Searching for a hobby that's equal parts fun and rewarding? Look no further, because this list has a little something for everyone. Just scroll down if you're looking for hobbies that will help you decompress after a long day or help you flex your creative muscles. Even better, all of these hobbies are either completely free or are very affordable. This list isn't just filled with the ordinary hobbies - we've searched far and wide to find a ton of options that will comfortably fit into any budget or busy schedule. Scroll down to find our complete list of affordable hobbies:
1. Reading & Writing
Is there anything out there that's more rewarding than finishing a good book? We know what you're thinking, this "hobby" sounds a lot more like schoolwork. But trust us, this isn't like the typical essays or research papers that you dreaded in school. There are so many different forms of writing - short stories, poetry, novels, fiction, journaling, travel writing - that are all rewarding in their own way. This hobby encourages you to unplug from your daily stressors and step into a world that's entirely make-believe.
Whether you're putting pen to paper, or typing on a computer screen - creating your own story is a great activity that anyone can do for free. Just like any artistic medium, there are limitless ways to start writing, and there is no wrong way to do it. So how do you get started? Try using free online blogs like Medium, or create your own system of Google Docs to keep your storytelling organized.
2. Stargazing / Astronomy
Need some divine inspiration for your hobby? Try looking up at the stars! Planets, constellations, shooting stars, meteors - there is something here for everybody. With a little help from the internet, you'll find that there is a ton of free tools, resources, and information for all aspiring astronomers and star geeks.
One of our favorite tools is a free astronomy app called SkyView, which uses your GPS location and orientation to show you exactly which stars and constellations are around you in the night sky. This app is perfect for all wannabe astronomers who are looking for a place to start. You should also be aware of the free online star charts that you can use from the Online Planetarium. There are also a ton of videos on YouTube by like-minded star-gazers that offer advice and tips on telescopes, astronomical events, and more.
3. Caring for Pets
If you're anything like us, you absolutely love pets but did you know that caring for pets is, technically, a hobby? For some people, their love for animals goes far beyond the usual cats and dogs - they also feel drawn towards more exotic animals that require a nuanced care. If you're looking to adopt a pet as your new hobby, be sure to get all of the facts on how to give these animals the best possible life. We recommend looking into a YouTuber named Taylor Nicole Dean, who has a lot of experience and knowledge when it comes to taking care of pets.
While pets and their supplies can get expensive when shopping at big-name retailers, you can usually find an amazing deal when adopting animals from your local shelters. Many of these shelters even have events where there are none of the usual fees associated with adoption. However, it’s important to note that pets might require hospital visits or other expenses down the line and you should plan accordingly if you’re serious about keeping pets as a hobby. If the financial burden is just too much, we highly recommend volunteering at your local shelters!
4. Graphic Design
Want a hobby that you can turn into cash? Then graphic design is for you! Much like writing, you can turn your design skills into some serious cash. This is a great avenue for independent artists, creative students with free time, and anyone else with a passion for drawing. While there are a few well-known graphic design programs that professionals swear by, there are also a few more affordable options. There are a bunch of free online resources for those who are looking to try out graphic design. One resource that we recommend is Canva, which is a free online graphic design program that is surprisingly versatile. This online program allows users to create book art, social media graphics, posters, invitations, business cards, desktop wallpaper, logos, labels, brochures, and so much more.
This might come as a surprise to you, but knitting is the perfect hobby for students and busy professionals alike. While daily life can be incredibly stressful, knitting has been linked to decreased rates of mental health distress - and, even better, the end product can be a cozy beanie or a warm blanket.
A few recent studies have shown that knitting can be a key part of treating stress, depression, and even substance abuse. Some hardcore knitting enthusiasts even refer to knitting as the first-ever fidget spinner. Even better, knitting can easily fit into the budget of even the most financially-stressed student. The startup costs for knitting is relatively minor, with all of the supplies usually coming in at less than $20. Not to mention, you can also find free online tutorials or low-cost introductory classes from major art supply shops.
Photography is a great way to document your life and create a collection of treasured memories. Not to mention, this hobby means that you can add your own flair of personality and creativity into every photograph. This is a great hobby if you are eager to join a larger community of like-minded hobbyists. Photography is a rare hobby that allows amateurs and professionals alike to share their work around the world. Whether you’re becoming a member of online forums, facebook groups, or weekly clubs, there is a huge community that is waiting for you to join when you pick up a camera.
One tip when first entering the world of photography is to learn to experiment with the different ways and angles that you can take photos. You can even try out different styles of photography including HDR, light painting, black and white, and much more.
Geocaching is a relatively new hobby that adventurers of any age can participate in and enjoy! This is an outdoor recreational activity where participants use a GPS system and navigational techniques to find hidden containers in their local area. These containers are called "caches" and are hidden in specific locations all over the world. Whether you're in a big bustling city or a tiny rural town, everyone is welcome to join in on this modern-day treasure hunt. The only thing that you need to participate in this hobby is a pencil, a GPS-enabled mobile device, and a spirit of adventure.
Want to know the best part? Geocaching is absolutely free! All you need to do is download their free app and start hunting for caches in your area. For a full list of rules and guidelines surrounding Geocaching, be sure to check out their complete website for all of the details. Happy hunting!
Much like writing, drawing is one of the most simple and easy-to-start hobbies out there. This is a great way to relax and unwind your mind after a busy day at the office or running to classes. Not only will this help get your mind off stress, but it can also improve your creative skills and encourage different ways of approaching problems.
Not to mention, there are extremely low barriers to entry when it comes to drawing. All you need is a few drawing utensils, your favorite notebook, and a few minutes of spare time. If you're new to the world of drawing, you can find a bunch of tutorials, drawing challenges, subjects, and much more online. If you're searching for a little bit more guidance when starting on this hobby, we recommend following this blog and participating in a few drawing exercises to help build your skills.
There isn't anything quite like enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors. If you're looking for a hobby that will get you away from computer screens and into nature - you need to start hiking. While not everyone has the luxury of having mountain ranges and forests nearby their homes for hiking, you might be surprised at just how many trails are near your home. If you don't believe us, you can use free apps like TrailFinder to locate local, top-rated hiking trails and nature reserves to start out this hobby.
Hiking is a great, and completely free hobby for anybody who is looking to add a fun twist to exercising. Hiking and immersing yourself in the great outdoors is the perfect way to improve your blood pressure, strengthen your core, increase your balance, and improve your mood.
10. Learning a New Langauge
There isn't any hobby that's more difficult or more rewarding than learning a new language. But, if you're planning on traveling soon, want to connect back to your cultural roots, or if you're simply looking for a more engaging hobby - you need to try learning a new language.
This can be an extremely difficult hobby, but will definitely be worth your time in the end. Not to mention, you can pick up this hobby whenever you have some free time on your hands. With free resources like Duolingo, you can learn any language including: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Greek, and much more.