You might be a big spender in December, but as soon as 1st January comes, you’re sure to be on a budget. Saving money doesn’t mean that can’t have fun. Starting a free hobby this new year will help you cut back while still doing things that you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started — why not give them a go?
1. Start a ‘classic’ book club
If you’re a self-confessed book worm, here’s a free hobby that will suit you. Book clubs can be surprisingly expensive, especially if they involve buying brand new books on a monthly basis. To save yourself some pennies, why not start a ‘classic’ book club instead? Rather than reading the latest releases, choose older novels that you have always meant to read.
Copyright for books expires 70 years after the author dies, in most cases. That means that you should be able to get free PDF versions of old texts online. Alternately, you can get free ebooks from sites, such as Book Bubs. Gather a group of your closet lit-loving friends and start a club that doesn’t cost you a penny! Get reading.
2. Give rambling a whirl
Have you ever tried rambling? The UK has some beautiful countryside from the Peak District to the Lake District. Exploring the great outdoors is a free way to pass the time and get fit in the process of doing so. You might say it’s a win-win situation. To get started, you could look for rambling societies and clubs in your area and sign yourself up.
If you’re more of a solo venturing, you should look for local walks near you. Check the National Trails website for the latest information and get started. Of course, since it’s chilly this time of year, you’re going to want to wrap up warm for your outdoor exploits.
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3. Volunteer at a local charity
Next up, let’s talk about a free hobby that will help the community around you. Volunteering is a truly fulfilling way to pass the time and gain extra skills (and friends!) along the way. Before you get started, take a moment to think about what it is you have to offer. Doing so will help you decide what type of volunteering group you want to join.
Of course, there are options for everyone out there. You could always volunteer at a local community centre, become a litter picker, visit old people in homes, or join a time bank. There’s certain to be something that works with your schedule and skill set. Luckily enough, the government has some helpful information online to get you started.
4. Start playing board games
Check your cupboards and drawers! If you’ve got a whole load of board games lurking in storage, it’s time to pull them out and get playing. For a cheap night, you can invite a few friends over and have a board game competition. While it may not sound like the most thrilling way to pass the time, as soon as people start getting competitive, it will heat up!
Of course, if you do have a few pennies to spare, it’s worth looking in local charity shops to see what board games they have on offer. Titles to look out for include Ticket to Ride, Ubi, Settlers of Catan, and Carcassonne. Plus, you could try some fun games, such as the infamous Cards Against Humanity, What Do You Meme?, and Exploding Kittens too.
5. Try yoga or meditation
Looking for a mindful new activity that won’t cost you money? Meditation and yoga could be the answer! Research suggests that practicing yoga can enhance your mood and help relieve your anxiety symptoms. While, of course, you could pay over the odds to join a class at the gym, there’s another way to get started with this activity.
There are loads of free resources you can get online. For example, if you head to YouTube, you can watch a load of free tutorials that will help you get started when it comes to yoga. Look out for channels including Yoga with Adriene and Brett Larkin Yoga. When it comes to meditation, you can find relaxing, soothing sounds on YouTube or Podcasts.
6. Learn new skills online
If you’re stuck in all of January trying to save money, you might as well put that time to use. Why not learn a new skill? There are plenty of free online courses that you can take, which will help you expand your skillset and become extra employable. To get started, it’s worth looking at the Open University website, where there are loads of topics available.
It doesn’t end there. You can also use a whole load of free apps to start learning new things. For example, if you’re looking to learn a new language, the free version of DuoLingo is a simple way to get started. You might also want to download the TED Talks app to watch and listen to a whole range of insightful talks. Give it a go (for free!).
Start your free hobby today!
Now that you’ve got the inside scoop on free new year hobbies, what are you waiting for? Try one of these pastimes today and see what you think. You never know — you might just find that it’s your favourite new thing to do. (And if not, try something different instead!)