25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10


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.

1. Exercise

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.

3. Write

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!

4. Blog

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 of playing lead.

10. Take Up Gardening

It's never too early to plan for your garden. If you start now, it doesn't need to cost you a whole lot, either. Head to your local library or purchase your own copy of Square Foot Gardening. Once you've drafted a loose plan, order seeds. DollarSeed boasts that you can order non-GMO and heirloom seeds for as little as $1 per pack.

The bonus here is that you can hopefully enjoy the fruits of your labor with some cheap food once everything grows.

11. Practice Cooking and Baking

Even if you don't want to grow your own food, you can still cook and bake for a hobby (and for your everyday life). You don't need to spend more than you're already putting out for your groceries each week. Consult that cookbook that's been sitting on your bookshelf for several years or pick one up at the library.

And if you don't want to buy specific ingredients, use what you have on hand! Sites like SuperCook give you tons of recipes you can search by the ingredients you already have in your pantry.

12. Become a Juggler

Join the other 2.4 million people who have watched this video on how to juggle on YouTube. You can snag an inexpensive set of three juggling balls for less than $6 on Amazon.

13. Enjoy Some Adult Coloring Books

De-stress and express yourself through coloring. By now, you may have seen all the awesome adult coloring books floating around everywhere. In fact, you can even get some cool ones on the cheap at the Dollar Store. Consider investing in some nice colored pencils that give you a variety of shades from which to choose.

14. Try Drawing

Rather not color inside the lines? Drawing is another free activity you can try. Even kids can get in on the action. My five-year-old daughter loves following along with different projects on Art for Kids Hub.

15. Try Knitting

If making a scarf sounds appealing to you, take a few bucks to your nearest craft store and pick up supplies to start knitting. A basic pair of knitting needles may cost you as little as $4. Yarn ranges in price depending on material, but acrylic is great to learn on and won't set you back more than a couple dollars. You can find many tutorials and patterns online for free.

The same goes with many other crafts. Here's a tip: Before driving to the store to pick up supplies, check online to see if there are any coupons. Many chains, like Michael's and A.C. Moore offer regular coupons for 40% off.

16. Play Games

Like playing games? Grab your chess board or deck of cards from the closet and enjoy with a friend. It's that simple. If you cannot find someone to play with you, consider heading online to a site like Addicting Games, where you can engage in either solo or multiplayer games for free.

17. Go Hiking

The great outdoors is calling you. Slip on some sturdy shoes and go for a hike. This is another one of those hobbies that you can do with others in a club (just search your area calendar). The American Hiking Society has all sorts of information that can help you get started — including volunteer opportunities that may land you free vacations with like-minded naturalists.

18. Go Camping

Camping is a wonderful way to take a trip somewhere beautiful without going broke. Spend some time planning now for a great summer adventure. Staying a week is only $160 at various National Parks throughout the United States.

19. Try Volunteering

You can also take up helping others for a new and rewarding hobby. Ask around to find good opportunities in your area. The church down the street from us has a soup kitchen every Friday, for example. Or check out sites like Volunteer Match to find open spots online.

20. Get Couponing

Why not save money in the new year with a couponing habit? All it has to cost you is the price of a Sunday paper. Or maybe less! There are also several apps that show price-matching and price comparisons at multiple stores at once. (See also: The 10 Best Couponing Apps)

21. Practice Yoga or Meditation

One of my goals for the new year is to center myself. I run on a very nervous energy level. Yoga and meditation can help with that. Both involve deep breathing. And both are easy and free to begin at home. Yoga with Adriene is my favorite spot to find a variety of calming moves for zero dollars. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has a good number of free guided meditations and visualization exercises.

22. Become a History Buff

I've become obsessed with Broadway's Hamilton. Not just the musical, either. I've spent hours researching George Washington and the other founding fathers. The best part? I can do all this sleuthing around for free. Think of a historical figure, a period of time, or issue that interests you. Then search the Internet or your local library to find out more.

For a more passive immersion, consider browsing documentaries on Netflix or Hulu and making a gigantic queue of the ones that interest you. Or check out Drunk History, also on Hulu.

23. Read More Books

Reading is free activity — at least if you have a library card — but it takes motivation. Consider writing out a list of a book to read each month to keep yourself in motion. You may even try starting a theme-based book club with your friends. Set a time to meet, write up the reading list, and read. Then rotate who hosts the book discussion each month (and be sure to involve lots of tasty treats and good beverages).

24. Try Some Upcycling DIY Projects

Click over to Pinterest and find an unlimited number of do-it-yourself projects you can finish by upcycling your old stuff. We have a great list of 18 awesome, practically free upcycled craft projects to get you inspired.

25. Learn a New Language

A friend of mine spent last winter visiting her grandmother each week for Italian language lessons. She learned how to say hello, thank you, and a host of other practical phrases — and got some quality time with her beloved Nonna to boot.

If you don't know anyone who speaks another language, you can also check out sites like Duolingo to learn online for free.

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