A Budget Friendly Hobby
It’s important for people to have hobbies. Spending all your time working and fulfilling responsibilities can lead to burnout. Having a hobby, on the other hand, can make you a healthier and happier person by allowing you to set and achieve short-term goals and focus your energy productively. It can even make you more productive at work and home. Hobbies are essential for stress-relief, but they also produce a healthy amount of eustress — the kind that makes us feel excited and passionate about what we are doing.
The thing about hobbies is they take resources. When you are living on a budget, it may seem like staying in to watch Netflix is a more cost-efficient way to spend your time. However, there are ways to pursue your passions without breaking the bank. Here we explore three popular hobbies and how to save money on them.
Learning to Play an Instrument as a hobby
Playing music is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It helps prevent anxiety and depression while fueling creativity. Musicians are generally more alert, and playing music can even improve your memory, as well as your reading and math skills. There is even evidence to suggest that learning to play an instrument can protect the brain against dementia.
Of course, instruments can be expensive. The average price of a guitar in the United States in 2017 was $505. But that’s not where the expenses stop. Lessons, instrument maintenance, commuting, and sheet music can all add up. Save money on lessons or equipment with discounts or promo codes online. Shop for used instruments, and start with cheaper beginner’s models before expanding your collection. Also, check places like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, where people sell gently used instruments and equipment for a bargain.
Playing Sport as a hobby
Everybody needs exercise for their overall health. Playing a sport provides that exercise combined with the benefits of hobbies. Sports allow you to be more social and foster teamwork and leadership skills. For those of us who don’t exactly qualify as athletic, low-impact sports like golf, tennis, hiking, and swimming are easy for all levels. When looking to purchase new sports equipment, consider first whether you should buy new or used. For some equipment (like treadmills or mountain bikes), it may make sense to purchase used. For other equipment, however, buying new is likely the smarter and more hygienic option (you wouldn’t necessarily want to wear someone else’s decade-old sneakers, for example). You can also easily keep costs down when shopping for new sports equipment online with cashback offers and coupon codes.
Reading and Writing as a hobby
If your idea of a great day is curling up with a good book or logging your thoughts in a journal, that’s a hobby in itself. Reading is an essential skill adults need to improve memory and focus while promoting creativity, empathy, and relaxation. There are also studies that show adults who read regularly stand a lower chance of developing dementia. Writing — whether it be crafting stories, blogging, or personal journaling — is a wonderful outlet for stress and anxiety. It helps you become a more effective communicator while improving things like focus and decision making.
As far as cost-effective hobbies go, reading and writing are at the top of the list. Sure, some books can be expensive, but you don’t have to spend a penny if you check them out at your local library — just be sure to get your books back in time to avoid fees! You can also find cheap books at used book stores, thrift stores, and through online marketplaces. Writing is also pretty cheap; all you need is some paper and a pen, which don’t have to set you back more than $5.
Offset Your Costs
Not only can you pursue a hobby without breaking the bank, you can also monetize your hobby to help offset any costs you incur. As an added bonus, it allows you to share your passion with others.
Of course, if you plan on making money from your pastime, you’ll want to treat it as a business to protect yourself and your assets. While starting your own business may seem too daunting, it’s not as difficult as you may think. For example, starting an LLC — arguably the most flexible and tax-friendly business structure for small business owners — can typically be completed in five or six steps, depending on where you live.
Hobbies make us healthier and happier, but they aren’t exactly cheap. You can reap all the benefits of a hobby by picking up one that is relatively cheap, such as reading and writing. Of course, if you have your heart set on something like learning an instrument or playing a sport, you can save money with smart shopping tactics, or you can offset your costs by monetizing your favourite pastime.
Juliet Hollingsworth is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the guest blogger who wrote the article.
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