When creating a budget, hobbies can seem like a waste of money. Most people forgo hobbies as they are not budget friendly; to save more money every month, but having one can improve your quality of life and keep you motivated to reach your financial goals.
The question is, how do you start a hobby when you don’t have the money for it? This post will show you how to budget for a hobby and ten budget-friendly activities you can take up that won’t ruin your saving plans.
Why is it Important to Have Strong Hobbies?
Hobbies are usually the first thing to get cut from the budget when we’re saving, but there are some important reasons why it’s important to have them.
Improves your physical health
If you take up a physical hobby, it’ll have measurable benefits on your health. Jogging, walking, dancing, and skipping all help lower blood pressure, lose weight, strengthen bones, and increase overall energy levels.
Boosts mental and emotional health
It’s not just our physical health that benefits either; our mental and emotional wellbeing can benefit from hobbies. Whether they’re physical or creative, hobbies help relieve stress and help reduce anxiety.
Helps us make new friends
Hobbies are also a great way to socialize and meet new people. As adults, it’s tough making new friends and expanding our social circles. But you’ll often find groups in your community that you can join and share your new passion.
Boosts our creativity
If you don’t have a creative outlet at work, a hobby is a great way to ignite a new passion and inspire creativity. Painting, drawing, crafting, and making can all train our brains to become more creative in other areas of our lives.
Lets us work on self-improvement
Having a hobby is also an opportunity to improve ourselves and work towards goals. This gives a great sense of satisfaction and improves confidence levels, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.
How to Budget For Your Hobbies
If you’re already on a tight budget, it’s important to be realistic about your hobby budget. As a general rule, you shouldn’t spend more than 5-10% of your take-home pay on hobbies and recreational activities.
That means if you bring home $3500 a month, you should only spend around $175 to $350 on your hobbies.
Of course, this is just a general rule, and you need to work out how much money you can comfortably set aside for this category in your budget.
Set up a sinking fund
Set up a separate savings account for your hobby once you’ve figured out how much you can spend every month. This will be a sinking fund that you put money in every month.
It’s called a sinking fund because it might not get used every month, and there’s no end goal to the savings. However, you can only use what’s in this account for your hobbies.
10 Low-Budget Hobbies to Consider
If you’re struggling to allocate any money toward a new hobby, there are plenty of low-budget options you can start with. These hobbies won’t cost much and might just become your new passion.
The main cost involved with hiking is a decent pair of hiking boots. But once you have those, it’s a cheap hobby. No matter where you live, there will be local hiking trails you can try out.
Start with short, local routes to get used to it, and then work up to more difficult hikes in your area. By staying local, you reduce your costs but still get the opportunity to explore and get into nature.
9. Running or jogging
There are tons of free online running plans for people of all ages. Whether you jog around your local park or neighborhood, this is a low-cost hobby that does wonders for your physical and mental health.
Try choosing a local fun run or half-marathon in your area as a goal. This will help you stick to a jogging plan, and you might even be able to raise some money for a local charity in the process.
Gone are the days of needing a professional camera to take up photography as a hobby. Most smartphones have incredible cameras that can take unbelievable photos.
Whether you want to photograph landmarks, animals, or portraits, you can get started immediately with no training and learn as you go. There are even dozens of free photo editing apps to take advantage of.
Many people think baking is an expensive hobby that needs a lot of equipment and fancy ingredients to get started. But you can start baking with simple ingredients and some essentials you probably already have in your cupboards.
Plus, if you discover a real passion for baking, it’s easy to turn it into a side hustle. You can make extra cash selling your cakes and fresh homemade bread locally at markets and in local stores.
Inexpensive yarns cost around $3 a pack, and knitting needles are equally affordable. For under $10, you could take up knitting and de-stress with a calming, creative new hobby. Just be prepared to start knitting everyone you know wooly hats and scarves when they see how beautiful your creations are.
Camping is another hobby that many people think is expensive to take up, but you can be ready to go on a weekend with a few basics.
Start by finding some second-hand camping equipment on local marketplaces and choose a local spot to save on traveling. The whole idea is to get back into nature, so the fewer supplies, the better.
Planning a camping trip is a great way to de-stress and explore new places for a fraction of the cost of booking hotels.
This is another opportunity to make some cash with a low-budget hobby. Head to a charity shop or Facebook marketplace to find low-cost furniture, and flip it for a profit.
All you need is some furniture paint and basic supplies to get started. And if you’re good, you can easily start making money by turning old, forgotten furniture into modern, loved pieces.
Free treasure hunts but for adults? If you’re outdoorsy, it doesn’t get much better. Geocaching involves using GPS and clues to find hidden treasures placed around the country by other Geocachers.
Your adventures will take you all over the place, but it doesn’t cost anything to get involved. Simply find a group or online community to sign up, and you can get started.
2. Learn Sign Language
This one is totally free, and you could start today. Learning a new language is a fantastic way to spend your time, and it’s easy to start learning sign language using free YouTube videos.
You’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment learning a new language, and you never know when this skill could come in handy.
1. Start a Vlog
If you have a skill you could share with others, why not turn it into a vlog? With a little time and effort, you can turn a YouTube or TikTok channel into a profitable side hustle and get paid to do something you love.
No matter how strict your current budget is, there is no reason you can’t have a hobby you enjoy to enrich your life. Many of the ones mentioned here are free, and even with a very tiny monthly budget, you could find something that you love to do.
With a little time and effort, you could even turn your low-budget hobby into a side hustle and get a little extra cash to help fund the rest of your life.