Looking for a new hobby but don’t want to spend a lot of money? There are tons of cheap and easy hobbies you can start right from home. Having a hobby that doesn’t cost much can help save you money while also giving you a fun and rewarding way to spend your free time.
In this article, we’ll explore over 40 frugal hobbies that won’t break the bank. From indoor activities you can do alone to social hobbies to enjoy with others, there are plenty of inexpensive hobby options to choose from. We’ll also share tips on how to get started with minimal investment.
Benefits of Cheap, Easy Hobbies
Taking on a new pastime has many benefits beyond just entertainment. Here are some of the top reasons to pick up an affordable hobby:
- Relieve stress – Easy, calming hobbies can lower anxiety and help you relax after a long day.
- Learn new skills – Hobbies are a great way to gain knowledge and expand your abilities. Even simple activities can further creativity and mental stimulation.
- Meet new people – Shared interests give you an easy social connection. Hobby groups are great for making new friends.
- Express yourself – A creative outlet can provide a meaningful way to develop self-identity and feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Add balance – Hobbies provide enjoyment and fulfillment beyond day-to-day responsibilities. They can re-energize you.
- Save money – Inexpensive hobbies keep you busy without costing a fortune. You may even profit from some hobby skills.
Fun and Easy Hobbies to Try at Home
If you’re looking for hobbies you can start right from home with little to no money, here are some fun ideas to consider:
1. Learn a New Language
Immersing yourself in a new language is extremely rewarding and has practical benefits. With free apps and websites, it’s easy to pick up a new language from the comfort of your own home. You can also find language learning videos for free on YouTube. This hobby can open up opportunities to connect with new cultures and people.
Cost: Free to extremely cheap for subscription apps
2. DIY Home Improvement Projects
Doing easy DIY projects around your home can save you money while allowing creativity. Painting, refinishing old furniture, or doing basic repairs can be done with items and tools you likely already have. Check out DIY blogs and YouTube channels, which offer tons of project inspiration and free tutorials. Start small with easy fixes, then work your way up as your home improvement skills grow.
Cost: Little to no money if you have basic tools/supplies
Growing veggies, herbs, flowers and more in your backyard is rewarding. You reap the literal fruits (and vegetables) of your labor while getting some therapeutic outdoor time. Start-up costs are low – grab some seeds or starter plants and basic tools. Gardening is a hobby the whole family can enjoy too.
Cost: Less than $50 for initial start-up
4. Online Courses and Tutorials
The Internet offers a wealth of free educational resources. You can take DIY workshops, virtual classes, and tutorials to pick up skills ranging from coding and web design to writing, art, and more. Check platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, EdX, and YouTube for endless learning opportunities to pursue from home.
Cost: Free to low-cost subscriptions
5. Arts and Crafts
Get creative and make handmade goods just for fun or to sell for profit. Hobbies like jewelry-making, woodworking, knitting, crochet, calligraphy, and origami can be done at home with minimal supplies. Browse Pinterest and other crafters’ blogs for endless DIY inspiration and free patterns/tutorials. Arts and crafts allow satisfying hands-on creativity.
Cost: $20 or less for basic starter supplies
6. Creative Writing
Writing stories, poetry or journaling has minimal start-up costs. You likely already have the basic tools – paper and pens or pencils, a computer or tablet, etc. Writing creatively or just jotting thoughts and memories is soothing and helps develop communication skills. Take an online writing course or use writing prompt apps to spark ideas if you need guidance getting started.
Cost: Just the price of a pen and paper or use free computer apps
The benefits of meditation are far-reaching – reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and more. There are countless free resources to guide you as a beginner. Check out free meditation YouTube channels, and apps like Calm, Headspace, Insight Timer, and more. All you need is a comfortable spot and a few minutes each day.
Similar to meditation, yoga improves flexibility and strength while calming the mind. There are a variety of yoga styles to pick from based on your needs. Follow along with the countless free online yoga videos for beginners from channels like Yoga with Adriene. All you need is a yoga mat or soft floor space.
Cost: Free to $20+ for a yoga mat and/or online memberships
9. Hiking and Nature Walks
Spending time outdoors significantly reduces stress levels and gets your body moving. Look for local nature trails and parks with free admission. Just throw on your shoes and head out for a relaxing hike or walk. You can hike alone or make it social by joining a local group. Bring your phone or camera to take beautiful nature shots too.
10. Learn a New Musical Instrument
Learning to play an instrument expands creative horizons and provides a lifetime skill. Many local music stores offer free in-store lessons and rentals to try instruments affordably. YouTube also has endless free instructional music videos. Pick a simple starter instrument like a ukulele, guitar, keyboard, or drums. This hobby can even turn into forming your band!
Cost: Low cost for rental instruments and free online lessons
11. Board Games/Puzzles
Board games and puzzles provide screen-free entertainment and mental exercise. Classic games like Chess, Checkers, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles require a board, deck of cards, or some paper. For more variety, pick up an inexpensive game or do a game swap with friends. Puzzle books can also be found for free at many local libraries. Add competition by holding a regular family game night!
Cost: Very cheap if you already own games or buy used/make DIY games
12. Read Ebooks and Audiobooks
Reading has the power to relax the mind, improve cognitive function, expand vocabulary, and expose you to new worlds and cultures. Public libraries let you borrow print, ebooks, and audiobooks 100% free with just a library card! You can also find free ebook options through services like Project Gutenberg, Open Library, Librivox, ManyBooks, and more.
Cost: Free library rentals or cheap monthly ebook subscriptions
Frugal Hobbies to Enjoy with Others
If you’d rather pick up a hobby to help you get out and meet new people, many social pastimes won’t break the bank.
13. Explore Local Events and Attractions
Your community likely offers many free and low-cost events year-round. Seek out free venues like museums with free admission days, public gardens, free concerts at local parks, street fairs, etc. For ideas, check sites, community Facebook pages, and local tourism sites. Going with friends makes it more fun.
Cost: Free to low-cost
14. Volunteer at a Local Organization
Lend your time and talents to a cause or organization important to you. Volunteers are needed at animal shelters, community centers, hospitals, schools, religious groups, museums, conservation efforts and so much more. Giving back provides a sense of purpose and lets you meet other kind-hearted volunteers.
Cost: Just your time
15. Join a Sports League
Joining a local recreational sports league is a fun way to stay active and foster new friendships. Sports like bowling, kickball, softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and more have social leagues in most areas with very reasonable fees since they are non-competitive. Rally up some friends to start your team!
Cost: League fees less than $100/season
16. Take Free Online Classes Together
Online learning is more fun when done together! Set up a virtual study group with friends, family, or co-workers to complete free online classes in something that interests you all. Master a topic together and discuss what you learn during video chats.
Cost: Free class options
17. Start or Join a Book Club
Nothing beats the social enjoyment and enrichment of literature discussion. Start your book club with friends who can take turns hosting and selecting reads. Local libraries also often have free options to join. Splitting book costs or using free library copies keeps this hobby very affordable.
Cost: Free-Very Low Cost
18. Have a Weekly Game Night
Make game night a regular hobby by taking turns hosting friends or family for an evening of fun competition. Potluck-style snacks and BYOB keep costs down. Borrow games or rotate what people bring. Classic game night staples like Scrabble, Pictionary, Charades, Trivial Pursuit, and Monopoly never get old.
Cost: Free to Low Cost
19. Cook Together
Cooking together builds bonds while you learn and exchange recipes. Set a monthly or weekly date to have friends over to cook up an affordable meal together. Potlucks are another economical way to socialize and get cooking tips from others. Splitting grocery bills keeps costs lower.
Cost: Cost of Food Split with Group
20. Start a Band
Making music together is rewarding. Get a group together to jam, whether you sing or play instruments. Set a regular practice time and find free public places to perform once you’re ready, like parks, open mics, or charity events. Bands are the perfect musical hobby for extroverts.
Cost: Very Low if you already own an instrument
Creative Hobbies You Can Do Solo on a Budget
For introverts or those with busy schedules who prefer to hobby on their own time, many cheap solo pastimes boost creativity.
Photography appeals to both art and tech lovers. With just your current smartphone or an affordable starter DSLR camera, you can take artistic nature, urban, macro, or portrait photos. Free editing apps like Snapseed or Lightroom Mobile elevate shots. Share your best pics on sites like Flickr.
Cost: Just your existing smartphone or low-cost starter camera
Basic art supplies like paper, pencils, watercolors, and acrylic paints have a low buy-in cost. Practice your artistic skills following free YouTube drawing and painting tutorials. Use Pinterest or art books from the library for subject inspiration. This hobby can visually express your creativity.
Cost: Under $50 for starter supplies
23. Coding/App Development
If you enjoy challenging your mind, teaching yourself to code is an invaluable skill. Start with free coding programs like those on CodeAcademy or Khan Academy. Tools like GitHub, Google Colaboratory Notebooks, and Repl. it offers free resources to gain hands-on coding practice. Coding = unlimited project possibilities!
Cost: Free resources for learning
Podcasting allows you to share thoughts or stories from interests while sharpening communication abilities. You only need a basic microphone and free software like Audacity to record. Edit episodes on your own time then publish to platforms. Great for introverts with something to say!
Cost: As low as $20 for a small microphone
25. Jewelry Making
Follow online jewelry-making tutorials using inexpensive starter supplies like pliers, wire, beads, cords, and clasps. This hobby lets you produce unique pieces as gifts or to sell. Craft fairs, Etsy, and eBay provide selling platforms to potentially profit from your jewelry creations.
Cost: $15-$50 for starter jewelry making kit
26. Bullet Journaling
Bullet journaling combines free-form journal keeping with artistic hand lettering. This hobby fosters creativity along with organization and mindfulness. Start with any basic notebook and pens/pencils. Add your designs and embellishments. YouTube has endless inspiration for layouts and techniques. It’s therapeutic me-time.
Cost: A simple notebook and pens
27. Genealogy Research
Researching your ancestry and family tree makes an educational solo hobby. Sites like Ancestry.com offer free trials to build your family tree then cancel before getting charged. Other genealogy research tools like FamilySearch, FindAGrave, and newspapers.com have free options. Piecing together your history is rewarding.
Cost: Mostly free using various research sites
Blogging allows you to share your interests and perspectives with the world. You can easily start your primary blog site using free platforms like WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr. Monetize your blog once you build an engaged audience. Unleash your writing voice while connecting with readers worldwide.
Cost: Free blog platforms available
Healthy, Low-Cost Hobby Ideas
Hobbies that get you moving and embracing healthy habits are especially great. Here are budget-friendly hobby options to boost wellbeing.
Lace-up some running shoes and just go – no fancy equipment needed! Running relieves stress, strengthens your heart, and tones your body. Map out local running trails and paths to conveniently get your run in solo or join a local running group. Begin slow with a walking/jog mix then build your mileage.
Cost: Just the cost of a decent pair of shoes
Cycling helps fitness while exploring your region. Dig out that old bike collecting dust or find an affordable one secondhand. Pedal around hometown backroads or paved bike trails. Join group rides once you gain endurance. Brainstorm fun-themed rides like visiting festivals, historical landmarks, parks and beaches.
Cost: Very low if you have or buy a used bike
31. Disc Golf
Try this sport that combines Frisbee throwing with golf. It gets you walking outdoors together in beautiful park settings. Buy an inexpensive disc golf set or borrow from friends. Find courses in your nearest metro park or via the Professional Disc Golf Association course directory. Bring a picnic to make an afternoon of it!
Cost: Under $30 for a basic disc set
Camping provides the ultimate nature-filled retreat without being too pricey. State and national parks offer tent camping for around just $25-$100/night. Gear like tents, sleeping bags, and pads can be borrowed from others or bought affordably at discount sporting stores. Cook over the fire or pack a cooler for cheap camp meals.
Cost: Low, especially when splitting costs with others
33. Tai Chi
The slow-flowing movements of Tai Chi boost balance, joint health, mood, and body awareness. Tai Chi requires zero equipment – just wear comfy loose clothing. Follow along with the many free YouTube Tai Chi videos for beginners from channels like Tai Chi with Beth. Moving meditation!
34. Adult Sports Leagues
Joining a recreational sports team encourages new friendships and staying active. Sports like bowling, volleyball, kickball, softball, and basketball have social leagues across most cities. Fees are generally under $100 per season. Fill your weeknights getting in motion together!
Cost: League fees less than $100/season
35. Try YouTube Home Workouts
YouTube offers unlimited free workout videos so you can stop paying for gym memberships! There are trainers teaching programs for all fitness levels. Find options for HIIT, strength training, Pilates, Barre, cardio dance, yoga, and more. All you need is an internet connection and some floor space.
Cost: Free access to unlimited workout videos
36. Urban Hiking
If you live in a city, urban hiking allows you to explore it on foot while logging miles. Plan routes that incorporate parks, historic neighborhoods, unique architecture, public art, bridges, and city overlooks. Joining hiking Meetup groups introduces you to passionate local hikers.
Fun Hobbies for Kids to Try
Hobbies learned young foster lifelong skills and healthy interests. Here are budget-friendly hobby ideas for kids to try:
37. Performing Arts
Does your child love to sing, dance, act, or play music? Nurture their performing talents via free outlets like church or community musicals/plays, joining a local choir or band through school, competing in talent shows, and uploading performance videos to YouTube. This can grow into a life-long passion.
Cost: Very Low Cost
38. Reading/Book Clubs
Encourage reading early by making weekly library trips for free books on favorite topics. Neighborhood book swap boxes are another free resource. Set up a family book club or have your child start one with friends. Discussing plots and themes builds comprehension. Bookworms learn!
Cost: Free Library Book Access
39. Science Experiments
Young minds are perfect for sparking interest in science. Find free science experiment guides online to do at home using common household items. Experience topics like chemistry, physics, magnets, nature observations, and more. Science hobby kits are also inexpensive to purchase.
Cost: Little to no cost using household items
40. 4-H Clubs
4-H clubs offer a variety of educational recreation focused on kids in grades k-12. Club projects can cover farming, gardening, caring for animals, beekeeping, robotics, computer science, and much more. This hobby develops responsibility, leadership, and life skills. Many clubs have little to no associated costs.
Cost: Free to Low-Cost Club Dues
Artsy kids can learn the basics of sewing, knitting, or embroidery from free internet tutorials or library books. Affordable starter kits provide supplies like yarn, fabric, patterns, and needles to begin creating simple projects. Mastering handcrafts boosts fine motor skills, math comprehension, and creativity.
Cost: $15-$25 starter kit
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunt using GPS coordinates to find hidden caches. After searching for some, get kids excited about hiding their own. Register a free geocaching account and app to join the hunt. An educational geography-based hobby.
Cheap Hobby Supplies to Get You Started
Taking on a new hobby seems less daunting when start-up costs are minimal. Here are some tips for sourcing hobby materials inexpensively:
- Check out thrift stores which often have discounted used books, games, musical instruments, craft supplies, and more
- Use apps like Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace to find free or cheap hobby items people are giving away
- Swap supplies and materials with hobbyist friends
- Buy affordable starter kits for many hobbies on sites like Amazon or eBay
- Use coupons and shop sales at craft, art supply, and sporting stores
- Visit garage sales and flea markets for super cheap hobby goods
- Follow sale groups on social media for deals on supplies
- Buy in bulk when possible for lower costs
Enjoy Your Frugal Free Time
Hobbies allow you to enjoy your free time while satisfying your interests and taking a rewarding creative journey. You don’t need to spend a lot or have extensive expertise to get started exploring a new pastime.
Begin with a hobby from this list that sparks your curiosity and fits your budget. The key is choosing an activity you are genuinely excited about – one that doesn’t seem like a chore. Don’t force yourself to continue any hobby you find you don’t enjoy. Try something else until you find the right match.
Make your starter supplies if needed. Follow free internet guides for ideas and troubleshooting. Join local hobby groups to connect with enthusiasts who can offer tips.
Most of all, remember fun and fulfillment don’t need to cost a lot. Steer clear of hobbies calling for expensive investments and equipment. There are endless enriching activities possible with little money and minimal materials. You likely have many hobby possibilities already at your fingertips.
Start exploring your interests today and begin reaping the endless benefits of fun, easy, and affordable hobbies!
FAQs about Cheap and Easy Hobbies
What are some casual hobbies?
Some great casual hobbies include reading, photography, gardening, arts & crafts, cooking/baking, playing board games, and doing puzzles. These are fun activities you can do at your leisure without a big time commitment.
What are the chillest hobbies?
Chill hobbies that help you relax include meditation, yoga, journaling, listening to podcasts, playing musical instruments, and spending time outdoors hiking or camping. These low-key hobbies reduce stress.
What hobbies do not require too much time?
Hobbies that don’t take much time include learning a language app, drawing, creative writing, disc golfing, volunteering occasionally, and doing at-home workouts. These hobbies can be done in short increments.
What is a good-paying hobby?
Some hobbies you can profit from include photography, jewelry making, refurbishing furniture, social media consulting, handcrafting items to sell online, and creating blogs/YouTube channels once you build an audience.
What’s a cool hobby to have?
Unique cool hobbies to try include robotics, circus skills like juggling, ventriloquism, leather crafting, airplane piloting, falconry, learning magic tricks, and fire dancing. Express yourself through more unconventional hobbies.