Many of us work harder than we should, so when we get some of that coveted “me time”, it can be important to make the most of it. Having a hobby can be a great way to meet new people, or simply make the time you spend alone more meaningful. Here are our 7 favourite low cost hobbies, to help you enjoy your free time without breaking the bank. We’ve chosen hobbies that are accessible to everyone, and don’t require specialist skills - could one of these become your new favourite pastime?
Getting stuck into a good book can be one of life’s great pleasures, and it can also be very cheap! Second hand books can often be bought for next to nothing online or in charity shops, and if you make the most of your local library you can read for free! If you want to make it a bit more social, why not start a book group? You could also arrange regular book swaps to help refresh your collection and keep the cost low for everyone.
2. Learning a new language
As well as being a useful skill to have, learning a new language could be great exercise for your brain - much better than an evening in front of the TV! Learning a language used to mean enrolling on a course or buying expensive textbooks, but thanks to the internet, it’s possible to get access to a high standard of teaching for free. There are a whole host of sites offering interactive learning materials, apps to top up your teaching on the go, and even the chance to practice with native speakers.
In our busy lives, finding time to keep fit can be increasingly difficult for many - especially for those who are unable or unwilling to fork out for an expensive gym membership. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to exercise cheaply, or even for free. Why pay to run on a treadmill when you could be running in the great outdoors? You might like ry running or power-walking to work in the mornings - or even having a little jog on your lunch break. If running isn’t your thing, why not consider cycling? Most people don’t need a state of the art bike, and second hand ones are easy to find on sites like Gumtree and Freecycle.
4. Learning to code
The ability to code is becoming increasingly useful, and learning could be easier than you think. Sites like Codeacademy are free to use and allow you to learn to code at your own pace. It could a rewarding, and if you become good enough you may even be able to earn some extra income from it!
It’s official: crafts are cool again. There’s something out there for everyone from cross stitch to knitting, even making your own beauty products. The internet is awash with blogs dedicated entirely to craft, and they’re all packed with tutorials, tips and discounts on materials. When shopping for materials for your projects, try looking in bargain boxes and asking for off-cuts of fabric; if you’re flexible about what you get, you can pick up some real bargains!
6. Making or altering your own clothes
Clothes can be expensive - and thanks to online shopping it’s all too easy to end up spending a fortune in just a few minutes. If you’re a competent sewer (see above!) why not try hitting the charity shops and customising the things that you find? It’s great to go out knowing that you’re wearing something totally unique that could be good for the environment and your wallet.
This has to be one of the cheapest hobbies around - all you need is paper! Once again the internet is your friend when it comes to instructions, tips and tricks, and if you buy in bulk you can get pretty squares of paper very cheaply. Get folding and brighten up your home with cranes, flowers and everything in between!