How to find an affordable hobby

A young person is wearing a yellow t-shirt and is surrounded by different objects that represent choosing a hobby, including a paint palette, rollerskates and a camera

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Hi, I’m Tiayana, a 17-year-old sixth-form student from London who studies English literature, philosophy, ethics, government and politics. I love reading and volunteering!

How to find a hobby

A hobby is something you choose to do in your spare time for pleasure. But within today’s political climate, where the cost of living is leaving many feeling worried about the uncertain future, finding a hobby can seem more like a burden than a joy.

However, hobbies that seem expensive, can be adapted to suit a tight budget. This article will suggest tips for how to find a hobby and a variety of activities that cost little to nothing but are guaranteed to give you just as much happiness!

Things to consider when finding a hobby

It’s important to consider several factors when deciding which hobby to start.

What’s your budget?

Hobbies can cost little to nothing or up to the hundreds – how much are you willing to spend on your hobby/hobbies? Can you make an expensive hobby cost less?

How many hobbies do you want to take up?

How many hobbies are you willing to dedicate your time to and how do these hobbies fit into your schedule? Are they easily accessible?

How much time do you have?

Similar to the previous point, hobbies can be time-consuming, so how do you make sure these don’t clash with the important things, e.g., school or work?

How long do you want to continue these hobbies for?

Ultimately, it’s up to you how long you keep up your hobbies for. This could be weeks, months or even years!

Although it may be tempting to drop a hobby if you don’t immediately get the hang of it or find it fun, it can be helpful to stick it out for a bit longer so you don’t regret it in the long run. However, this is just a tip and you have the agency to quit, so don’t sacrifice your time for something you don’t like doing.

Which hobby will make you the happiest?

It’s always good to make a pros and cons list if you’re struggling to pick, and decide which hobby you enjoy the most and what is benefitting you the most!

But why start a hobby?

Stress relief & relaxation

Hobbies provide an escape from daily pressures, allowing us to unwind and recharge. They can be therapeutic and promote a sense of calm. When we take part in a hobby that we enjoy, chemical messengers in the brain (known as neurotransmitters) are released – such as dopamine, a chemical which helps us feel pleasure.

Skill development

Hobbies present an opportunity to learn and develop new skills and offer a chance for personal growth.

Creativity and self-expression

Cheap hobbies often tap into our creative side, providing an outlet for self-expression. DIY projects allow us to explore our artistic abilities and unleash our imagination. This has been proven to not only improve mental health but lessen the effects of conditions such as dementia!

Affordable hobbies

Now let’s dive into a variety of affordable hobbies that cater to different interests and budgets.


Reading can be done almost anywhere, can be used to fill up any free time, for example, long public transport rides, and can take up very little space! Books come in a multitude of genres and forms depending on your interests.

To start this hobby, visit your local library or explore free e-books and online articles. Reading, for me, has not only improved my vocabulary and helped me articulate myself better but has also provided so much fun when I take an hour or two to discover a new world.

From the hobby of reading stems activities such as book clubs, creating a safe space for like-minded people who want to share their knowledge.

As your interest in reading grows, you may find the need to share your favorite books with others. Online printing services can come in handy for creating personalized bookmarks, bookplates, or even custom book covers. These services allow you to add a personal touch to your reading experience, making it more enjoyable and allowing you to express your unique style.

Whether you choose to print custom bookmarks with motivational quotes or design your own book covers, online printing services offer a convenient and creative way to enhance your reading hobby.


Writing can be a fulfilling and inexpensive hobby that only requires a pen and some paper or a computer. Start a journal, experiment with poetry or short stories, or even create a blog to share your thoughts and ideas. This can also be potentially lucrative if you decide to run a side business too!


Yoga encourages mindfulness and wellbeing. Numerous online platforms offer free classes and guided sessions (such as Yoga with Adriene on YouTube), helping you find balance and inner peace.

Sewing, crocheting or knitting

This hobby can be not only useful but fun! Repurposing old items or making homemade decorations as a way of experimenting and unlocking your creative potential can be both cost-effective and satisfying. These projects can also be highly rewarding!


Give back to your community and make a positive impact by volunteering your time and skills. Countless organisations welcome volunteers, allowing you to contribute to a cause you believe in without financial obligations.


Can come in a variety of forms. Some of the cheapest include swimming, football, dance and tennis. Getting active has been scientifically proven to extend a person’s lifespan and greatly increase overall happiness. Sports can also provide a sense of community, for those who may lack that in their daily lives.

Engaging in affordable hobbies not only provides a source of enjoyment but also enhances our overall mood. So, take a step back, embrace your passions, and embark on a journey of personal growth and fulfilment without breaking the bank.

For more lifestyle budget tips, read my top five tips for to cheap things to do in London!

Next Steps

By Tiayana Julian

Updated on 12-Sep-2023

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