Sometimes life gets crazy and we get to a point in time where we stop and realize that our life isn’t quite how we want it to be. Recently, I realized that I really did not have hobbies like I used to. I didn’t have things that I enjoyed to spend my time on outside of my family and my schoolwork and other responsibilities in life. I had interests but I never took time to turn them into actual hobbies, especially not budget-friendly hobbies.

Truthfully, I never felt like I had time or money to spend on hobbies. In 2018 though, I made a decision to make some time for myself instead of devoting every second of time to my family or school. It has made a huge difference!

Though it can be difficult to make time for hobbies, the fact is that there are ways to make hobbies affordable. Below, I’ve listed 10 budget-friendly hobbies. In order to save you time, I’ve listed only hobbies that can be completed in the comfort of your own home. That way you can fit them in between other tasks. For example, maybe you have dinner in the oven and you can spend 15+ minutes on your hobby OR maybe you have small kids that are taking a nap and you can spare a few minutes.

Here are the 10 budget-friendly hobbies:

1. Calligraphy

This would probably be my favorite pick out of these budget-friendly hobbies I’m listing. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. But it’s like art meets handwriting. It is so pretty! Calligraphy really looks easy but it is quite challenging. It is much harder than just normal writing or normal cursive writing. There is a lot more to it. You need a set of brush pens but you can probably get started for under $20. There are plenty of free YouTube videos that can teach you. Udemy also has video classes for calligraphy though. There are also some calligraphy workbooks on Amazon.

2. Succulent Gardening

Succulent gardening I’ve heard is not too terribly difficult. Succulents don’t need much watering. What I mean is they are a pretty low maintenance plant so that can be good for some people who weren’t successful with other types of gardening in the past. Also, succulents can grow from just a leaf (if that’s the correct term) of another succulent. You can just lay the leaf (?) on some dirt, spritz it with some water, and it will start to grow into a whole new plant. You can have a whole nursery of baby succulents.

3. Knitting or Crocheting

I have tried both knitting and crocheting. Crocheting is a little simpler and a little faster. If you compare finished products, I find that knitted items look higher quality. I prefer a knitted sweater over a crocheted sweater. Personal opinions probably differ on that subject though.

However, crocheting is easier for beginners. Either one can be interesting! It does feel good being able to use your hands to create something new. Being able to turn a ball of yarn into a cozy winter hat is pretty cool! It is also sometimes more cost effective to make something yourself than buy it. So if you are in the market for some cozy new things for winter, then maybe you should try to make your own by knitting or crocheting them!

4. Coding

In my opinion, this is the most interesting one out of these budget-friendly hobbies. Maybe you’ve looked into coding before but it seems far too intimidating. I promise though that it gets easier as you learn about it. I’m not an expert but I do understand most of it. I used to dabble in it more when I was younger. People say it’s kind of like learning a different language. Once you learn some of the “language” though, it gets easier!

This also seems like maybe it would be an expensive hobby if you look at the cost of some of the coding boot camps out there. They cost thousands and thousands of dollars. But if you are mainly doing this as a hobby (at least to start), then there are free YouTube videos available out there I’m sure. I know though that there are plenty of Udemy classes on the topic. Udemy frequently has sales so you can pay $10 or $20 for the classes only!

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5. Reading

Reading is something that most people probably enjoy. I’m sure you’ve read multiple books before in your lifetime. Maybe you haven’t been devoting much time to reading recently though; maybe life has gotten busy and you’ve neglected reading. Now is a good time to pick a few books you want to read this year and see if you can accomplish reading them all!

Some might worry that reading can get pricey with all of the books you would have to buy. There are a few options:

  • The Library
  • Amazon Kindle books
  • Audible

Audible is probably the more expensive option on that list. However, I do think that buying the Audible version of the book saves you a little money compared to buying a full-size hardcover version of the book. On top of that Audible can give some people access to books who normally would not have time to spend reading. It can also eliminate the clutter of paper or hardcover books. If you want to try out Audible at first, they offer a free trial you can find here:


Same for the library and Kindle books; They both eliminate the unnecessary clutter that books can bring. Kindle books are also usually very inexpensive. I’m not sure I’ve seen a Kindle book that cost much more than $10, even when the actual book was significantly more.

The library is obviously the most budget-friendly option. A library card costs nothing and as long as you’re returning the books on time, you should never have to pay.

6. Adult coloring books

Most people have heard of adult coloring books. I feel like they were more popular a year or two ago but they are still around. Many people are still enjoying them! Coloring can be really cathartic. It can also be nostalgic and bring you back to your childhood. I’m not sure I ever met a kid who hated coloring! That means that there is a good chance you also liked to color at some point in your life so maybe you can find enjoyment in it again.

Here are a few coloring books I loved from Amazon:

7. Yoga

Exercise, in general, can turn into a great hobby. It’ll keep you healthy and fit. It could help you lose weight if needed. It’s good for some many reasons. Better yet though, yoga is exercise but it also implements aspects of meditation and things to calm and relax you. That means that it could help you mentally as well as physically. Stress is like an epidemic nowadays so a hobby that can take care of your mental and physical health while relaxing you just seems like a win-win.

8. Blogging

It seems like there are so many blogs out there that maybe you’re thinking “Why should I add another blog to the mix?” OR “What do I have to tell people? Why would they listen to me?” The fact is that people like to hear other people’s perspectives. They like to hear other’s experiences and opinions. People are interesting to other people.

Besides that fact, some use blogging like an online journal. You can even use it like that and not really promote it or publish it to the public. Maybe you just want a place to keep all of your thoughts!

9. Writing

Writing can come in many different forms. I mean blogging like I listed above is actually a form of writing too I guess. You can also write plays, poems, stories, books, and journals. All of these can bring different forms of entertainment and interest to your life. Maybe you have an active imagination and writing out a play could be fun! You could also utilize your imagination and write up a children’s story. That would be so fun to draw illustrations for as well! It doesn’t mean you HAVE to publish any of your writing. It can just be a fun hobby even!

10. Cooking or Baking

Cooking up a new recipe can be really fun. Fast food and eating out gets old. Having a home-cooked meal at your own table can be nice. On top of that, it can be interesting to learn how to cook a new type of food. I tried to cook some Indian food once. That was an interesting experience! A lot of Turmeric was involved!! I liked it. My family wasn’t a huge fan. Just recently I cooked some Thai food. We usually get Thai food if we eat out so it was interesting trying to cook some at home. If you aren’t very experienced yet at cooking, you could start with something simpler like spaghetti even.

Baking can also be fun. I much prefer baking because I would rather eat a dessert than dinner. I haven’t baked many cakes in my lifetime. But I have baked pie, cobbler, apple crisp, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, etc. I bake muffins somewhat frequently. They’re a good healthy snack. I like to make lemon poppy seed, blueberry, or apple cinnamon muffins normally. There’s a recipe for raspberry lemon muffins I’ve been wanting to try too!


It’s interesting how it’s always possible to turn a hobby into a profitable business. For example, I’ve seen home businesses where the people sell printables they made with cute phrases using their calligraphy abilities OR I’ve seen a couple of people on Instagram advertising their succulent business where they make a little money selling the plants and mailing them to their customers!

But does turning the hobby that you enjoy into a business take away from the relaxing fun that a hobby is supposed to be? I have heard some people say that turning their hobby into a business ruined it for them. It made their fun hobby into a job, into work! I have heard it the other way around as well though where people say “Why wouldn’t I want to get paid for something I love to do in my free time already?!”

So what did you think of those 10 budget-friendly hobbies? Have you tried any of the ones I listed above? If so, let me know! If you have any more to add, then please let me know! I tried to pick hobbies that would be around $20 or under to start out…



  1. These are really good tips. I always want to try Calligraphy. Hopefully before the month ends. =)

    1. Kate @ Kate These Days Author

      I had also wanted to try calligraphy for a long time. The calligraphy videos I always watched were kind of mesmerizing. Their movements are also so fluid, elegant and graceful, and it’s just really pretty to watch. It’s definitely harder than everyone makes it look. But it is worth the time and practice in my opinion!

  2. You are so right. Taking time out for yourself is so important. I love to do so many of these suggestions. This is making me want to get back into some of them. 🤗

    1. Kate @ Kate These Days Author

      I’m glad my post might be pushing you to rediscover some of your passions 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!!

  3. I’ve tried crocheting because my mother loves it but I just can’t get the hang of it. My true passion is reading and the library is my happy place. Growing up I read anything I could get my hands on and now I still always have to have something to read in my handbag.

    1. Kate @ Kate These Days Author

      I’ve also tried crocheting and also knitting multiple times mainly because my mom or a friend loved it. I thought it might be something I would also pick up on and love but I’ve never stuck with it. Reading is a great hobby! Reading just fills you up with knowledge from all of the books you consumed or if you are reading fiction, I’m sure your imagination is amazing!! Books are fun! 🙂

  4. Pinning this SPECIFICALLY for your coding portion– I have never heard of Udemy but I’ve been wanting to get into coding. Thanks for sharing– I’m definitely going to have to take a look! <3

    1. Kate @ Kate These Days Author

      Oh! I’m so glad you found something really useful in this post. I have also been wanting to get into coding! I know basics but I haven’t really dived in with both feet yet. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  5. These are all great hobbies to be involved in. Some are more affordable than others though. Crochet can be affordable at first, but speaking from experience, once you’re invested in it, you will be spending money weekly on it. My wife is really into it now and she’s considering your first hobby mentioned calligraphy. What is your take on it?

    1. Kate @ Kate These Days Author

      That is true! Crochet can easily become a more expensive hobby.

      I am just getting started on calligraphy. I haven’t dedicated a lot of time to it yet. It’s just something I pick up here and there to work on when I’m bored. YouTube has definitely been my favorite resource for learning. There are plenty of free videos that teach calligraphy. I find calligraphy really calming! The one thing that I realized though is that my dual brush pens work much better on a better quality paper. So if you had a little more to spend, I would invest in a better quality notepad right away (instead of one like the $5 one I first bought).

  6. Succulent Gardening would be so fun to try! They can be hardy little fellows. Coding is probably one of my favorite free hobbies, and it has so many real-life applications! Who knows you could start it as a hobby and end up making over $80,000 a year.

    1. Kate @ Kate These Days Author

      Right! Coding can actually be really useful. It is a really practical hobby. I believe that many coding jobs just need you to have a portfolio or prove your ability. There are many coding jobs that aren’t as concerned with college degrees or training programs. They just want/need you to know what you’re doing and do it well! So if you end up being good at coding as a hobby, you could try to advance your knowledge and take it farther into a career. That would be amazing!

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