Living on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t have hobbies.  While some hobbies can be expensive, you don’t have to go broke in order to enjoy one.  

It really is as simple as swapping expensive hobbies for cheaper ones, or even free ones.  Sometimes your hobbies might even help you earn a little extra cash!

Here are 8 frugal hobbies that even someone on the tightest budget can enjoy.


Take advantage of your local library, used bookstores, or book swaps if you’re on a tight budget.

If you have an e-reader or tablet, you can purchase e-books that are cheaper than the paperback version.


I check out Amazon’s Kindle Store regularly and use the sort featured to sort “low to high” to find loads of free ebooks. I’ve got several other ways to find FREE ebooks in this article.

Bonus… ebooks help reduce clutter!


Learning to sew is an incredibly useful skill.

You can make and mend clothes, quilts, and even gifts for friends and family members.

I learned the basics of sewing back in high school, and I’ve used it a number of times since.

I’ve even created King Size Quilts using my sewing machine, and I’ve even fixed some of our cat’s favorite toys.


Hiking is a great and cheap way to go exploring and get outside.

There are two state parks just an hour away from us, with trails that range from beginner to expert hikers.

Sometimes we’ll drive up to one of these parks and spend our afternoon hiking the trails and watching for animals.

Play Board Games

We have an entire cabinet full of board games in our home that we break out whenever we’ve spent too much time in front of the TV.

At least once a month you would catch our family playing Scattergories, Uno Attack, or just random card games

If you really want to laugh, play Guesstures, our family loves playing to win the “trophy”.

Board games are a great way to spend time with your friends or family and will continue to pay for themselves over and over again.


Photography is a relatively inexpensive hobby because all you need is a camera.

Even most cell phones nowadays have really great cameras, so you don’t need to buy a DSLR camera right away.

However, if you’re looking to get into professional photography, you will definitely need one.

Plus, if your photos are good, you can make money selling them on stock photo sites!


Think of geocaching as an outdoor real-world treasure hunt.

All you need is a GPS (you can even use your phone) or a compass!

Participants navigate to a set of coordinates and attempt to find the hidden container at that location.


There are millions of “geocaches” hidden around the world!

We’ve enjoyed hours of “hide & seek” hunting down boxes while we hiked along trails or at parks or when we were camping.

Just make sure you have a little something to put back in the box as a surprise for someone else!


Jigsaw Puzzles, Word Searches, and Crossword Puzzles are all great and inexpensive hobbies.

I used to love doing word search puzzles in my spare time. I still do them every now and then, but it’s a lot less frequent.

They help give your brain a workout too, which keeps you agile enough to keep up with your kids!

You can get puzzle books and jigsaw puzzles at the dollar store, or find them online or even a Smartphone App for free. 

If you consider setting aside the expensive hobbies temporarily for cheaper ones, or even free ones, you can save quite a bit of money. And it’s especially fun when you choose the hobby like photography that can potentially earn you a little extra cash!


YOUR TURN: What expensive hobbies do you like to do for fun that you could replace with something in this list? Comment below to let me know!

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Living on a tight budget doesn't mean you can't have hobbies. It really is as simple as swapping expensive hobbies for cheaper ones, or even free ones.  Sometimes those hobbies might even help you earn a little extra cash!