Advertising
Advertising

20 Affordable Hobbies To Enrich Your Life

20 Affordable Hobbies To Enrich Your Life

We all need a hobby. It’s what gets us out of the house, and whether it is stamp collecting or paragliding, everyone loves to escape from the humdrum of work and let their mind escape into something they love.

But of course it’s not always feasible to do the things we love. It’s impossible to be a skiing fanatic living in Texas, without travelling thousands of miles and spending hundreds of dollars to touch the snow. Just as you’re going to have to spend hundreds to even reach China before playing the tables of Macau.

But never fear, you can find viable alternatives, and they won’t break the bank either. Below, you’ll find 20 hobbies we have compiled to keep you busy while not going broke.

Physically and Mentally Active Hobbies

1. Indoor Skiing

Of course we’ll start with all those skiing fans. The skis themselves will set you back upwards of $700 and that’s without boots, salopettes, jackets, and slope fees, but you can enjoy your hobby for much, much less. Ski hire is the obvious option, while you don’t have to travel to the Alps to enjoy a black run, but rather visit your nearest dry or indoor slope.

There are hundreds across the world, from Dubai, to Manchester, to Lynchburg, Virginia with facilities for both boarding and skiing, alongside ski hire and plenty of classes so you can learn to cut through the snow with not a flake in sight.

2. Rock Climbing Inside

Like snow, mountains are not easy to find – particularly ones that are safe to climb. But climbing centers? Well, they’re a little easier. Of course you don’t get the stunning views, but you also don’t have to brave the elements either.

You can stay dry and wind-chill free while sampling lead climbing, boldering, and top roping without the need for specialty shoes, which alone can retail up to $250. This is in addition to the savings you enjoy from not having to purchase a rope, harnesses, and other protective gear.

Not only is a climbing center a great place to develop a hobby, but also the perfect location to keep in practice between trips away to the mountains.

rock climbing

    3. Yoga and Meditation

    Not only are yoga and meditation hobbies that will improve your physical and mental fitness, but they can also be practiced with little investment. Knowledge and time are all that are required to learn the fundamental basics of each, while you may also need to purchase a simple, $20 yoga mat to optimize comfort during daily workouts.

    These disciplines have a noticeable impact on your outlook and physical well-being, making them enjoyable and soothing past-times that actively improve your quality of life.

    4. Hike and Ramble in the Great Outdoors

    There are numerous types of cardiovascular activities, and your preferred option will depend a great deal on your level of fitness. Less intense forms of cardio are often considered to be gentle and recreational past-times, with hiking a relevant example.

    Advertising

    Simply by investing in an affordable pair of hiking boots and independent layers of clothing, you can tackle some of the UK’s most picturesque and challenging trails at your leisure. This can cost as little as $100, depending on your existing clothing and the footwear that you own.

    Chamonix Hiking View of Valley

      5. Jogging in your Local Park

      In the UK market, the cost of joining a gym can vary between £50 and £60 per month nationwide. Those who select a daily membership plan can pay as much as £5 per day, and regardless of your preferred option you will be required to pay a considerable sum over the course of a year.

      Gym membership is not a pre-requisite of a healthy lifestyle, and those who wish to remain active in their leisure time should instead consider jogging at their local park. This is far more effective and even more challenging than using a treadmill, while your body also benefits from an intake of fresh air and running along variable terrain.

      6. Volunteer

      If you are keen to develop your philosophical outlook and learn by embracing new cultures, you may want to consider volunteering your time to participate in a host of overseas projects. Western nations like the US and UK offer a wide variety of overseas community programs, with the latter’s government currently managing an estimated 150 projects across 25 countries all over the world.

      This can help you to further your personal development, expand your mind and discover a purpose without having to spend heavily or outside of your means.

      Online Hobbies

      7. Online Gaming

      The same principle of fees can be applied to bricks and mortar casinos, which often charge a premium for membership, drinks and food. While you won’t find the glamour of Las Vegas and Macau anywhere else in the world, you can still enjoy the thrill of the green felt with relative ease.

      Whether you’re a high roller or just learning the game, you could visit your local casino, or better still, fire up your laptop and bring the casino to you. Playing a few rounds in an online casino has become incredibly popular over the last few years with the likes of Full Tilt dealing to millions of members.

      You can play roulette, blackjack, and poker without even booking a flight to McCarran, and better still you don’t even have to play for real money. Practice your craft before playing for real stakes, and you never know – you might build up a bankroll big enough to get you to the Bellagio.

      Casino

        8. Social Gaming

        If your preference is for traditional video gaming, you may very well balk at the cost of individual platforms and titles. If you are willing to swap your console for the type of social gaming experiences available online and through your mobile devices, however, you will be pleasantly surprised to find a diverse and thrilling range of titles.

        These can often be accessed for free through either social media outlets or mobile app stores, and you retain the autonomy to decide how and when you spend your money during game play. Players usually have the choice to progress through levels either by paying real world money or completing in-game challenges, and those who are willing to invest time into the endeavor can access titles regularly with a minimal investment.

        Advertising

        9. Blogging

        While Google’s aggressive drive to improve the quality of online content may have made it increasingly difficult to earn a lucrative living out of blogging, this remains a cost-effective and potentially satisfying past-time that enables you to indulge your creative side. This is especially true for those with a flair for website design, as broad templates and domain names can be purchased for a minimal cost before being transformed into a responsive and attractive blog.

        Not only does blogging represent a cost-effective hobby that exercises your creativity, but it can also deliver some remuneration in terms of paid advertisements and sponsored posts once your blog has been established.

        10. Sell Unwanted Goods Online

        On a similar note, embracing e-commerce and selling goods online also represents an affordable and engaging hobby that can also deliver a financial return.

        It is also relatively easy, as you simply need to register an account on e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon, before listing your items and completing transactions. The main benefit of this hobby is that it can consume as much or as little of your time as you want, while costs can be kept to a minimum if you simply choose to sell recycled or second-hand goods.

        You can also easily scale your e-commerce operation over time, although it is important to retain a keen sense of perspective and enjoyment when selling items online.

        ecommerce (1)

          11. Online Community Projects

          As we can see, the thrift market has exploded recently, thanks primarily to a combination of increased environmental awareness and a gradual fall in the average rate of disposable income. Beyond creating an opportunity to save and make money, however, the burgeoning online thrift market has also developed entire communities of people who wish to share and swap items in the local area.

          Take Freecycle, for example, which represents a non-profit movement that promotes the virtues of reusing and recycling unwanted items. Participating in such a community movement can be extremely worthwhile, as it occupies your time and also enables you to make a positive contribution to the environment.

          12. Trace your Ancestry

          As of late, software and websites have been developed to help individuals trace their family history back to its origins. This has emerged as something of a hobby for some, especially those with a thoughtful nature and an innate passion for history.

          The growing interest in genealogy underlines how engrossing this past-time can be, while there are also a rising number of online communities that can help you to trace your family history and indulge your passion. This is also extremely affordable, with outlets such as Ancestry.com offering competitive rates and membership discounts.

          13. Connect with an Online Pen-pal

          The online revolution and the development of remote communication techniques has made it possible to connect with people regardless of their geographical location. This has revolutionized traditional hobbies like connecting with an international pen-pal, as this is now more affordable, and enables you to connect with these individuals in real time.

          While you may be able to cut costs by saving money on stamps and stationary, you will need to identify viable websites through which you can connect with like-minded pen-pals. This enables you to identify free or low-cost resources, while also targeting individuals with similar interests.

          Advertising

          Arts and Craft Hobbies

          15. Create Personalized Travel Mementos

          Regardless of how or where you travel, it is nice to keep mementos that fill you with warm and pleasant recollections of your adventures. The only issue with this is the cost of traditional souvenirs, which are often sold at a premium to capitalize on the lucrative tourism market.

          You can create your own mementos for a relative pittance, however, while also developing a passion for art and photography. Simply by enlarging your photographs and transforming them into beautiful canvases, you can enrich the visual appeal of your home while also creating low-cost and everlasting memories of your many travels.

          16. Knitting and Crocheting

          Knitting and crocheting have to be two of the cheapest and most versatile of hobbies. You can pick up knitting needles, crochet hooks and all kinds of wool from most craft supply, thrift and charity stores.

          What’s more, if you cannot quite find the color that you like, you can always dye it yourself using Kool Aid. You can then weave the wool into pretty much anything – clothes, decor for your home or even toys.

          The best part is that you can find a whole host of free patterns on knitting forums on the internet, or commit to an affordable monthly subscription with a crafts magazine that supplies materials and inspiration.

          Knitting-51

            17. Embroidery

            Once you have knitted or woven fabrics into garments and accessories, you may want to embellish them with needle, thread and yarn. This is a past-time known commonly as embroidery, and it is renowned as an extremely affordable and enjoyable hobby.

            Embroidery is the process of decorating fabric with colored threads and patterns, although it can also incorporate materials like metal strips, pearls, beads and even sequins. It is most commonly used on clothing and garments, and those with a passion for this past-time can reduce costs by embellishing their existing clothes to create a unique new look.

            A basic sewing kit can cost as little as $15, while yarn can be purchased in bulk from thrift or charity shops for just a few dollars.

            Multicolored-embroidey

              18. Upcycle

              Upcycling is an excellent and thrifty hobby to undertake because you can get started simply with the materials and DIY tools that you already have at home. You can pretty much transform anything, including mirrors, dressers, television cabinets or cupboards.

              It is amazing how simply adding a lick of paint, some new handles or even a little stenciling can give an old piece of furniture a whole new life. As your confidence grows you could even try combing furniture to alter its use and create something unique.

              Advertising

              Your imagination and sense of adventure really is the limit to what you can achieve, while you can also use your passion to participate in upcycling business start-up and non-profit collaborations.

              19. Origami

              Learning the art of origami, the ancient Chinese paper craft, is another versatile hobby that you can do anywhere. And you don’t even need to devote considerable amounts of time or money to it.

              You can pick up the basics in an hour or two using an online tutorial on YouTube or in a book borrowed from library. You can then go on to fold and crease paper into all sorts of wonderful creations that can be used to amuse, decorate or even store your household items safely and securely.

              An engrossing and low-cost hobby, origami can also wow others and become a unique party trick.

              origami-decorations-3

                20. Loom Weaving

                Despite its recent popularization in modern culture, loom weaving is not just for kids. It is also a relatively ancient art. These versatile little loops are also extremely versatile, and can be weaved into pretty much anything, not just bands.

                Patterns are available on the internet for how to weave them into rings to wear, sleeves to decorate the arms on your glasses, toy animals or even clothes. They come in a huge array of colors, including some that are quite luminous, and they are even available in glow in the dark, so there is enough diversity to interest those with a real passion for arts and crafts.

                20. Decoupage

                Decoupage is a deceptively easy and diverse craft, and one that some have turned into a visually stunning art-form. It is also extremely engaging and affordable, as you can simply utilize colorful tissue paper that has either been discarded or left at the back of your cupboards.

                By cutting this fabric into a host of shapes and decorating it, you can create everything from a trinket box cover to a unique piece of artwork.

                decoupage-techniques-8

                  Featured photo credit: Freelance it Labs via freelanceitlab.com

                  More by this author

                  10 Reasons A Long-Distance Relationship Will Work 12 iPhone 6 Tricks You Probably Don’t Know But Should We Are Often Confused Empathy With Sympathy but What’s The Difference Actually? To Make Wise Decisions, Ask Yourself These Questions Every Time No Matter What You Say, the First Thing People Pay Attention to Is Only How You Say It

                  Trending in Lifestyle

                  1 How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind 2 7 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout 3 30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life 4 Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally) 5 10 Best Therapy Apps to Better Your Mental Health Anywhere

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                  I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                  If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                  1. The Inner Critic

                  This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                  • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                  The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                  Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                  2. The Worrier

                  This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                  The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                  Advertising

                  3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                  This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                  This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                  The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                  The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                  How can you control these squatters?

                  How to Master Your Mind

                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                  1. For the Inner Critic

                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                  Advertising

                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                  This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                  • They rile up the Worrier.
                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                  Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                  2. For the Worrier

                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tense

                  Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                  Advertising

                  Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                  For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                  Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                  3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                  Breathe in through your nose:

                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                  Breathe out through your nose:

                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

                  Advertising

                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                  4. For the Sleep Depriver

                  (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                  2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                  From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                  • Shut down your thinking
                  • Calm your feelings
                  • Simply focus on the present moment

                  The Bottom Line

                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

                  More About Mental Strength

                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                  Read Next