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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.

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    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.

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        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.

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          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.

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              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

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                  Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                  13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                  13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                  Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                  Why is this so critically important to you?

                  The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                  Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                  1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                  Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                  When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                  • The man facing the judge.
                  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                  These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                  Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                  Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                  2. Accept Your Fear

                  Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                  We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                  And here’s what can be done.

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                  3. Get Some Perspective

                  I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                  And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                  That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                  We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                  So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                  • Are you really at risk?
                  • Will this kill you?
                  • Which leads us on to..
                  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                  4. Hold a Hand

                  As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                  Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                  We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                  Ask yourself:

                  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                  • Could that really happen?
                  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                  By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                  5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                  This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                  Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                  The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                  It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                  For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                  Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                  6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                  I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                  Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                  Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                  Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                  Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                  Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                  7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                  Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                  I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                  It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                  One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                  Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                  It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                  8. Assume the Worse

                  If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                  Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                  And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                  When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                  Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                  9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                  If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                  Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                  Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                  10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                  One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                  11. Go with Fear

                  When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                  I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                  Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                  One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                  However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                  We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                  12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                  And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                  The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                  What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                  13. Own Your Fear

                  Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                  We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                  You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                  More Resources About Fighting Fear

                  Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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