20 Inexpensive, Easy, Entertaining Hobbies You Can Literally Start Today

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Everybody needs a hobby. It doesn’t matter what it is, exactly; it’s just nice to have something going on in your life other than your job and other immediate obligations. Hobbies are something you have just for you.

Unfortunately, a lot of people feel like they don’t have the time or money to dedicate to a new hobby. This list of cheap and easy hobbies is for them.

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Literally all you need is some paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy paper. Just any kind of paper in a square will do. Watch some YouTube videos (free!) and get started folding magnificent shapes in no time.

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All you need for this one is some paper and a pen. If your paper happens to be bound up in a fancy journal, great! But any old notebook will do. Write about what you’re thinking, your future plans, what you see around you — just the act of writing is super cathartic and relaxing.

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Use that same paper and pen to start drawing. If you’ve always wanted to get better at drawing, try drawing the image upside-down. This forces your brain to see what’s actually there, rather than just drawing what you think you see.

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Don’t know what to draw? Then just doodle. Zentangles are series of structured patterns that you can use to fill up space on your paper. They look awesome and super complicated but are actually very simple to learn.

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You can get a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle for under $10 at your nearest Target, but there are cheaper (and more expensive!) options all over the place. Then settle in with a good podcast or audiobook, ’cause you’ve got several hours of puzzle fun ahead of you.  

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Having plants around your house livens up your space and brings the outdoors in. There are a bunch of plants that are perfect for beginners. Just make sure to do your research before you head to the nursery!

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Sure, you can shell out hundreds of dollars for a pair of fancy binoculars. Or you can just go outside and look around for some birds. Or you can put a birdfeeder by your house and wait for the birds to come to you! The Audobon Bird Guide app is totally free and has a bunch of tips for birders who are just getting started.

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If you’re totally entranced by the above GIF (and seriously, how could you not be?), then you should know that that kind of fancy handwriting is totally within your grasp! You can get a decent starter fountain pen on Amazon for about $15, and from there, the world is your oyster. You can also look up cool examples of hand lettering on Pinterest that you can do with any old pen you have laying around.

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And once your handwriting is on-point, send a letter! Everyone loves to get mail, right? All it’ll cost you is postage. (Next time you’re at the post office, check out the stamps they have for sale. They always have multiple series that are usually more fun than the standard American Flag design.)

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Adult coloring books are still totally a thing. Get yourself one of them (along with some colored pencils, crayons, or markers) and get ready to color the day away. You can also find coloring book pages to print off online for an even more budget-friendly option.

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Step one: Go to your nearest craft store and get some needles, embroidery floss, and an embroidery hoop. This will cost you less than $10. Step two: Grab a pillowcase or other piece of fabric. Step three: Choose your design. You can draw something right on the fabric, trace a coloring book image, or print something from the Internet to trace. Step four: Look up how to do a backstitch on YouTube (that’s the easiest beginning stitch). Voila! You’ve got a new hobby!

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Do you know what’s in pasta noodles? Flour and eggs. That’s it! If you want to get a pasta roller, you can, but it’s not necessary. Just use some good old-fashioned elbow grease and roll the dough out, cut it into your favorite pasta shape, and boil it in some salted water for about 3 minutes. It’ll be some of the best pasta you’ve ever tasted.

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What’s a recipe club, you ask? It’s basically a book club except instead of books, it’s food. Pick a theme or specific ingredient for every meeting, then have everyone make a dish and bring it to share (along with recipe cards to hand out). Best club ever.

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Yes, baths are a hobby. And don’t you let anyone convince you otherwise. For a basic bath, all you need is some hot water, soap, and a tub. If you want to take it to the next level, get a bath bomb (or make your own!), some candles, and a glass of wine.

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Hunt for hidden treasure! Download the free Geocaching app and look up geocaches near where you live (there are more than 3 million of them in the world spread across 190 countries, so chances are there’s one not too far from your house). Then, follow the map, get outside in nature and live out your dreams of being a pirate searching for treasure.

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There are a bunch of videos on YouTube teaching various ASL signs. (You can probably learn the ASL alphabet in a single sitting.) This is a handy skill to have even if you don’t currently have any friends who are part of the Deaf community.

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You can also start learning a spoken language. The Duolingo app (totally free!) currently has lessons teaching 31 different languages — and the lessons are actually fun games rather than boring worksheets or monotonous verbal exercises.

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Meditating eases your mind and helps you relax. We recommend the Calm app (the basic version is free) as an easy way to get started if you’ve never meditated before. Don’t let the idea of meditation intimidate you — you’ll probably struggle with it a bit at first, but you’ll see the benefits almost immediately after your first session.

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Chances are you have some knowledge in an area that other people don’t. Maybe you know everything about an obscure foreign cartoon. Maybe you’ve participated in an obscure sport. Maybe you just happen to know the history of a specific Civil War battle. Whatever your interests, they probably have a Wikipedia page. And if they don’t, all the better! That means you get to write it!

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There are Ted Talks on thousands of topics on everything under the Sun. Take 20 minutes out of your day and watch something that might just change the way you think forever. (If you’re looking for a place to start, we can’t recommend this talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie highly enough!) Share this on Facebook with your friends who need a new hobby!

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