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Looking for some cheap hobbies that you can begin exploring today?
Believe it or not, hobbies make us healthy—physically, mentally, and even emotionally. In addition to having something to do in your spare time, you also have an opportunity to release your stress and increase brain activity.
Hobbies don’t need to be expensive. You can always find a pastime without breaking the bank. For $100 or less, you can start a new hobby today.
In this post, we share 23 hobbies that you can start without spending too much. We’ve set the budget at around $100, and not more than $150. And with each hobby, we provide you a list of all the items you need, as well as the estimated cost for each.
Let’s check them out!
23 Low-Cost Hobbies to Take Up
1. Watch documentaries.
Documentaries are a fun way to learn new things. They help you understand the world better, and can educate you about a wide range of topics.
Watching documentaries is probably the cheapest, most useful hobby that anyone can engage in. Your costs are minimal, as all you need are a home Internet connection and a Netflix or YouTube account.
If you’re looking for a specific documentary that is difficult to find on free streaming sites, you can always check Amazon Prime and rent it (if it is available). In some cases, sites also let you purchases documentaries so that you can own them permanently.
Here’s a link to a bunch of clips and videos you can rent or buy from Amazon. You can rent 30 to 35 documentaries or purchase around 8 to 10 movies for around $100.
2. Play cards and board games.
This is a hobby you can do on your own or with friends on a Friday night—or any night of the week! Cards and board games aren’t just entertainment; they can also be beneficial in stimulating your mind. They can also be an outlet to help you deal with stress.
To get started with this hobby, you just need a set of playing cards or a board game. Here are our recommendations:
Estimated Total Cost: $54
3. Listen to podcasts.
Shows never get old, and, thanks to modern technology, radio shows are now better and more accessible through podcasts. In fact, you can both listen to podcasts and create your own podcast channel!
If you only want to kill time and listen to podcasts, there is no need to spend any money at all. Podcasts are typically free, and there are thousands of channels you can listen to.
Here are some favorites:
If you want to start a podcast, you will need a recorder and other materials, which can be quite expensive. We recommend learning the essentials of podcasting first. A good book that can help you do that is John lee Dumas’s Podcast Launch: A Complete Guide to Launching Your Podcast.
4. Make and fly a kite.
Did you know that kite-flying has a substantial list of benefits? Indeed, studies show that making and flying kites can be beneficial to your mental and emotional health.
These include boosting your creativity and productivity, improving your intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, and reducing your stress and anxiety levels. Some fitness gurus also consider it to be good for physical health, as it involves some exercise.
Essential items you need:
- Two wooden dowels (90cm x 35” and 120cm x 47”)
- Plastic sheet or recycled garbage bag
- Packing tape
- Kite string spool
Estimated Total Cost: $60
If you don’t want to make a kite but would like to fly one, there are ready-mades available on stores and even online. Special ones with lovely designs only cost around $30.
Technically, simple stargazing with your friends, family, or significant other doesn’t have to cost you anything. You can do it anywhere, as long as the sky is clear.
But if you want to take stargazing seriously and would like to locate stars and planets, you might need the following:
- Finderscope – Your telescope set may already have one
Estimated Total Cost: $111
A blanket, flashlight, and astronomy app or star chart are also a good idea. When it comes to finding an app and chart, there are tons of free mobile applications available on the Internet.
6. Learn a new language.
Learning a new language is fun and exciting. Although it takes time and effort, it gives you an advantage, especially if you are a traveler or you plan on making traveling a hobby. Plus, it has tons of benefits, like improving your mental abilities and boosting your social skills.
This hobby has become pretty easy to embrace in recent years, as there is a wide range of mobile apps that focus on providing language lessons. Check out this list of the seven best language learning apps.
These language learning apps offer premium services that can improve your language skills, and they typically cost less than $100. We also recommend reading this book by Gabriel Wyner: “Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It.”
7. Attend community gatherings.
This hobby is totally free, yet very fulfilling. Not only do you get to spend your time doing valuable things, but you also get to know the people in your community better. This is one of the best ways to feel fulfilled and happy.
8. Volunteer at animal shelters.
Pet care and animal shelter volunteering is a great hobby for animal lovers. Look for the nearest pet shops around your area so you have something to do every weekend. There’s no reason to spend money—only your time, care, and love are needed.
9. Visit local museums.
Here’s another pastime that doesn’t cost much money. You only need money for the bus fare—or gas if you have a car. Some museums might charge a few dollars for a ticket, but many provide free entry.
10. Start gardening.
Gardening is one of the most relaxing hobbies out there. Plants themselves make your life less stressful, the act of gardening brings a lot of mental health benefits. Study shows that it reduces the risk of dementia and other age-related mental illnesses.
To start this hobby, here are a few essentials you will need:
Estimated Total Cost: $71
11. Knitting and stitching.
Many people say that knitting requires a lot of patience and grit, but that just serves to make it more rewarding when you finish a project.
Essential items you will need:
- Knitting needle
- Knitting scissors
- Tapestry needles
- Stitch markers
- Stitch holders
- Measuring tape
Estimated Total Cost: $55
12. Sew old clothes and spare fabric.
Sewing by hand can be a cheap and fun way to create and repair clothes. Go through your closet and check out the old clothes you have. Then find inspiration in magazines and TV fashion shows to turn that old blouse into a sexy dress.
Here’s a list of items you may need:
- Seam rippers
- Fabric scissors
- Pinking shears
- Tape measure
- Rotary cutter
- Dryer sheets or parchment paper
- Magnetic pin holder
- Chalk or washable markers
- Seam gauge
- Cutting mat
- Needle threader
Estimated Total Cost: $124
13. Learn how to cook.
Cooking can be more than a way to provide your family with food—it can become a passion and a form of artistic expression, and maybe even a business!
With video and book tutorials, plus the appropriate supplies and equipment, you might just be on your way to becoming the next top chef
The items listed below will cost you more than $100, but we decided to include this hobby today as you might already have some of them in your kitchen.
Here is a list of some equipment you might want to start out with:
- Measuring spoons & measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Cutting boards
- Wooden spoons
- Silicone spatulas
- Metal utensil set
- Small tongs
- Nonstick cookware set (optional)
Estimated Total Cost: $121
14. Learn how to bake.
If you love sweets or baked treats, baking is a great hobby to get into. And if you don’t know where to start, there are thousands of video tutorials on YouTube that you can check out. You may also decide to buy some books online or at the mall.
To get started, you will need the following equipment:
- Cake tins
- Cooling rack
- Icing smoother
- Baking parchment
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Palette knife
- Pastry brush
- Rolling pin
- Hand mixer
- Mixer (optional)
Estimated Total Cost: $126
15. Explore candle making.
This is another hobby for those who have artistic minds. Candle making is not just an outlet to express your creativity, it is also a way to relax and make yourself happy—plus, you end up with lots of beautiful, useful candles for your house!
Basic essentials include:
Estimated Total Cost: $103
16. Scrapbooking memorable life moments.
Don’t you just love preserving happy memories? Scrapbooking is a hobby for those who enjoy taking pictures and designing albums. It can be a good outlet to reduce stress as well—life becomes so much lighter when you remember the happy times.
Here are a few things you’ll need for your scrapbooking journey:
- Cardstock or colored papers
- Patterned paper
- Scissors or trimmers
Estimated Total Cost: $53
17. Do some watercolor painting.
Studies have found that painting one of the best ways to release tension and lower anxiety levels. Plus, it provides satisfaction and fulfillment, not to mention a creative outlet.
Watercolor painting is way cheaper than any other types of painting. If you want to try painting but have a tight budget, this hobby is right up your alley.
- Watercolor paints
- Masking fluid
- Masking tape
- Sea sponges
- Watercolor paper
- Graphite pencil
- Kneaded eraser
- Watercolor pencils
Estimated Total Cost: $91
18. Engage in origami.
According to experts, origami is a good activity for adults. This is because it helps exercise your brain, improve your focus, increase memory retention, and improve mental clarity. Furthermore, it prevents the early onset of age-related mental illnesses.
If you want to enjoy these benefits and at the same time try a unique hobby, put origami on your list of hobbies to try.
Here are the things you will need, in addition to scissors and a ruler:
Estimated Total Cost: $32
19. Write and start a blog.
If you are looking for a hobby that can help you express your thoughts and feelings, writing and blogging are great options.
Several studies indicate that writing improves the mood and uplifts the soul. Moreover, a completed piece can bring you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
There’s not much you need to buy to start this hobby. You surely have a pen and paper at home, and you probably own a laptop or computer as well.
If you want to have a separate notebook and pen for your writing hobby, check out these items:
You can check out these books for writing techniques and strategies:
- Writing Strategies by Jennifer Serravallo
- Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
Estimated Total Cost: $59
20. Try calligraphy.
Calligraphy is an exciting hobby that many women have explored, and some even ended up turning it into a business. But calligraphy can be just a fulfilling for men and children. It takes a lot of patience, but it is truly satisfying in the end.
If you want to learn how to do calligraphy, there are several artists that offer online courses. You may also check out YouTube videos to see how exactly it is done.
For starters, here are the items you will need:
- Sketch pad
- Kneaded eraser
- Graph/lined paper
- Premium paper
- Tracing paper
- Micron pens
- Straight nib holder
- Oblique nib holder
- Calligraphy nibs
- Calligraphy ink
- Brush pens
Estimated Total Cost: $91
21. Explore bullet journaling.
The online bullet journaling community is well and truly thriving. Both men and women are into this style of journaling, as it is a good way to keep track of your goals, activities, and responsibilities.
If you aren’t sure what to include in your journal, there are hundreds of bullet journal ideas available on the Internet to draw inspiration from. For example, you can include a mood tracking list, a financial and savings log, or a space for journal prompts.
There’s no real standard format to follow—it all depends on how you want to style your journal. And it’s pretty easy to start this hobby, as long as you have the right supplies.
Here are the things you'll need:
- Bullet journal notebook
- Drawing & brush pens
- Writing pens
- Washi tape (optional)
- Stencils (optional)
Estimated Total Cost: $34
For a comprehensive guide to bullet journaling, you can check out this post. If you are looking for the best notebooks and pens, click the links below:
- 5 Best Bullet Journal Notebooks to Capture Every Idea
- 5 Best Pens for Your Bullet Journal (That Never Smudge!)
22. Learn how to trade or invest.
This hobby serves a dual purpose: You develop your financial skills, and you have the potential to earn money while doing so.
Recent research indicates that more and more men are being drawn to this hobby of trading and buying stocks. But the stock market is equally popular with female investors, with many of the wealthiest traders in the world being women.
Technically, there is no minimum amount of money required to engage in stock trading. You can even open an account with just a dollar or two. But if you want to get serious about it, a $100-200 investment can get you started.
Here’s a book you can check out to get an idea of what trading involves: A Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market: Everything You Need to Start Making Money Today by Matthew R. Kratter.
23. Manage your finances.
Since we’re talking about money, why not make managing your finances a hobby?
This is actually an essential part of a responsible life. You have to take your finances seriously if you want to be able to pay the bills and save for retirement.
You don’t necessarily need to buy anything to start this hobby, but if you want a separate notebook for it, try this product:
Estimated Total Cost: $20
Final Thoughts on Cheap Hobbies
Life is more enjoyable when you are passionate about something. Hobbies are a great way to discover your personal passions and interests, and they don’t have to cost a fortune to pursue.
You can start out with a small budget, and if you decide that you are really into something, then you might decide to upgrade your equipment sometime down the line.
You might find that you enjoy sewing and eventually decide to buy a sewing machine; or you might get so excited about the stock market that you decided to invest more.
But the most important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing and pursue it with passion, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of your other life responsibilities.
Have you already tried some of the hobbies above? We’d like to know which ones! Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and let’s chat about your favorite leisure activities.
And if you're looking for more hobby ideas, check out these blog posts:
- 75 Hobbies for Women to Relax and Enjoy Life
- 101 Hobbies for Men to Add Happiness to Your Life
- 35 Best Solo Hobbies for People to Do Alone
Finally, one proven way to improve your happiness and life satisfaction is to focus on goals that truly matter. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.