How to Start a New Hobby on a Budget

by Kristina Tahnyak on October 26, 2015 · 4 comments

Learning a new skill, starting a new hobby and finding a new past time can be very exciting, as new beginning usually are.  If you’re like me you like to give your all to everything you do.  However one of the biggest mistakes I always make is wanting everything to be perfect from day one.

In reality starting a new hobby takes time.  There is no point in spending a ton of money on classes, equipment and other materials before you know that you really love what you’re doing.

Here are four things to consider when starting a new hobby:

Research the costs involved

Some hobbies are cheaper than others.  If you’re taking up a new sport there can be costs involved with equipment and gear.  Sports like soccer, football, hockey and skiing or snowboarding can all be fun, but expensive hobbies.

Consider renting your equipment or buying items second hand before investing a lot of money up front.  It will help you save on the start-up costs until you’re sure you have both the time and money to invest.

Talk to others who have experience

One of the great things about the internet is that you can find people from all walks of life without having to pay for long distance phone calls.  You can find a tribe of people who share your new passion and they don’t even have to be in your zip code.

Talk with people who also participate in your hobby and ask about the costs involved as well as where to go.  That’s how I found my yoga studio.  I Googled yoga studio in my area and read what other people had to say about the class schedule, teachers and facilities.

Take a trial first

If your hobby has a sign up cost and ongoing commitment such as music lessons, yoga classes or a sports league take an initial introduction class or lesson before signing up for ongoing sessions.  This will help you get a feel for the hobby and help decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Before becoming an ongoing member to my yoga studio (which is $88 a month) I signed up for an introductory month of unlimited yoga for only $49.  I tried a variety of classes with different teachers to make sure that this particular yoga studio was where I wanted to be before making an ongoing financial commitment.

Ask a friend to join

Like most things in life, past times are better spent with friends and family.  Consider recruiting your spouse, best friend or a family member to join.  I once went to a ceramic class with one of my friends who was considering taking up the hobby.  I made a small plate that looked like it was pained by a child, but it was a fun two hours and my friend continued on to make some beautiful things for her home.

What’s your favorite hobby?




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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ JohnJaneDoe October 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

Buying limited equipment to begin a new sport and buying second hand are both good ways to minimize your start up costs. I knit, and while I have used a lot of stuff over the 7 years I’ve been doing it, I bought way too many different sizes of needles to start and ended up buying pretty yarn that isn’t fun to work with because it doesn’t feel good.

2 RAnn October 31, 2015 at 11:28 am

I’d say look for ways to do “it” on the cheap. My hobby is reading and I choose to buy book, or use the public library, or I can be a book blogger and get free review copies, and even make a few (very few) dollars from my blog.

Join the Y and you’ll gain access to a variety of activities; volunteer with them and they may give you a break on dues.

Do needlework and if you are any good at it, sell the results.

3 Jessica October 31, 2015 at 7:05 pm

I agree that sometimes the costs of our whims are very expensive, good tips on finding ways to ease the burden. Thanks!

4 Mel @ brokeGIRLrich October 31, 2015 at 10:47 pm

I always try to keep things as cheap as possible for the first few months of taking up a new hobby. I’m notorious for getting interested in a topic and then losing interest almost as quickly.

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