20 Weird and Wonderful Hobbies That You Can Try for Free

We all look for better ways of spending our time. After all, it helps you improve your mental capacity and your well-being. Having a hobby keeps your mood better and your body more relaxed.

Hobbies That Are Really, Really Cheap

A young handsome athletic man holds a yellow throwing disc in front of his face, showing his eyes and head.
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There are several hobbies that are cheap and help you learn something new. The best part is that you get to have loads of fun. A Reddit user asked, “What are some hobbies that are really cheap or free?”

The post received many fun and exciting suggestions; we have shortlisted some of them! See what resonates with you and what our Reddit users have to say about each one of them:

1. Hiking

couple hiking in forest
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You might not have thought about this before, but hiking can also be a hobby. A user commented: “Hiking’s super cheap. Until you decide you want to start backpacking out in the wild. Then you spend a bunch of money on that gear… and then everything’s cheap again because you can spend a few days having a great time for the cost of your food and gas to the trailhead.”

Another one seconded by saying: “Agreed.

As a German student I can use the train for free in my state, so I’ll use this to travel to different National Parks and hike on the weekends.

It’s fun, healthy and totally free. Best. Hobby. Ever.”

2. Bleach T-Shirt

Woman drawing black stars on a white t-shirt. Handcraft talent and a little magic.
Image Credit: Yuriy Golub/Shutterstock.

Another user pitched in the idea of bleaching t-shirts and stated, “I started doing this, and I love the {heck} out of it. Starting supplies:

  • A blank T-Shirt
  • some bleach
  • a spray bottle
  • Freezer Paper”

Another one said: “On this topic, you can use silkscreen really cheaply, too.

For about $20, you can get setup with everything you need to make a stencil.

I made photo-quality prints with a stencil made using only a framed screen coated with photo emulsion, glass from a picture frame, a lightbulb, and my shower. Image transferred was a photograph grayscale and halftone in photoshop.

Once you have that, you can screen a variety of inks, or even bleach. Water Based inks can be set with an iron. If you have a heat gun, plastisol is super cheap.

Take great care of your stencil and it will last a long time.”

3. Baking Bread

woman holding fresh baked loaf of bread that she just made
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Who loves baking? If you’re the one, you can also have this as a hobby. A user commented: “Why bread? It’s cheap as hell — just flour, water, salt, and yeast and it can take a lifetime to master. Also, you get fresh baked bread which is so awesome that it ties into your brain’s reward centers at the same primal level as fire and s**. It’s also casually impressive: “cool dinner party; hey I brought these baguettes that I baked this morning.”

4. Learning New Languages

Young beautiful woman using tablet at home
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lcrespi via DepositPhotos.com.

Learning new languages is always fun. A Reddit user commented: “I’ve really been enjoying learning new languages lately. I use http://www.duolingo.com, which is free if you have the internet. There are a lot of free resources online, and I don’t see any reason to pay hundreds of dollars for programs like Rosetta Stone.”

Now you can easily learn new languages without having to spend too much money.

5. Origami

Colorful paper origami birds tied to strings hanging in air.
Image Credit: Tang Yan Song/Shutterstock.

Creating objects with paper allows you to run your imagination wild. One of the users said: “If you use scrap paper and look online for instructions it is literally free. I’ve been folding for 10 years and I’ve never spent more than $10 on a project. That seems pretty steep for a piece of paper, but you get a h*** of a lot out of it. And that’s the extreme end, most of my folding is done in super cheap paper and then I break out the good stuff for actual pieces of art.”

6. Disc Golf or Frisbee

A young handsome athletic man holds a yellow throwing disc in front of his face, showing his eyes and head.
Image Credit: BrandonKleinPhoto/Shutterstock.

You might’ve heard of golf, but have you heard of disc golf? Well, old traditions are coming to life to give you an interesting hobby. One Redditor commented: “Not only is it fun and cheap, but a great way to spend time with people. I disc with my friends from high school as a way to keep in touch, and I’ll never stop.”

Another said: “You can check out ultimate Frisbee also. Lots of running and throwing and catching. It’s easy to get healthy and the majority of people who play are pretty cool. Check your college for a team.”

7. Learning To Sing

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Image Credit: LightField Studios/Shutterstock.

Who doesn’t love a good singing buddy at a party? One of the Reddit users commented: “Learn to sing (better). I’ve played guitar for years but could never hold a tune vocally. Worked at it over the last 12 months via various articles online and youtube coaching exercises. Can now sing to a basic standard where I’m happy to pull out the acoustic guitar and sing along in front of others.”

8. Board Games

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Talking about how addictive board games can be: “Seriously, don’t get hooked on board games if you like money. They start you out with the gateway games, like Settlers of Catan or maybe Dominion. The next thing you know you think you’ll just buy one or two and then quit any time you like. You’re playing Battlestar Galactica, Through the Ages, TITAN for crying out loud. You’re up over 48 hours straight at board game conventions sweaty and unshowered and hungry trying to get in one more game before they kick you out.

At the end of it all, you’re jobless sitting in the kitchen with polymer clay, grid paper, and scissors trying to make your own from scratch.”

Have you ever been addicted to playing board games? Ngl, they turn from a hobby to an addiction real quick.

9. Programming

woman working home on her couch on a laptop
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One of the Reddit users said: “If you have a computer and internet, then programming can be a cheap/free hobby. Plenty of great, free, tools and tutorials. The same goes for level editing for games you like that support mods. Personally, I can easily go through an entire day sitting at my computer and trying to recreate my home in Counter-Strike.”

NOTE: Visual Studio 2013 is heavily used on the job as well for many companies, so knowing it is a huge plus if you want to take this into something more than a hobby.”

In all honesty, programming is a pretty high-paying field. Starting this as a hobby can also help you earn some extra $$$.

10. Knitting or Crochet

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A kind Reddit user shared their experience with crocheting: “I’ve been knitting for 7 years. If you’re just starting out, there are some large sets of bamboo knitting needles (in a vast range of sizes and styles) for $10 on ebay and amazon. They aren’t (obviously) the nicest sets, but they are great for someone who is just starting out.

I personally recommend 24 or 16-inch circular needles – they can be used the same way as the straight sticks, but the ‘needle’ part is only 3-4 inches and the cord is flexible, so it’s more comfortable to hold. I never use straight needles.

Yarn… is kind of expensive IMO. Sure, you can get a skein of RedHeart Super Saver for like $4 but that yarn is SO scratchy, and acrylic yarn is not warm. KnitPicks has some nice cheap skeins called Bravia, but you have to pay for shipping unless you order over $50.”

Contrary to this, another user stated: “Ack! Not recommended if you have any kind of collection or shopping compulsions. I don’t know a single knitter who doesn’t have at least $100 and in many cases, significantly more worth of yarn stashed away that they’ve never used because it was on sale or was just too pretty/soft/etc.”

Knitting is pretty old-school, but it can be quite therapeutic.

11. Sewing

Women using sewing machine
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OlgaZakrevskaya via DepositPhotos.com.

Similar to crochet and knitting, one of the users commented: “Cut out the logo on all your old tee shirts. Buy interfacing for about $3 a yard, buy cheap discounted fleece for about $3 yard. Iron t-shirt squares to interface, sew squares together. Sew big box of tee shirt squares to fleece. End result- very personalized blanket, and more storage space. Cheap, warm, soft blanket. Perfect for college when you have way too many “I Participated!” shirts. Downside: will require renting or borrowing a sewing machine and iron, unless you have way too much time to hand sew.”

12. Writing

Image of joyous woman smiling and writing down notes in diary book
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Another Redditor pitched in the suggestion to write and said, “You have a computer. Head over to writing prompts, and make me the next great American novel.”

But, yet again, you need to have a creative mind.

13. Geocaching

couple on vacation looking lost and confused
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This one sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Well, a user explained it: “Basically, people hide boxes all over the world and put the GPS coordinates for said box onto the Internet. You can make a free account on the website and download a free app onto your phone and go find them! There are better ones you can pay for, of course, but they’re pretty minimal and well worth it if you still like it after finding a few geocaches.”

Another one said: “It’s really good fun, like a worldwide treasure hunt. Find yourself in a town or city with an hour to kill? Go geocaching. Want to keep fit? Go and find a few nearby, set up a walk and/or jog that goes past them. Once you’ve found a lot, you can even go hide some yourself.

Me and my wife have done a couple of week holidays that revolve around geocaching. Basically, country breaks that get us walking. It’s good fun to go to a local landmark and find as many as you can. They’re usually not far off the main paths anyway.”

14. Reading

Girl with book smiling showing how reading is good for you.
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This one is our favorite! One of the users stated, “Having fun isn’t hard

When you’ve got a library card!”

Another user shared free resources as well: “Reading is not only free with a Library, you can also find many E-Books for free: r/FreeEBOOKS/ is a great source!” Reading is so important so grab a book and get to reading!

15. Pen Spinning

Close up of blue Bic pencils photographed on a pure white background.
Image Credit: 4H4 PH/Shutterstock.

Talking about this simple yet very entertaining hobby, a user said: “All you need is a pen, and a swivel chair.”

One other user commented: “I’m a student, and I spend a ton of time at my desk. I started off with a normal pen and taught myself the thumb around. If you’re in America you can pick up a modded poem for spinning for $20 or less.

I’ve been going for a few months, and I know enough tricks to make a few people impressed! It’s good fun, and you can really easily do it while keeping all your focus on your work.”

16. Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons scene made with miniatures.
Image Credit: Adventures with Jerry/Shutterstock.

This game is so cheap that a user commented: “You can get all of the basic rules for free.

Then all you really need is pencil, paper and imagination!”

Another one elaborated on it: “That’s also what I came to say. It’s so much fun, too. Also, if you want even more options for free, people should try out Pathfinder. It’s basically the same with some minor tweaks and all of the source material for it can be found legally online for free.”

17. Throwing Rocks in a Soda Can

Recycling aluminum or metal empty cans top view. Group of cans for reuse and recycle.
Image Credit: ji_jinn/Shutterstock.

Also called “Penny Can”, a user explained the game through a childhood memory of theirs: “When I was a kid, this was a common game of ours. We would bust in the top of the can so it was essentially a cup. Then my friends and I would sit around in gravel and try to throw rocks into the can like basketball.

We would put a few rocks in the bottom to keep it from falling over, but here’s the exciting twist… If you knock the can over, then you have to be the one to set it back up.

As we were doing this, we would just talk… About sports, girls, school, and hypothetical gruesome scenarios

And this is what childhood was like before cell phones.”

Another user commented: “Oh man, this is what my tree planting crew would do to kill time. We called it “Rock in a Thing”. The goal was to either fill the thing up, like someone’s boot, or be the first to put the rock in the thing when the thing was set up really far away. Good times. We also played “Rock at a Thing” but it wasn’t as satisfying.”

18. Meditation

african american woman in black sporty bra is sitting lotus pose on yoga mat floor closed eyes and listening an audio meditate mantra hands namaste.
Image Credit: yurakrasil/Shutterstock.

Meditation is your go-to hobby if you are looking for ways to keep yourself calm. A user commented on how great meditation is: “Meditation does wonder.”

Another user elaborated further on how it does wonders: “Meditation calms and quiets the mind. By taking time out of your day to sit in silence without any outside stimulation, your mind starts to quiet and listen to you. Through this, you can deal with every day and odd occurrences and your performance in pretty much everything will improve. Meditation helps create clarity, which can solve a wide array of problems. It also makes you more calm as a person and makes you less likely to get angry, frustrated, etc.”

19. Pick-Up Basketball

Happy multi ethnic elementary kids playing basketball in school courtyard.
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A Reddit user stated: “requires a rec pass and probably basketball shoes, but it’s a great way to work on your game and get into shape. Most universities and community centers will have pick up games going on at certain times during the week. Can be political and you might have to earn your respect, but the first step is always to get out there and play.”

20. Gardening

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For this, you might need to get your hands a little muddy. A user commented: “This can be equally rewarding in that it’s physically good for you, and you get the satisfaction of saying “Hey! Look at all those veggies that I GREW.” A meal can actually taste better when you know you grew the veggies yourself.”

Talking about how cheap gardening can be, another commented: “Well, most any of these can be expensive. But like drawing and running, gardening can be really cheap. All you really need is seeds, a place to plant stuff, and maybe a small trowel (though you could dig with hands or sticks or something). Since you’re alive, you probably already have access to water.”

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.