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Ultimate List of Hobbies on a Budget

Do you find yourself in a season of life where time and money are a barrier to many of the things you want to do? Maybe the kids are growing and involved in so many things that you have no time to call your own. Or maybe you are strapped for cash because of medical bills, car repairs or school fees. Since we believe that everyone needs to focus on their personal hobbies to keep themselves balanced, I’ve created this list of the top hobbies that anyone can pursue without a lot of financial investment. Let’s get out there and follow our hobbies without breaking our potentially limited budget!

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Ultimate List of Hobbies on a Budget


Sure, there are exotic, heirloom seeds that you can buy and there are a multitude of amazing tools and pieces of equipment that experienced gardeners use. But if you have a limited budget, you can easily create amazing flower and vegetable gardens. Use what you have. Borrow tools from your friends. Harvest seeds from one season to the next. Ask family if you can help thin their lilies, irises and wildflowers. Gardeners love to share and help others get started. Gardening is one of the most frugal hobbies that anyone can learn if they are willing to get their hands in the dirt and learn from others.

How to start your first garden


A love for books requires absolutely no money. You can check out books from your local library, read them on a mobile device using the KYUnbound program or just ask friends and family to share their books when they are finished. Anyone can read a book and escape to a new reality!

portable hammock


One of the most frugal activities we can pursue is hiking and exploring outside. Fill up a water bottle at home, grab some peanut butter/crackers and go explore a local waterfall or state park near you. Need some new destination ideas? Check out this list of waterfalls that we love in Central Kentucky!

Stamp Collecting

This is one of the easiest hobbies to begin from scratch. Start with the stamps that come in your own mailbox then branch out and ask family and friends to save stamps for you so you can start collecting stamps. Talk to a local church secretary and ask them to save the envelopes that they receive from overseas missionaries. You can even check with your Facebook connections and ask them to send you a letter so you can get stamps from around the world.


Crochet and Knitting do require yarn which can be an expensive investment. But once you let people know that you are learning to knit or crochet, you may be surprised with how many people have skeins of yarn or extra needles and hooks in a box in their closet that they are happy to share! Dollar stores often have yarn that sells for super cheap and make for some great starter projects.

Movie Buff

During the hot summer days or cold winter nights, many people love catching up on the latest movies. If you love watching movies, you can pursue this hobby with little or no money. Skip the theater experience and check out movies from the library, ask friends or family to share their DVD’s with you or exchange your old movies, games and books at a local book store like McKay Used Book Stores. **If you have Amazon prime, you can watch an entire movie collection for free with your subscription service!


You’re probably skeptical that you can pursue photography without spending money but most people carry a mobile phone in their pocket that has a better camera that many of the original film cameras. Watch some youtube videos to learn how to use your phone camera. Study angles. Experiment with lighting and angles. Create an Instagram account to share your photos with other like minded budding photographers.


Experienced campers and outdoor stores may try to convince you that you need the top of the line gear to camp outside in the woods. But I can tell you from personal experience that you only need the basic supplies to enjoy the camping adventure. Borrow a tent and sleeping bag from family or friends so you can get out and sleep under the stars. No money or time to go to a special campsite? Just camp in the backyard and start with baby steps!

camping in the backyard (1)

Coin Collecting

Years ago when the state quarters were first released, we would go to the bank and trade out a few dollars a week for a roll of quarters. It cost us no money and we would then have the fun of digging through the roll of coins looking for the ones we needed to complete the collection. If you enjoy collecting coins, talk to your banker and ask them to hold out some of the coins that you need for your collection and see if you can trade them out.

Board Games

Remember the old days when people would sit around and play checkers in front of the local general store? There’s something to be said for old school board games! If you love the competitive spirit of games that don’t require batteries like Checkers, Chess or Rook, then bring back game night with your family and friends. You probably have lots of games in the back of a closet that haven’t seen the light of day in a while or you can ask your friends to share their games with you that they aren’t using. Thrift stores often have games on the shelf for super cheap that you can buy and create amazing family game nights!

Family Game Night


Puzzles are great for hot summer days and cold winter nights. People who love puzzles are known for their sharing spirit. All you need to do to find some great puzzles is to mention it once or twice on social media or the next time you see your family at reunions. Have everyone bring a puzzle and host a swap. These are great ways to spark conversation and make connections.

What are your favorite hobbies? Are you enjoying them right now or having a hard time finding ways to pursue them? I’d love to hear how you are working your hobbies into your season of life!

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