Fun Frugal Hobbies You Can Do Whilst On Your Debt Free Journey
When you are paying off debt, starting on a frugal or minimalistic lifestyle for whichever reason, you will find that you need to cut down on - or cut out completely - the activities that you currently do. The 'normal' things to do are to pay for entertainment, such as clothes shopping as a pastime, cinema trips, nights out in town every weekend, etc etc.
When you sit down and work out your budget, you may notice that there is a huge spending category for entertainment type things, and because you are committed to your new journey, you want to cut it all out. This is commendable, but the problem comes that when we make such a drastic lifestyle change it can be easy to fall back into old habits.
An example can be when people who wish to quit smoking decide to go cold turkey one day - some find this easy to do, but others massively struggle and slip back into their smoking habit again. There is no shame in taking things slowly, at your own pace, so that you are able to control the urges and flex that willpower muscle.
When you have no money, whether that be for the positive lifestyle changes mentioned above, or because you have no spare money after paying your bills each month, you may find yourself with nothing to do. I've been in this situation myself, and it's horrible. You watch your friends and peers go out and have loads of fun, they perhaps have a lot more money than you and it's easy for them to spend their cash on whatever they want without having to worry about it.
From my personal experience, one of the worst things that you can do is to allow yourself no money for yourself - I'm a firm believer that you need to find out what is important for you, and spend your money on that. I don't mean going and buying a brand new Range Rover because you think it will make you happy, but cutting back on everything and working out what you miss, and what makes your life a happier place.
With that in mind, I also recommend finding a cheap - or free - hobby that will keep you enjoying yourself, and busy enough to not head to the shops and buy the entire contents of Aisle 4!
There are so many different things that you can do, I personally play hockey which I absolutely love. I've done it for years but when I was in a bad place financially I didn't play for about 5 years, and I regret that so much. Now that I am back doing it I feel so happy. It's the one place where I feel truly myself, and I forget about all of the worries that float around my head 24/7.
There are a lot of expensive hobbies out there, but there are also a lot of budget ones as well, which I hope will bring you some enjoyment whilst you are on this lifestyle change.
Play a Sport
I had to start with this one, because it's my personal favourite, and one that I am always bugging people to do! There are usually some costs involved in playing a sport, but they are quite minimal, depending on which sport you are playing. For example if you started netball there wouldn't be a lot of costs. With hockey the additional things you would need would be things like a hockey stick, shin pads, gum shield etc.
The reason that I advocate starting a sport so much as well as the low cost, is the social side of it. Within my hockey club there are 3 teams (I'm in the 1st team), so there are a bunch of people that I get to see every week and socialise with. I'm very lucky because they are all the nicest people ever, and I look forward to seeing them for a minimum of 2 days a week.
There are loads of sports that can appeal to different people and abilities (you don't have to be amazing, when we all start a new sport we are all terrible, so don't worry about that!) - such as hockey, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball etc.
You will have to look into each sport to find out the individual costs as they will be different for each sport and each club. With hockey I also have to pay an annual membership of £35 (this is for insurance etc), and match fees which are £3 per match (I have a student discount). I've played at a club before where the fees were £10 per match, so it's worth checking these things.
I know a few people who love to do this as a pastime, and the added benefit to this is that it's so good for you. It's proven that being out in nature is good for our mental wellbeing as well as the physical benefits.
You could visit The National Trails website which have guides on the best walking trails in England and Wales. Alternatively, you could also try cycling - there's something so lovely about a bike ride on a summers day.
I'm a big advocate of reading - I believe that it's important for stretching our imagination, empathy and also improve our grammar and language. I've always been a fan of reading personally, because I love being transported into another world just by reading a book.
If you head on down to your local library, you will be able to check the books out for free (just make sure that you return them on time!). There aren't just fiction books either - but a ton of non-fiction ones as well such as cookbooks, gardening, beauty etc.
Colouring isn't just for kids you know! There is a reason why there has been a big increase in adult only colouring books - it's so therapeutic. It has been shown that adult colouring leads to less anxiety and helps to regain focus. Sounds good to me!
There are lots of adult colouring books available - check out these ones.
This is one of my favourite hobbies of all time, and I think that it always will be! There are many benefits to blogging, such as creative relief (writing), socialising (ok, mainly online but you can move this to real life friendships too), and the ability to make some extra money too.
When looking for a hobby to do, it's definitely worth looking for one that has the potential to make you some money on the side too - it's a win-win! There are blogs that you can start for free, such as on Blogger, but you can start one up like mine for just a few pounds a month anyway, and you can use it to make extra cash, if that's what you want to do.
You can help people with your blog, as people like to read about others experiences in similar situations, to see how they have handled it and know that they are not alone e.g. paying off debt, having children etc. It's a great place to keep a record of your life, and you can look back fondly on it in the future.
Have you heard of this before? The definition on Wikipedia is - "also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value."
This is a great little hobby to have, because it keeps you busy, there is always stuff available (for example things that people are just throwing away), you could create some new furniture or similar for yourself for free/cheap, and you could even sell it on.
I've seen loads of people doing up cycling and they really enjoy doing it - and many people sell the items on, or keep them for themselves. I especially see this a lot from people who have started an extreme frugal lifestyle. There are plenty of videos on Youtube, sites with it on (check out Pinterest for ideas!) and Facebook groups.
Start a Youtube Channel/Vlogging
This isn't reserved only for those who have blogs or who are celebrities - there are more and more people making a living off creating videos for Youtube. Once you have received 10,000 lifetime views on your channel you are then able to turn on the monetisation option - where you can then earn money from ads shown.
If you have a browse on Youtube, you will find that it is not only songs that are on there - but tons and tons of different types of content, and various people are making a lot of money off it. I have seen people with channels about personal finance, who don't have a blog but just a Youtube channel and perhaps some other social channels, and they earn decent money from it.
I personally watch music videos on Youtube, but I also watch ASMR videos to relax too - and they are incredibly popular with other people as well. You don't even need to have ASMR to provide these kind of videos. As long as you work hard on your content, you will be able to earn money and hopefully help people as well.
There are a ton of different resources out there that you can use to find out new recipes and ideas to try - you could get yourself down to the local library for example, watch some Youtube videos or be creative and make up some new ones!
This is a nice hobby to have because, well, you'll get to eat what you make! It can also be nice to give away as a gift either for an occasion or if you are visiting friends. We all have that one friend or family member who is always baking for others!
Again, this could potentially make you some money depending on your level of skill and if you want to make this into a side business - there are loads of people who do this, such as those who set up cupcake selling businesses.
This is definitely something that I need to get into! Is there anything better than being out in nature, making your home look beautiful?
It doesn't need to be an expensive hobby, although it can quickly escalate into one if you get carried away and decide that you want to be a landscaper all of a sudden. A good thing about gardening is that it can be a steady progression - you don't need to get all of it completed in one day a la DIY SOS, you can really take your time with it and literally watch it bloom.
I personally love this idea, and it's something that I absolutely need to start doing. There are plenty of charitable organisations that rely on the help of volunteers to keep their amazing efforts going in the bid to help protect or rescue vulnerable people or animals.
If you head on over to Google, just type in 'volunteer' and your city, and it will bring up a host of different options that you can choose from. This can be a great hobby because you can make a real difference to someones life, and it is also sociable.
This is something that springs to mind when I think of a frugal hobby to do, but I'm not actually sure how budget friendly it is in all honesty! I think that wool can be quite expensive but if you get people to give you any spare wool, or look on eBay, this could be a cheaper way of doing it.
Look on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree etc for people selling job lots or giving it away for free, look in charity shops, car boot sales etc. If you are good at it and you end up selling the stuff that you are making, this is a good way of countering the cost of the supplies.
What do you think - are there any budget friendly hobbies that I could add to this list? What do you do?
Ways To Make Extra Money Now:
- Start a blog with Siteground! This can start off as a fun side hustle, and have the potential to turn into a huge full time income (which is still fun!). Yes, you CAN make money blogging, and it's the best thing that I ever did. To get started, read my post How To Start a Blog.
- Answer simple questions on survey sites! This is a really easy money earner and I love it because I do it when I don't need to really think too much e.g. Netflix on in the background. Sign up to the best survey sites over here.
- Matched Betting - you don't need to be good at maths, it's not gambling, it's tax-free, it can be done at any time of day and earn you thousands extra per month. All explained here and you can sign up to my favourite site that will guide you through the steps.
- Mystery Shopping - I always thought these were a scam or a pain to do, until I got started! Since then, the free food and other items (e.g. clothes for me and my daughter) have convinced me otherwise! My favourite legit sites are rounded up for you here.