Top 5 Inexpensive Hobbies for Your Free Time

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How to Stay Busy During Your Downtime

When the working days finally come to an end, retirement is something that most people look forward to. While there are plenty of things to do and people to see, filling in those empty moments with an interesting hobby can be beneficial to your mental health. Some can get pricey, but here are some hobbies that you can take up without breaking the bank.

1. Paper Crafting

For those who love being creative and working with their hands, paper crafting can be a hobby that’s relatively inexpensive. Things like scrapbooking and stamping can get pricey, but picking up closeout supplies from a local Hobby Lobby or Michael’s can make it easy for anyone to get started on a budget. Some local libraries offer free classes and supply the tools and supplies at no cost to members to help get you started.

One form of paper crafting, called junk journaling, incorporates scraps and recycled items to create a journal or craft item and transform it into a work of art. Signing up for online swaps and free paper samples is another way to swap out what you don’t need for something that catches your eye.

2. Container Gardening

Have a Pinterest haven of gorgeous flowers and gardens? Why not turn that fantasy into a reality? Sure, some gardens are a lot of work to prep and can take years to mature, but starting off with containers is one inexpensive way to get some fast color and blooms in your life. To curb costs, use recycled items as containers, such as:

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  • Old sink basins
  • Last year’s hanging baskets
  • Cracked fountains
  • Metal bowls
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Scour garage sales and antique outlets for chipped, rusty, broken items that will hold dirt and allow water to flow freely.

3. Volunteering

Giving up extra time throughout the day to help others is a great way to keep the mind busy and really impact the community. Some suggestions include:

  • Local Meals on Wheels
  • Roadside rubbish pickup
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  • School lunch buddy program
  • Tutoring or reading to adults and children

Whatever interests you have, whether it’s spending time with seniors or mentoring kids, you can turn them into something productive by volunteering.

4. Birdwatching

In almost every zone and climate, birds make an impact on their surroundings. Following their habitats and interactions can be a peaceful and interesting hobby. Learn what birds are native to the area and set up a comfortable spot to observe. Add a birdhouse, feeder and fountain to create a welcoming environment and more photo opportunities.

5. Golf

In the sports world, golf is a favorite among people of all ages — it’s also a big money industry. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t let that deter you. There are plenty of ways to find affordable sets of clubs, including through Facebook Marketplace or at closeout pro shops. In addition, beat back the greens fees by going later in the day or walking the course without a cart.

Getting the most out of retirement starts with having fun every step of the way. Narrow down the main interests that mean the most. From there, choose a hobby that is fun and affordable, and start enjoying your free time.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!