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This article discusses ideas for frugal ways to spend your time and ideas for new hobbies for you to try!
Aside from my rent and food costs, my monthly expenses are usually relatively low. That doesn’t mean that I just stay in my room and do nothing all day, though! I like to keep myself busy with a variety of hobbies.
Spending time learning and honing these crafts has helped me to keep my expenses low and even makes for perfect no spend days!
1. Learn a musical instrument
I played a ton of musical instruments growing up (piano, trumpet, clarinet, French horn, violin). Back then, learning an instrument was expensive. Oftentimes, you had to pay for your own instrument and private lessons.
Luckily, my school provided instruments free of charge and music lessons for free. However, my parents still had to pay for private piano lessons which weren’t cheap ($40+ an hour). Not to mention, we also had to buy piano books and a piano so that I could practice every day at home.
Fast forward to 2018, there are so many frugal ways to learn how to play a musical instrument. Although learning a musical instrument is a huge time investment, it doesn’t have to cost you very much money!
Thanks to the Internet, you can now teach yourself how to play an instrument from the comfort of your own home. You don’t even need to hire a teacher! You can also find sheet music absolutely free! The main investment you’ll need to make is on a musical instrument.
Places to find used musical instruments:
- Local listings
Places that offer free musical lessons:
- Udemy offers great self-paced courses for a low fee (around $10)
Places that offer low-cost musical lessons:
If you are in need of a teacher, you can even hire one for a pretty low price over Skype. Nowadays, you can hire teachers from halfway across the world. Back when I was learning piano, I could only choose from the few piano teachers that lived in my area!
One place that I use to study languages online which also offers music lessons is Preply [GET 30% OFF FIRST LESSON].
Places to find free sheet music:
I haven’t paid for sheet music since I was a kid. I usually just google “song name + pdf” or “song name + instrument name + sheet music” and there are tons of free sheets available online. A lot of music enthusiasts will transcribe their own version of popular songs and offer them to be downloaded for free!
Another site I usually use is 8notes
Another tip is to go on YouTube and find a cover of a song you like. Usually in the comments the musician will post a link to the sheet music he/she used!
Volunteering is a great way to pass time, help someone out, and even build your resume/CV. I love volunteering because it helps me give back to the community and feel connected to other people. The best part is, volunteering is absolutely free! The only cost is your time!
Some great ideas for volunteering:
- Habitat for Humanity
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Soup kitchen
- Retirement home
- Food bank
- Homeless shelter
- Red Cross
- Blood drive
- Tutoring children
- Charity race
- Local hospital
- Coaching children
- Delivering Meals On Wheels
- Plant trees
- Garbage clean-up
Places to find volunteering opportunities:
My best suggestion is to search online by googling “volunteer opportunities + your city.” That’s usually how I find out about volunteering initiatives happening in my area!
3. Learn to cook
Learning to cook is a great way to pass time. You can find tons of free recipes and cookbooks online. Furthermore, cooking your own meals will help you save thousands of dollarson food expenses!
This Youtube channel has easy recipes to help you get started!
4. Learn a new sport
I love doing sports because it keeps me active and is also a fun way to pass time. I’m a bigger fan of individual sports like figure skating and snowboarding than I am of team sports.
You can pick up a new sport easily by going to the local community center and checking out the programs that they have available. It is usually free or at a very low price. I usually go to my university’s sports center to try out new sports (for free).
Another way to learn a new sport is just by watching YouTube videos and reading forums. That’s what I did when I was first learning how to snowboard! No joke!
5. Learn a new language
One of my favourite pastimes ever is studying languages. I love travelling and I absolutely cannot stand it if I cannot speak the local language – at a minimum I need to know at least a few basic words.
My first language stay abroad was in Paris, France when I was 17. Since then, I’ve also done a few language stays – most recently in Spain to learn Spanish!
You don’t have to do language stays in order to learn a new language though. There are plenty of free videos (on YouTube). I also used to take some courses on Udemy.
However, once you reach a high enough level, I’d recommend taking group classes or hiring a private tutor. I’ve hired a private tutor over Skype through Preply [GET 30% OFF FIRST LESSON] and I’ve always had good results. I’m currently studying Spanish by Skype with my tutor!
6. Start a blog
Of course I had to throw blogging into the mix here. Ever since I started this blog, my time has been so consumed. Every waking moment when I’m not in school or sleeping, I’m thinking about my blog.
Also, check out my guide to starting a blog!
7. Go hiking/go for a walk
I love hiking. I find it meditative. I’m lucky because I live close enough to the mountains that I can go whenever I want.
However, even when I used to live in the big city, I would still just take a walk every day after dinner around the block or to the local park. I find that walking and hiking really helps me to reflect on what’s happening in my life and to help me feel more grounded!
Reading is an excellent hobby because it helps you improve your vocabulary and transforms you into another world! Best of all, reading can be TOTALLY FREE. You can borrow books from the library for free or try to find eBooks online! I also love consuming blogs, they’re excellent reading material as well!
Lastly, I cannot end this post without including my favourite pastime of all: dance. You don’t have to become a ballerina to enjoy dance.
My mom started learning line dance a few years ago and now she’s become an instructor and teaches her friends everyday in the park! My mom learned everything just by watching YouTube videos!
I wrote a post about all of the life lessons that studying classical ballet has taught me, maybe it will inspire you to take up dancing!
Today I talked about frugal hobby ideas and ways you can learn something new for almost no cost! So what do you think? Will you be trying something new today?
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