When your monthly budgeting efforts require tight cash controls, these hobbies will not destroy your financial plan. In some cases, they even result in saving benefits.
• Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening, whether for beauty or food, is a relaxing, satisfying hobby. If you work at a stressful job, the psychological benefits are even greater. Getting physical exercise while watching your plants grow and mature is both easy on your budget and personally rewarding.
• Reading. Become a regular visitor to your local library to have access to a universe of reading material—all at no cost. If you have a strong sense of history and tradition, browsing smaller bookstores may bring you titles you’ve longed to read and own at low cost.
• Sewing and crafting. Both of these hobbies are psychologically calming and generate pride in your workmanship. Additionally, these hobbies give you the opportunity to create unique, handmade gifts, jewelry, and home décor items at a fraction of the cost of buying them—if you could even find similar items—from a retail store.
• Cooking. You needn’t become an exotic, gourmet chef or have your own show on the Food Network to enjoy this wonderful hobby. You, your family, and your guests need to eat anyway. Trying new and healthy dishes and surprising diners with new variations on classic foods is great fun—and achieves your goal of frugal living.
• Entering sweepstakes is a fun—sometimes, monetarily rewarding—hobby. Sweepstaking is an inexpensive—usually, free—hobby that can sometimes result in winning money or luxury items that would be budget-busters if you bought them. If you’re new to the world of sweepstakes, you’ll be amazed at the number and variety of contests available online. The only danger: You could spend most of your free time finding and entering sweeps. Beware; this hobby can easily become habit-forming and great fun.
• Photography. Sure, photography can be quite expensive—if you want it to be. However, the many fabulous and low cost digital cameras available have made photography a hobby available to everyone. With advanced zoom capabilities in most digital cameras and no film purchase or developing costs, you can have fun with this hobby and remain living within your means.
Frugal living is not only about cutting bills, saving money or restricting your lifestyle. Living on a budget is merely a good habit to adopt. Having fun hobbies that cost you little but yield great rewards, relaxation and psychological excitement is an idea you can enjoy forever.