a local volunteer firehouse, please consider signing up. It’s free, you learn a ton of new skills, you serve your community and you get to ride a goddamn fire truck.
How challenged do you want to be? I got into antique watch repair. You need a decent set of screwdrivers they will run you on the low side 10 on the high side 100 dollars and some watch oil. Most watches need disassemble clean and reassemble then they will run like a champ. You can buy watches on ebay fairly cheap 10 or less in many cases if you fix them you can turn around and resell for twice what you paid.
Edit: I am getting tons of questions on where to get tools and resources.
http://www.esslinger.com (Tools and oils) Book 1 Book 2
Edit 2: A small completed watch Gallery. http://imgur.com/a/f9C87
Whittling, get a decent knife that’s easy to sharpen and a whetstone. Then go grab some scrap lumber or a few good sticks, and get whittling.
Chewing tobacco and waist length beard are optional.
Chess. Won’t need more than one board (of course you can play on the internet but playing over the board in a club or similar is much more enjoyable to me), being member of a club usually doesn’t cost anything because you’re just people meeting up for some turnbased warfare.
You really just need a pair of shoes and a water bottle to start day hiking. The views can be spectacular, and you get a great workout too.
If you get addicted to it, a nice overnight pack will run you $100 to $150, tent ~$80, and a sleeping bag ~$40. It will last you forever if you take care of it.
Darts. Almost anyone can afford a good dart board and some darts and you don’t need a lot of room to play at home. There are also leagues and tournaments and you can meet lots of people. Also, no athletic ability needed.
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