With every passing day, it seems that our lives are defined by work to a greater and greater extent. In an economy where one is expected to work almost constantly just to make ends meet, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget about leisure time activity. By the time they’re done working for the day, all most people have the energy to do is flip on the TV and vegetate while absentmindedly watching the latest exploits of the rich and famous.
What is there to do, after all? As the cost of living has gradually increased over the years, so has the cost of leisure. You’d easily be forgiven for thinking that you can’t really have a hobby or two without selling your soul at the crossroads just for some entry-level gear or entrance passes. The good news is that we’re here to share some great hobbies that just about anyone can enjoy, regardless of their financial situation!
That’s right; despite how expensive things have gotten in the past years, there are still plenty of ways to spend your leisure time productively without spending an arm and a leg. These hobbies aren’t all free, per se, but they are a heck of a lot cheaper than some of the other hobbies that have become popular recently. Curious to learn more and perhaps discover a new passion? Read on!
The price doesn’t make the hobby
In the fast paced materialistic world we live in, money is often conflated with happiness. We’re taught to believe that only those with money can be happy, that the best things in life are reserved for those with the most wealth. Despite how prevalent this myth may be, we’re here to tell you that it is absolutely and categorically untrue!
You see, the secret to finding happiness lies in contentment. We might not have as much money as those who have kicked and clawed their way to the top, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy each moment of each day we have on this earth. By finding a hobby that you enjoy, you can feel fulfilled and meaningful in a way that no amount of money could ever hope to buy. With this in mind, let’s look at some hobbies that don’t cost much to experience!
While the cost of many things has only increased over the years, one thing that has actually gotten significantly cheaper is music. While in past years the dream of becoming a musician was solidly out of the question for many simply because of its cost, things are quite a bit different. That’s right; for a few hundred dollars or less, you might just be able to start making the kind of music you’ve always wanted to!
Take music production, for example. Instead of the costly analogue synths that ruled the market in years gone past, most music these days is produced digitally. This means that, with the purchase of a budget midi keyboard, some decent headphones, an audio interface and a laptop, you can start producing music that sounds just as good as much of what you’d hear on broadcast radio! What’s more, a music studio looks great in any home!
Making music the old fashioned way has also gotten a lot cheaper. As the quality of mass produced instruments has gradually improved, the prices of these instruments have also gotten increasingly lower. Today, you can buy a beautiful, high quality guitar or electric piano for well under $200. Compared to the outrageous sums demanded for such instruments in the past, we’d call that a bargain!
Becoming a musician is also easier when it comes to learning how to actually make music. With applications, tutorial videos and instructional websites around every corner, you can learn the theoretical and practical elements of your instrument with far greater ease and at a much lower cost than ever before.
If you have almost no money at all, you can still spend your time making music. Whether you’re an accomplished shower-vocalist or have never sung a note in your life, honing your skills as a singer is easier than it’s ever been thanks to the internet. Write down some lyrics, find a catchy tune, and who knows; maybe you’ll be the next Marvin Gaye or Sinead O’Connor!
With technology advancing by leaps and bounds seemingly every day, the world of photography has like many other things become obsessed with the idea of buying the best available equipment. Prices for the newest digital cameras get higher year by year, with each new model offering some novel functionality that we would previously never dreamed possible but now can’t live without.
There is a small but growing subcommunity in the photographer community that begs to differ. Instead of chasing the latest and greatest trends with the newest digital cameras, these photographers are intent on exploring the hidden potential of analogue cameras. While they lack the bells and whistles of their newer counterparts, the unique qualities that they offer win over more and more photographers to their cause every day.
A lot of the allure associated with analogue cameras is due to how fiendishly enjoyable it is to collect them. Easily found in excellent working condition at prices seemingly too good to be true, analogue cameras and their collectors enjoy finding rare and unique models from the past and using them to create truly beautiful photographs.
There’s just something about shooting on film that feels incredibly satisfying. Instead of the mushy, flaccid feel of a digital shutter button, analogue cameras have that crisp, tactile click that beckons you to wind the camera and take another picture. It isn’t that these cameras just take amazing photos (they do); it’s that the experience of using them is also uniquely rewarding. Considering how inexpensive they currently are, you really have nothing to lose!
For those with a little bit of land to work with, another excellent low-cost hobby to try out is gardening. This relaxing and rewarding pastime is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and you can easily join them! With a few small investments into tools, seeds and fertilizer, you can be the newest addition to the hobby farming community!
If you’ve never grown anything before, you’ll probably want to start small, with a few resilient and easy-to-grow plants. Buy a hoe, some gardening gloves and an all-purpose fertilizer and get to work. One you till the ground, plant the seeds in accordance with the instructions on the packaging and keep an eye on them until they sprout.
As your plants grow, you’ll need to keep a close eye on them to make sure that they’re healthy, watered and free of insect or fungal pests. Weed them regularly, and research anything you see that’s out of the ordinary. If you do this well, your garden should produce a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables at the end of the season!
While this isn’t the most fast-paced or thrilling hobby you’ll find, it’s undeniable that gardening is simply one of the most satisfying hobbies around. There are few things that will put as big a smile on your face as the experience of eating a meal made with ingredients sourced entirely from your backyard garden!
Hiking and trail walking
For those with virtually no budget or simply want a more active way to spend their free time, one of the best options available is hiking (and trail walking, if you prefer a slower pace). In spite of the fact that this is one of the most enjoyable hobbies out there, the total cost to actually get started is essentially that of a decent pair of second hand hiking shoes!
No matter where you live, the chances are that there is a trail or walking path near you. From the gentle foothills of the rocky mountains in Gatlinburg TN to the rocky crags of Scottsdale AZ, these trails and paths are the ideal place to stretch your legs, take a deep breath and venture out into the great unknown.
Once you start hiking, it won’t be long before you discover just how exhilarating it can be. With the ground under your feet and a clear sky overhead, you’ll be treated to a rush of endorphins as you trek through places you may have visited but have never really seen before. Open your eyes and take it all in; the beauty of nature is all around you.
Hiking and trail walking aren’t just a great way to spend your free time; they’re also perfect for anyone looking to get in shape and stay in shape. If you incorporate this activity into your weekly routine, it won’t be long before your stamina increases and your body hardens up into a more fit and more capable version of your former self. All you need to do to experience this feeling is take that first step!
No matter where you hail from or what you do for a living, the constant struggle of finding an active and productive way to spend your time instead of giving in to passive time wasters is an ever present one. When work wears you down from day to day until you feel like you’ve got no energy left to spend on yourself, things have gotten to a bad place indeed.
Nevertheless, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration as to how you can avoid falling prey to these idle pacifying pastimes and actually find fulfillment in doing something you love. That, after all, is the secret to finding fulfillment in this materialistic, consumerist world in which we live; finding something to be passionate about and then developing that passion until it drives you to make a change in your day to day life. We wish you success in your pursuit of happiness!