5 Ways to Save Money on a New Hobby
Studies show that participating in hobbies can significantly reduce stress and boost self-esteem. Even spending just a few hours a week doing something you enjoy outside of work, school and family obligations can help you de-stress. However, most hobbies create an added expense that many people on a budget feel like they can’t afford. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways around that! Let’s take a look at how to save money on a new hobby.
Try Before You Buy
Whether you know exactly what you want to do or you’re searching for a new hobby, take it slow and don’t invest too much money at first. If you’re getting back into something you used to do, you may feel differently about it now than you did before. And if you’re trying new things for the first time, it might take several attempts to find something that’s a good fit. Look for free or low-cost classes at a community center and watch YouTube tutorials to get a sense of what the activities are like before you fully commit.
Purchase (or Borrow) Used Equipment
Many new hobbies start where someone else’s ended. If you are interested in pursuing a hobby, such as golf, that requires special equipment, start by purchasing used versions. Or, to save even more, see if a friend or family member has unused equipment they’re willing to let you borrow. Either way, you’ll save a bundle when you purchase secondhand over new. If you find the hobby is a good fit and you anticipate pursuing it long-term, start saving up funds to purchase new equipment tailored to your needs.
Make a Wish List
If you’re always at a loss when someone asks, “What do you want for your birthday?,” having a hobby means you’ll always have an answer ready. Create an Amazon wish list of supplies for your hobby, and direct gift givers to it. Or ask for gift cards to your favorite craft supply store or sporting goods outlet. Letting people know you’d like gifts that support your hobby is a great way to jump-start your new activity while keeping costs under control. Plus, most people struggle to buy someone just the right gift so they will appreciate the ideas.
Look for Free Options
Not every hobby has to involve additional expenses. Starting a walking or hiking hobby is simply a matter of getting out of the house and taking your first steps. Researching your family’s genealogy can start with organizing old photo albums, reviewing family records and doing online searches. Or dust off those old binoculars, look up a list of birds in your area, grab a notebook and start birdwatching. When you stop to think about it, the opportunities for free ways to spend your time are almost endless.
Monetize Your Hobby
Many successful small businesses began as hobbies. After all, if your hobby involves making something, such as jewelry or knitting, there are only so many pieces you can keep for yourself. At some point, you might as well start selling your finished items to finance your hobby. It’s easy to start small with a shop on Etsy or a table at a local craft fair. Even if you only make enough to cover your expenses, you’ll be glad you did it.