We could all probably spend less time streaming television or loafing around on the internet, am I right? Hobbies are certainly one way to occupy your time, but let's be honest — most of us probably don't want to invest a ton of money into a new activity that may not stick. The good news is that there are loads of hobbies you can start for free — or at least for cheap — and even better news is that a recent thread over at AskReddit is full of ideas. Posted by Redditor Goooner4 less than a day ago, the thread has since garnered over 5,000 responses, proving that if there's one thing most of us can probably agree on, it's that having cool, inexpensive hobbies to enjoy is kind of the best.
In truth, hobbies are a good thing to invest time into. Most of us split the majority of our time between some balance of work, relationships, friendships, and family, all of which are good things — but it's also important to have some time just for ourselves to enjoy the things that help us relax (or, if you're an adrenaline junkie, get your heart rate up). But hobbies are good for groups sometimes, too; while some may be best for a day of reflection and self-investigation (meditation, anyone?), other hobbies make for excellent group activities. Who hasn't enjoyed playing cards with 10 of your closest friends?
Whether you're on a budget or just want to give yourself the freedom to try as many new activities as possible, it's never a bad move to look into inexpensive or free hobbies. Here are some of Reddit's best ideas; head on over to the full thread for more.
1. Play With Animals
2. Get Friendly With Your Local Library
Going to the library was one of my favorite activities as a kid. (I know, I know: nerd alert, right?) My grandmother brought me to the library a few times every week to get new books; then, as I got older, I used the computers there to scroll the internet, checked out board games to play with my friends (yes, I even brought my friends to the library), and brought home educational CDs to listen to in the car. As an adult, I still love the library and spend more time there than the average Millennial probably does. But hey, it's literally free stuff that you can use for education or entertainment. What could be better?
3. Laugh Often And Laugh Well
4. Write Your Own Stories
Literally anyone can share their stories with the world, whether they're fictional or drawn from your own life. You can self-publish your material or choose to submit to literary journals or magazines. You can take local workshops to get feedback and perspective from other writers in your area. You can even write just to express yourself, with no standards or expectations of showing it to others. In fact, studies show that maintaining a journal can be an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety. All you need is paper and a pen (or, if you aren't worried about logging extra screen time, your laptop works just as well!).
5. Do Some Stargazing
6. Chill Out In Child's Pose
Yoga classes can be expensive, depending on your area; however, you can also do yoga for free at home, in a park, or with your friends. You don't need expensive workout gear or a fancy mat —- all you need is your body, some instruction, and the time to concentrate and become a little more in tune with yourself and your body. If you're new to yoga, it's important to get guidance from a professional, so you lower your risk of hurting yourself; however, there are plenty of free podcasts and YouTube videos available online, as well as books you can get at the library to help you get started on your journey.
7. Get Your Needle And Thread Out
8. Use Your Computer For Good
My computer is pretty much used exclusively for work (and Netflix), but plenty of folks use their computers for their hobbies as well. It's free to learn how to code and how to program, and you can do it right at home (or, depending on system requirements, at your local library, a college campus, your friend's house, etc.). There are also awesome groups that work to get women and minorities into programming, because seriously — whoever says girls can't code has no idea what they're talking about.
9. Learn Another Language
10. Get Out Your Chef's Hat and Apron
Everybody's gotta eat. Even if you're someone who loves takeout and going out to the newest restaurants, though, it can still be a fun (and money-saving) habit to start cooking as a hobby. Personally, I prefer baking to cooking, because I find it relaxing and a good way to focus my mind when I'm feeling overwhelmed by other things, but cooking can do the same thing: Either way, you're following a set of instructions that all come together to make a dish you can serve to a partner, your friends, or use for your lunches for the week. If you're low on supplies and kitchen equipment, you can always check out sites like Amazon, Ebay, and even local consignment and thrift shops to get started.