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If your lifestyle leaves you with a lot of spare time or you know that you’ve got a gap in your calendar coming up, you may be thinking about taking up an exciting new hobby.
The trouble is, many of the new-fangled interests that are available today cost a lot of money to pursue. Whether it’s drone photography or scuba diving lessons, there are some hobbies that require deep pockets to start or progress beyond the novice stages.
Thankfully, there are some very rewarding pastimes out there that cost very little to start or even master. To help you out, we’ve decided to share our five favourites so that you can learn a new skill without having to break the bank. Read on to discover more.
If you are looking to take up a hobby that will also get you in great shape, you’ll be glad to know you don’t need to sign your life away to a monthly gym membership to do so.
Running is an activity that is free, where you can explore the world and get plenty of fresh air. There may be the initial purchase of some proper running shoes if you don’t have them, but there is no sustained cost to be paid and no limit to how often you can enjoy the activity.
There are also some freebies that can help you get started too, such as apps like the NHS’s Couch to 5K, which gives you a structured and easy-to-follow programme for improving your stamina and pace over a number of weeks. Another is the Parkrun initiative, which is a nationwide network of local 5km timed runs that anyone can sign up and participate in for free — they even have a handy event map so you can find one near you.
Learning a new language is a great way to engage your brain while learning a new skill that could become incredibly practical in the future. Being multilingual is not just skill to impress the waiter when you order food on your next holiday, it is something that could enhance your career or give you the freedom to explore parts of the world you couldn’t previously.
Banish all thought of expensive language tutors or costly distance learning courses, as there is a whole range of low-to-no-cost resources that can help you to develop your ability. One of these is Duolingo, a completely free app that specialises in building vocabulary in languages like Spanish, French, and German, among many others. There are also a plethora of YouTube channels that allow you to listen to native speakers and improve your pronunciation — Languagesurfer has kindly rounded up 30 of the best to get you started.
There are many perks to taking up gardening, and one of those is that it is a cost-effective hobby to pursue. Not only are seeds and the basic tools not very expensive, but if you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you could shave a large chunk of cash off your shopping bill too.
Alongside the financial pluses, there are also the benefits to your health — eating all those greens will improve your diet, while getting outdoors and rooting around in the soil is also a great source of exercise, particularly if you are older or less mobile than you used to be.
Many people get put off gardening because they think that you have to know your plants to really get anything out of it. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as there are many simple pleasures you can enjoy from day one. There is also plenty of great help out there to too, such as Wyevale Garden Centre’s advice hub, which contains plenty of great guides and how-to articles that can walk a beginner through the gardening basics.
They say that everyone has got a novel in them, and while this may not quite be true, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a go yourself. Being able to write is a great skill to have in your locker, and you can develop other related abilities, such as researching, reading, and critical thinking just by practicing it on a regular basis.
The beauty of writing is the freedom it allows you to create what you want, whether it is non-fiction, fantasy, or even just getting your thoughts down on the page. It also helps that it can be completely free too — all you really need is a pen, some paper, and your own brain. If you were to come up with the next bestselling book along the way, it could even net you a small fortune!
Like gardening, baking is a very rewarding hobby once you master the basics, and it won’t cost you much to get started either. Assuming you have access to an oven, the initial equipment and ingredients can be acquired for a fairly low price, allowing you to get started without having to invest too much money. Free recipes are also in plentiful supply online, with resources like the BBC’s Good Food hosting the blueprints for many tantalising treats that are just waiting to be made.
Although you might start practicing the art of baking alone, it might well win you plenty of friends in the long run. Once people get a taste for your creations, they will look forward to the next time they get to sample them, which makes baking a worthwhile hobby just to see the delighted expressions on your friends’ faces. If you have children or grandchildren, you can get them involved too — working together in the kitchen is a great family bonding activity, one which they are sure to love. So, there you have it — five great hobbies that won’t cost the earth. The next time you find yourself pondering what to do, remember this article and you will never be bored again.