When the budget is tight, hobbies are often one of the first things to be cut from the budget. There are several reasons why this is not a good idea. Everyone’s stress level increases in tough financial times. Medical experts and psychologists encourage us to engage in a hobby as a means of relieving stress. There is a fantastic article by Nancy Monson entitled "Sooth Your Soul, Get a Hobby" ťthat relates to the reader various studies and statistics regarding the value of engaging in a hobby. Even when money is tight, there are inexpensive hobbies that you can enjoy without denting the budget.
There are many hobbies you can engage in that are free or almost free. The following list is not all inclusive but can be a starting point for hobbies to pursue that can relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, challenge your mind, brighten your mood, and provide some physical exercise without adversely affect your budget.
Reading is an inexpensive hobby. You can borrow books from the library. You can find great bargains priced books at yard sales and flea markets. To expand your reading options at no additional cost, you can begin an exchange program with family and friends.
You can enjoy the hobby of gardening on a small scale whether you rent or own your home and regardless of the amount of space or lack of space you have outdoors. Containers make gardening a hobby anyone can enjoy. Buy a few small plants, nurture them, and you’ll be amazed at how enjoyable a hobby a garden is. You may also be surprised at the return on your investment. Gardening is a wonderful family-oriented hobby.
Puzzles are a wonderful, affordable hobby. Jigsaw puzzles are cheap and can be used as wall art when completed. Crossword, search-a-word, Sudoku, and numerous other similar type puzzles can occupy your mind for quite a while. They are great stress relievers and a distraction from troubling thoughts. You can actually have some of the puzzles laminated to frame as wall art or to use as placemats. Frugal minds find a purpose for almost everything.
Fishing is a relatively inexpensive hobby that will provide some outdoor time and an opportunity to enjoy relaxing, peaceful moments of solitude.
Nature walks could become a regular part of your daily or weekly routine. Add bird watching or nature related journaling to the walk and you have another nearly free hobby to enjoy.
If you are having a difficult time justifying spending for hobbies like sewing, needlework, woodworking and various other handicraft hobbies, turn your hobby into a profitable experience by selling some of the items you make. If you don’t want to go that route, give the items as gifts to family and friends. That will reduce holiday and special occasion spending while allowing you to continue a hobby you enjoy.
Coloring is a relaxing activity and quite possibly one of the least expensive hobbies you can engage it. Coloring is not an age defined hobby. It can be a way to enjoy moments of solitude or it can be done as a family activity. A large color by number kit would be a good family project during the winter months. Once again, you can display some of the finished pictures or use them in other craft projects.
There are games and puzzles online that give you an opportunity to challenge yourself, relieve some stress, and divert your thoughts away from worry.
If you like to cook as a hobby rather than simply out of necessity, set aside some time each week to cook for pleasure.
Scrapbooking still remains a popular hobby and one that provides long-term pleasure.
Writing, whether it be in a personal journal or articles and essays you hope to see published, is an inexpensive hobby with multiple rewards.
Enjoying a hobby is not something that should be directly connected to your finances. If you find you must temporarily give up a hobby that requires more investment than your budget allows, simply find a less expensive hobby to fill the void.
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