Hobbies don’t always have to break the bank. Here are our favourites where the entry cost is less than $50.
Although they may not look like much, binoculars are widely used by amateur astronomers. A number of solar system objects that are nearly invisible to the human eye are viewable including: craters on the Moon, inner minor planets Ceres, Vesta, and Pallas, the largest moon of Saturn and even the outer planets of Uranus and Neptune. Just make sure you point them at the sky at night and not your neighbour’s windows.
Coloring books first emerged as an educational tool to develop students cognitive abilities in the 1880s. All that is needed is a set of coloring pencils or pens (whichever is your preference) and pictures can be downloaded from the internet for free. The market has become so lucrative in recent years there are even adult themed books promoting mindfulness and wellbeing.
Once seen as a pastime of old grannies, knitting has enjoyed a popular comeback due to its low cost and therapeutic nature. Knitting has several health benefits including the decrease of blood pressure and the increase of serotonin, so there’s health benefits to enjoy while you make matching sweaters for your pet cats. You can learn knitting online
A hobby that can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be, all that is essentially required for hiking is a pair of walking shoes and some snacks. Many parks with hiking trails usually do not have an entrance free, and you’ll see some great instagram-worthy sights.
A hobby with a genre that caters for everybody, reading takes hold of your imagination as you visit fantastical worlds, take a trip back in time or have a saucy love affair. Free e-books are available for download, but if digital reading isn’t your cup of tea, public libraries have nearly every book you could want to conjure up. Remember: having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.
5. Learn a Language
Learning a second language not only improves memory, but it can open up a whole new world of travel, cultural and leisure opportunities. Duolingo has 17 courses available taught through bite sized lessons. Users gain XP as they progress, helping them to keep going and not give up early. Further languages are in development including everyone’s favourite: Klingon.
We all dream of finally ditching our doctor’s handwriting and learning to write with more artistic flair. Calligraphy can help this become a reality as you learn to write letters with artistic swirls and flourishes. All that’s needed to begin is a set of nibs, some ink, and one of the many free guides available online.
3. Wood Burning
Also known as pyrography, this is the art of decorating material (often wood or a special type of leather) with burn marks. Starter kits are available, usually with the use of a tool that looks a bit like a soldering-iron, operating at a fixed temperature to help keep you safe. It’s a fun hobby for craft or DIY enthusiasts, and the results make great gifts when you want to save a bit of money at Christmas time.
2. Dungeons and Dragons
First published in 1974, ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ is a table-top role playing game which allows players to create their own characters to guide on treacherous, fun-filled quests as set out by the Dungeon Master. All you really need are a set of dice (or use a free app!), the manuals – often found online for free – and a bunch of friends to venture with.
Also known as card models, papercraft is the art of making models from paper similar to the style of origami – although sometimes with a lot more cutting and gluing. Paper model patterns can be easily printed, with many online forums dedicated to sharing new designs. We recommend using heavy duty paper or even card stock, and using an exacto-blade or scalpel. Have band-aids on hand for the inevitable papercuts.