Exploring new hobbies and pastimes is a great way to feel better about yourself, develop new skills, and meet new people. Don’t want to break the bank? You don’t have to! Here’s a long list of engaging, satisfying activities you can begin this year without spending much money. Most will set you back a mere $5 to $10. Better yet, a good majority of these activities are absolutely free.
Getting fit is a common resolution each year. Make it your new go-to hobby to keep yourself more accountable. You can walk or run today for free. All you really need is to dust off that pair of athletic shoes in the back of your closet.
Not the running type? Head over to Fitness Blender for a wealth of free online workouts you can do in the comfort of your own living room.
2. Join a Sports Team
Working out solo might not be your style. Check around to find out what local sports leagues or teams meet in your area. My neighbor spends her summers running the fields with an adult soccer team that costs very little to join. I used to attempt to spike in the sand in a free beach volleyball group a few years ago.
You can browse sites like Sportsvite to find teams in your area.
Do you have a story you’re just waiting to tell the world? Try writing it down instead of running it over in your head. You can get into a writing habit by taking as little as 10 minutes each day to peck out a few sentences on your keyboard or in a notebook.
Need more motivation? Check your local calendar to see if there are any nearby writing groups that meet on a regular basis. Or create your own!
I’ve been blogging for over 10 years now. It’s my main hobby, and it even turned into a part-time career. All you need is access to a computer and a free account at a site like Blogger. If you’re having trouble getting started, try first brainstorming a few topics you’d like to cover. Do you want to share recipes? Your thoughts on current events? Experiment to see what gets your creative juices flowing, then push “Publish,” even if it’s only for your friends to read.
5. Try Vlogging
Similar to blogging, vlogging lets you share with the world in a very personal way. You can sign up on YouTube for a free account before you film yourself. You don’t need fancy recording equipment, either. Many phones have built-in video these days. YouTube features very basic editing tools as well.
6. Practice Photography
Speaking of phones — many of them also have built-in cameras that would put old point-and-shoots to shame. In other words: You don’t need a DSLR to learn how to take gorgeous photos. The iPhone Photography School has tons of free videos with all sorts of tips and tricks.
7. Play a Musical Instrument or Sing
I resurrected my singing pipes a few years ago by joining the women’s chorus in my neighborhood. A few years before that, I spent a few bucks getting my violin refurbished from my high school years to sit in the community orchestra.
If you don’t have an instrument at home already, consider asking a friend or relative if you can borrow theirs. My husband learned to play guitar last year by using my brother’s spare guitar and watching tutorial videos he found online. You can also contact a local music shop to ask about rental prices.
8. Listen to Music
Don’t have time to join a group? That’s just fine and dandy. Why not listen to more music instead? I don’t like to brag, but I can rap just like Daveed Diggs through Hamilton‘s “Guns and Ships.” Switch on YouTube or Pandora or your radio to get free access to music right now.
9. Join Community Theater
Find out when your neighborhood’s theater group is holding auditions for its next show. I just typed “community theater in my area” into Google and — within seconds — found the website for two local companies that cost nothing to join.
Never acted in a play before? Don’t fret. There are often lots of “extras” in shows, so you don’t have to worry about the pressure…