Balancing a frugal life with a fun life can be difficult. Many hobbies and forms of entertainment cost money, and some are more expensive than others. Some hobbies - like yachting - are prohibitively expensive for the average joe. Others, like hiking, are practically free in the right circumstances. Choosing fun hobbies that don't hit up the wallet too hard can be a great way to reduce living expenses while still letting you lead the life you want.
Choosing a new hobby is a simple process, though some of the details can require a lot of thought. Follow the next few steps to gain a new, cheaper, more exciting handle on life!
- Consider the cost. Cheaper is better, but there are multiple angles to think about. Entry cost is only one part of the equation. There are also incidental costs (like, say, the cost of buying more paintballs), maintenance costs (repairing your hiking boots), and upgrade costs (like getting more involved in the hobby's community). Cost is not necessarily monetary, remember! It can involve significant time and social commitments.
- Think about your overarching interests. Are you a nature lover? An athlete? Do you like making things? How about challenging yourself? Thinking about these things will get your mind working on the possibilities.
- Favor physical activities over sedentary ones. Being physically active is much better for you. Mental growth is important too, but if you're used to sitting at home, opt for the physical new hobby over the mental one.
- Make a list. Considering the first three steps, do some research on fun activities that might match your interests. Don't just rely on Google, either; check out the local library and review your options in your home town. Some cities have extensive bike trails, while others might have public tennis courts. See what's available.
- Narrow the list. Pick two options from it, and try out both. Go with the one that seems more fun to you after a month or so.
- Enjoy your new hobby! Spend a lot of time with it. Hobbies can stagnate and become boring if you don't engage them often, so try and dedicate specific blocks of time to it every week.
Don't worry about retiring old, expensive hobbies. Just devote a decent chunk of time to your new hobby, and if you enjoy it, you'll find that your other hobbies won't seem as important and will fade in time...along with those expensive side costs that accompanied them!