Up until just a few years ago, I’d get so stuck when people asked me what I liked to do for fun. I always felt like it was a trick question. As an adult, it seemed so hard to find time for hobbies and fun outside of occasional outings with friends or date nights with my husband – let alone frugal hobbies that didn’t cause me to overspend.
Most of my days are spent working, cooking and planning meals, doing things for my son, cleaning, laundry, etc. As an entrepreneur, it’s also very hard to turn work and the ‘hustle life’ off. I’m always thinking, planning, and trying to grow something.
I know I’m not the only one. But then it hit me. I have the freedom to change how I live. Hobbies and interests that have absolutely nothing to do with hustling and earning a profit are so important – especially as an adult.
Having hobbies can help relieve stress and even lower anxiety levels. Plus, for me, it’s a way to slow down and take the time to enjoy life and the things I find interesting.
Don’t Think You Have Time? Guess Again?
Many of us can say that we lack the time and energy to do much outside of working and keeping things afloat around the house. However, studies have been conducted on how most Americans spend their time and the data tells another story.
Sure, most of each day includes several hours of sleep and work for the average person along with everyday tasks. But when we get to leisure time, most people are spending around 2 to 3 hours watching TV. Add this to the fact that most people are spending 2 hours per day or more on social media as well.
While social media can be a great way to connect people, the digital society we live in has also done a great job of separating us from each other as well. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of the American Community is a great book written by Arthur Morey that reveals how social structures have changed. According to the data and stories in the book, many people have misplaced their free time and it really shows.
All this is to say that if you really want a hobby, you do have time or can simply make time. You also don’t have to spend tons of money on your hobby either.
Below are a few frugal hobbies for adults that I’ve rounded up that are virtually free or will cost you very little.
Reading is such a great hobby that helps you relax and escape while also strengthening brain activity. I highly encourage you to pick up a paperback book and start reading. Usually, I aim to read around 20 books per year give or take.
I have had an Audible subscription for a few years now but set a goal for at least half of the books I read to be paper copies. You have to start somewhere.
Reading can even be a social hobby if you were to join a local book club. Regardless, you can go to your local library and rent books out for free or see if there’s a free little library in your neighborhood where you can just pick up and drop off books at your leisure.
I just started a GoodReads profile if you’d like to add me on there!
Coloring reduces stress and anxiety and also allows you to unlock more creativity. I like coloring over painting and art projects because it’s less overwhelming for me and I don’t have to worry about learning a new skill or messing something up.
I just grab a few adult coloring books from the dollar store and some colored pencils and I’m good to go.
Like taking pictures? Make a hobby out of this and take pictures of various things whenever you’re out. You don’t even need a fancy camera to start since most smartphones have excellent cameras. Learn how to edit your photos and share them for fun.
If you want to invest in equipment or certain techniques later on, consider taking a photography course to learn more. Udemy has a free photography course.
Exercising regularly is a great habit to have, but it’s also a hobby since you can choose when, where, and how you’d like to workout. From going to the gym or taking classes to running or kickboxing, there’s so many possibilities when it comes to moving your body.
Right now, I prefer exercise classes or working out at home. I have some down time when I drop my son off for basketball practice and figured I’d try to go to the local library. Come to find out, the library has an early evening fitness class that I may have to start checking out.
Hiking is another frugal hobby that I love. Since we moved over the summer, our new area has lots of great hiking trails with views of lakes, ponds, and other natural elements. I recently joined a hiking meetup group and I’m loving it so far.
As someone who’s newer to hiking, I wanted to do it with a group so I could find the best places to go and learn more about the area. While I love a good hike, I’m not into messing with snakes or bears so it’s great that I was able to join a group to get the lay of the land.
Depending on what’s near you, you may want to check out different trails and state parks. Aside from any materials or gear you might need, most hikes are completely free.
Dancing is a nice social hobby that could be a healthy challenge. See if there are any places that offer dancing lessons in your area. To save money, it’s best to book a group dance class vs. getting private lessons. There are classes for salsa dancing, ballroom dancing, adult ballet, hip hop, and basically anything you’d want to try.
7. Playing an Instrument
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, what’s holding you back? A few years ago, I picked up playing the drums again since I used to play as a kid. This was such a great decision because playing drums is something that I enjoy and allows me to use a different side of my creativity as opposed to what I do with writing and blogging.
I signed up for weekly 30-minute lessons for just $30 per lesson and my teacher actually drove to my house for the lessons so it was very convenient. About a year ago, I also signed my son up for ukulele lessons through another company and weekly lessons were just $30 as well so this is a pretty standard range you can expect to pay to start.
8. Sports League
Most communities have various sports league opportunities so check with the recreational department or your local park district. Some local churches even have leagues for basketball, softball, and other sports.
Joining a sports league can be a great way to stay active, meet friends, and enjoy some fun competition.
When was the last time you volunteered somewhere? Volunteering helps you give back and also fulfill a passion or interest you have without working about earning money. You can volunteer at a food pantry, children’s hospital, or animal shelter.
Volunteer opportunities that utilize your skills can also make a great hobby. Years ago, I used to be a part of this resume writer’s organization and I would edit the monthly newsletter as a volunteer. I’ve also enjoyed volunteering to pack meals for children overseas with some groups I’ve been part of.
Start calling around and asking who could use a volunteer and even if it’s just 1 to 2 hours per week or month, it’s still a great use of your time.
10. Learn a New Language
Learning a new language can be fun and not cost you much at all. Dueling is a free site that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, and more. It’s a very interactive site with activities that also saves your place in the lesson so you can pick back up with the activities at any time.
I find it pretty amusing that this site can even teach you how to speak High Valerian and if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you definitely know what this means.
Summary: Frugal Hobbies Anyone Can Enjoy
Taking the time out to establish some frugal hobbies is something you won’t regret. Whether you like to get outdoors, help others, or stay around the house, there are plenty of ways to use your talents and find something enjoyable to do that interests you.
This list just scratches the surface. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite frugal hobbies are and I’ll consider adding them to the list!
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