I don’t know about you, but I’m always wishing I could find a new hobby that I love – but more than that, a hobby that I can afford. The two are hard to find in tandem, don’t you think?

If you’re looking for something new to try but you’re short on cash, here are 21 hobbies that are totally free, but could still be the next thing you really love.

21. Good for the soul.

I’ve been litter-picking and I find it more engaging than just walking.

It’s super soothing to help my community look tidier.

I think finding a good walking stick and then sharpening the end would be good. Walking stick, trash picker upper/holder, and great protection from any predators (human or animal).

20. Just ask my toddler.

You could collect rocks. You can start that in your own backyard even.

19. It’s soothing and educational!

I love walking for a couple hours listening to some music or podcasts.

People think I’m so sort of weirdo for going on long regular walks with no destination in mind.

18. On a walk in the woods.

Collecting spores, molds and fungus.

17. It’s so underrated.

Reading (public libraries).

Public libraries also offer free services in borrowing all sorts of media from other libraries. I watched all of the studio ghibli films by borrowing from public libraries

16. Either way, you win.


Straight up my favorite hobby. And you can enjoy it anywhere! Doing the dishes? Driving the car? Just sing!

Also: maybe it’s just me but singing is so cathartic I can use it to calm down when really angry or upset. So that’s a win too!

Do it well enough and people pay you. Shit, do it bad enough, and people pay you to stop.

15. You use your eyes.


**Edit 1: To the people saying you need binoculars, you have eyes, go find birds and watch them with those.

I do love to sit on my front porch in the early morning and watch all the squirrels, chipmunks and birds. As well as the occasional cat. There is just something about how busy they all are that brightens my day just a bit

14. You never know what you might see?

Cloud watching.

13. Free instruction on YouTube!


12. They are delightful.

Taking naps.

My favorite. Especially if I get good blankets

11. You miss them when they’re not around.

People watching.

I never thought I’d say it, but after the last year and a half, I’ve really enjoyed having tourists in town again. People watching here is half people being really excited or awed at the city and what it has to offer, and the other half just amaze me because I don’t understand how people that dumb function in society at all.

It’s great!

10. It could be our last hope.

Reading, in my country, a permit at a library is free, you can sit there hours on end, enjoy free wifi, books and free water.

9. You might even make some cash!

Scrapping and you make money.

8. You’ve got the time, they’ve got a need.

Volunteering. You can meet great people, help others and learn something for life.

7. I would like to try this.

Chess. Online chess is totally free and materials to learn are all over the place.

Any basic chess app should have a two player function.

I would recommend using lichess.org – best chess website hands down

6. Nerd alert!

Dungeons and Dragons.

There’s tons of online guides on how to make and run characters or campaigns, there are a dozen flash sites for rolling dice, Owlbear Rodeo is a browser-based virtual tabletop for online play with a simple password connection system and an in-house map editor, and most of all, the Player Handbook and DM’s Guide are both completely free as PDFs online, and have been from Fifth Edition’s release, in addition to a slew of online campaign supplements filled with monsters, magic items, and even entire encounters to add to homebrew campaigns.

Go play it to bond with your friends, you dorks.

5. Warning: it’s addictive.


My husband and I are working on better recreational habits and one of the things we started doing is working on a sci-fi book together. HUGE bonding activity.

4. It could go either way.

Hiking is crazy expensive and crazy cheap. I hiked half dome this year and spent $500 on the trip and lodging/food.

I also live next to a greenbelt and can walk out and do a 10 mile hike without driving anywhere.

3. Maps are online.


Sky Map is a great app for this to help you figure out what you are looking at.

2. They’ll be so grateful.

Volunteering at a hospital, hospice, nursing home or any place really.

1. The pets you bring home aren’t free, though.

Volunteering at a local dog shelter.

There are some great suggestions here, y’all. Like, I’m for sure going to give some of these a try.

Can you think of another hobby that belongs on this list? We don’t want to miss any, so leave it in the comments!