Hobbies help us stay sane. Without hobbies, our lives would be empty or only filled with work, sleep and eating. In fact, a lot can be said about the type of hobbies you have. While hobbies can make up a huge part of our lives, they don’t have to make up a huge part of our budget. Here are some great hobbies you can do for free.


This hobby is so large that it can be broken down into countless, different sub-categories. Not only do activities like running, jogging and walking require no special equipment or skill, but they can be performed whenever you’ve got spare time and wherever you’d like. Don’t like running? Resistance training—using your own body as weights—and at-home yoga can be free. Use an app to find exercises or search online for workouts that you can do in your own home without spending any money!


The Internet is a revolutionary tool not only because it’s changed how we communicate with one another but because it allows people to access any piece of information they could ever want. MOOCs, free online university courses allow anyone listen to and participate in a university-level course, regardless of their ability or willingness to pay (For more, see How Coursera Works And Makes Money.)

If learning for fun doesn’t appeal to you as a hobby, you can learn a new language online and then seek out native speakers to befriend.

Reading and Writing

These two hobbies are almost joined at the hip. Reading is a hobby that can be done anywhere and can be enjoyed for free through a library. Writing is as simple as buying a cheap pen and a notebook. If you’re not into old-fashioned pen-on-paper fun, you can easily write the next great American novel on your home computer.

Starting a Vegetable Garden

While this hobby does involve upfront costs, people who eat a lot of vegetables will find that the minimal cost of seeds and water is far less than the cost of constantly buying vegetables in the store. Even assuming that the cost of gardening supplies equals the retail cost of vegetables, gardening is more or less a free hobby. Having fresh vegetables in the garden makes this a convenient and relaxing hobby for anyone with enough land to make it happen. (For more, see Six Hobbies That Can Make Or Save You Money.)


Helping out in your local community is the only hobby on this list that sometimes pays you. From free coffee and tea to catered lunches, organizations usually give a little something back to their volunteers. If your idea of a perfect hobby is meeting new people and making a difference in your community, volunteering is a free activity that you will have no trouble enjoying. (For more, see Tax Breaks for Volunteering.)

Consuming Media

There are millions of ways to consume media: you can read a newspaper, watch TV, flip through magazines and more. Thankfully, in the Internet Age, we have YouTube, the ultimate media consumption website. In exchange for advertising revenue, companies and individuals will upload all types of content (movies, music, TV shows) of all genres. With an hour’s worth of content uploaded to YouTube every second, there’s no shortage of ways to consume media. (For more, see How To Monetize Your YouTube Channel.)

The Bottom Line

Hobbies have changed a lot in the past 50 years. Computers and the Internet have given us great new ways to enjoy hobbies for free while our old favorites still remain. Whether frugal by nature or on a tight budget, you can enjoy these hobbies and become a more well-rounded person for free.