11 Hobbies You Can Start For Cheap, According To Reddit
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
Whether it's something you do on a weekly basis or just once in a while, it's an awesome hobby to hang out with animals. Even if you can't adopt a new furry friend or foster a pet in need, it's hugely helpful just to go and spend time with shelter animals. Human interaction can better prepare them for when they transition into their forever homes, as well as lower their anxiety and bring them comfort in the present. Studies show that spending time with animals benefits humans, as well, so everybody wins.
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
If its popularity on streaming services is anything to go by, pretty much everyone loves stand-up comedy — so why not sign yourself up for an open mic night and take the plunge in front of a group of stranngers? OK, so, you might bomb the first few times (or all the times), but you also might gain some new skills and confidence. And hey, who doesn't love to laugh? Bring some friends, bring your parents, bring your neighbor, or go solo — but get out there and practice your best material. You might even get paid for it!
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
If you're anything like me, you always get super excited when a new moon passes through or something awesome happens with meteors... Only to end up sleeping through it. But if you take on astronomy as a hobby, you can get up to snuff and not miss out on the amazing things that happen in our universe on a nightly basis. Download a monthly star chart, go grab some free books from the library, and get yourself outside at night and take in all the beauty up in the sky.
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
I've found that I'm terrible at sewing the handful of times I've tried it out before myself, but so many Redditors are in love with cross stitching I might just give it another try. While you do need to pick up some materials to cross stitch, you can get them pretty cheap at a local craft or arts store. You can also download patterns for free online. And hey, now your holidays gifts are all set for next year, right?
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
Even if you've forgotten everything you learned in high school Latin, you can still learn a new language for free. There are loads of awesome websites and apps that let you practice learning a language out there; you can even join meetup groups that help you meet new people who are willing to do language exchanges for free. The gist? Basically you help someone who is learning your language in exchange for them helping you learn their language. Cool, right?
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.
11. Game Your Heart Out
It's true: While gaming can be a really expensive hobby, it's also possible to game totally for free. There are a ton of free games available online: Things you can either download or stream, and that you can play solo or with your friends. Games can be a great way to release stress and unwind after a long day, as well as a good way to keep your mind sharp and learn new skills. Gaming can also open you up to a great sense of community.
Be sure to check out the full thread over at AskReddit!
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