Making time for hobbies can be so enriching for your wellness and so important for maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Research points out that those who consistently took part in at-home leisure activities during the pandemic have reported less anxiety, depression, loneliness, and stress, as well as more self-esteem, emotional stability, and overall satisfaction. However, not all hobbies are ideal for your bank account.
A recent survey found that while six in 10 Americans started a new hobby due to COVID-19, more than 50 percent took on debt to finance this pastime. From purchasing a fancy electric stand mixer to bake numerous loaves of banana bread, to investing in state-of-the-art fitness equipment for that home exercise regimen, the costs certainly escalated for many a pandemic hobbyist. But now it’s 2022—time to get a handle on both your finances and your leisure. These inexpensive hobbies will help you do just that.
Whether you have a natural green thumb or want to learn how to keep plants alive for more than just a few short weeks, gardening is beneficial for both physical and mental health. Not to mention, the upfront costs are minimal—only the seeds, pots, and soil. You won’t need a ton of space for gardening either, as many plants can thrive indoors or on small patios. Here are a few practical hacks to set yourself up for success as a new gardener.
- Choose low-maintenance plants that can live indoors or in contained spaces.
- Research the soil quality and ingredients that your plant species need.
- Pay attention to how much direct light access your plants require each day.
- Make sure to find the right balance of water—neither too much nor too little.
Writing fits the bill for those who want a more creative hobby but don’t want to purchase a slew of art supplies. Whether you start a blog, keep a journal, or create poems and song lyrics, there are many different writing avenues to explore. This medium is a constructive outlet to process your emotions and practice self-reflection.
If you could use an extra income stream, writing is also one of the easiest hobbies to turn into a side-hustle. Online publications, digital marketers, and other businesses are always looking for talented freelance writers to create content for their websites, blogs, or social media accounts. You can use platforms such as Indeed, FlexJobs, LinkedIn, or ZipRecruiter to locate freelance writing opportunities that interest you and start earning money from home.
With those breezy fall months just around the corner, you might feel inspired to learn how to make your scarves, mittens, and other seasonal accessories. But if knitting sounds too complicated, no worries—crocheting is much easier and produces the same cozy results. With a crochet pattern, you’ll just use one hook, so you won’t need to move the stitches back and forth between two needles. This makes it ideal for novice DIYers.
You will need to purchase a few essential tools and materials on the front end—crochet hooks, darning needles, stitch markers, and yarn. But once you have all those items, crocheting pays for itself. Think about it: you’ll never have to buy another scarf from the store again. What’s not to love about a hobby that allows you to accessorize on the cheap?
If you have a bent toward social justice and community impact, volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about. This is an excellent pastime because it allows you to be of service to others while lifting your mood in the process. You can make a difference without leaving your couch, as some organizations (like the following) recruit virtual volunteers to pitch in from home. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device.
- United Nations Volunteers
- Amnesty Decoders
- Crisis Text Line
- Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
Do you know that worn-out bookcase shoved into the corner of your living room? Transform it into a colorful, stylish accent piece with a fresh, vibrant coat of paint. How about those empty mason jars and tin coffee cans in the kitchen? Decorate them with some peel and stick contact paper to create fun writing utensil holders or succulent planters for your desk.
Upcycling is the art of breathing new life into old furniture, clothes, or other objects around the house. It’s a resourceful, sustainable, and cost-effective way to reuse what you own instead of throwing it out in favor of something brand new. Not to mention, upcycling is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding hobbies out there. You can’t beat the sense of accomplishment from turning an ordinary item into a bold stroke of creative genius.
Try Your Hand at these Inexpensive Hobbies
If you could use more leisure time, but don’t want to fork over a small fortune in the process, these at-home hobbies have you covered. After all, there’s nothing better than a pastime that’s fun for you and your wallet, right? So close out 2022 with a new hobby—it’s an excellent, affordable investment in self-care.