This article was written by Alexander from daytradingz.com. He started his blog in 2016, sharing his experiences in short-term investing as well as revealing insights about major vendors in this segment.
Nobody likes to feel financially dependent on their job. While income is necessary to cover major living expenses, you might also become dependent on your job to fund your hobbies.
Why not develop some free or affordable hobbies that will allow you to have more money for other things in life, such as meaningful experiences or financial independence?
Instead of buying more and more things you do not need, why not focus less on your material possessions and more on your creative experiences?
More fun through minimalism and great leisure activities
Instead of spending the whole day in front of your latest high-tech toy, start doing things that will give you real long-term satisfaction: take your life into your own hands, acquire new skills, and develop your personality.
Say goodbye to everything that does not take you further and invest your time and energy into something pleasant.
And by the way, while you’re focused on leading a better life, you automatically save the amounts you would have invested in the must-have lifestyle high-tech gems as well.
A great pastime makes your life exciting, interesting and entertaining.
The only question left is what cool leisure activities you might choose that would combine the pleasure of happiness and saving real money at the same time.
Here are nine of my personal favorites:
If you want to share your opinion on certain topics with others, why not use your own blog or YouTube? You can launch it for free with a provider such as WordPress.com, or you might take the matter into your own hands, registering a domain – with low monthly fees of 2 to 3 dollars you can create your own website with a cheap provider and also have full control over it.
Additionally, you‘ll learn a few technical things and who knows what you might accomplish with these skills in the future? And as for a cool side effect, maybe your blog has the potential to become so good that you‘ll earn some money blogging.
The clear advantage of this pastime: you don‘t need more than a laptop (and some electricity). Programming constitutes good brain jogging and a great way to let off steam creatively. Incidentally, you also learn things that may be useful to you in your present or future job and acquire a skill that will help you earn more money.
3. Painting and crafts
To enjoy this highly creative hobby, you really don’t have to be an artist. You can start with a few pens and simple paper or with a coloring book. If you prefer working with a brush and with watercolor paints, you can find surprisingly cheap deals and buy equipment and materials that last for along time.
In many cases, you won’t have to pay anything at all for crafts. Can you still remember what you created with leaves, little chestnuts and other things that you collected during a nice walk when you were a child? You can still do this now and besides, a lot of things that you never use anymore can be recycled in a useful way.
4. Watch stock market movies at home
Do you have any active subscription to Amazon Prime or to Netflix?
Well, what about watching one of the best stock market movies, like e.g. ‘Wall Street’ or ‘The Big Short’? It wouldn’t happen for the very first time that a movie serves as a source of inspiration for your life in the future.
If you’re already paying for the subscription anyway, watching a stock market movie may offer you a fascinating and useful free activity for your next weekend. It will be an interesting kind of entertainment – this is guaranteed!
5. Learn something new
What about learning something new and useful? For example, you can use your time off to get familiar with new computer programs, to cook a completely new dish or even to study a foreign language that will be a significant advantage for your job or for your next trip abroad.
Learning doesn’t have to cost anything at all… But it will provide you with joy and prepare you to take advantage of new opportunities in the future!
6. Read a book
Can you imagine any more wonderful plan for a rainy weekend than to travel where ever you want to go? And you won’t even have to leave your house for this.
An endless number of fantastic books are waiting for you. You have the choice between thrilling, emotional or mysterious novels and all kinds of highly interesting non-fiction books that may even teach you things that you never heard of before. Grab your personal favorites, sit down, lean back and enjoy completely new and unknown worlds with a delicious cup of coffee!
If your book is fascinating, while reading it you will watch your personal movie on your mind. Nothing else may ever stimulate your imagination in the same astonishing way.
Share your books with your friends or find surprisingly cheap used books on the flea market. You will enjoy your weekend adventure almost for free!
And what to do when the weather is just perfect?
Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies of all. So, it fits perfectly that also this doesn’t have to be expensive at all.
If you have your own small garden, it may be your personal little piece of paradise. Here you can spend your time growing your own flowers, fruits, and vegetables. You will surely be proud of the results that will be much more natural than everything that you may ever find at a grocery store.
Later, you will have the chance to use your own vegetables and fruits to create delicious dishes, sauces, or jams. This will help you to save money in the end.
8. Go on a walk
When the weather is nice, a long walk can be absolutely wonderful.
While you enjoy the beauty of nature around you or while you discover new interesting places in the city in the best possible way, the fresh air and the exercise are excellent for your health. In addition to this, the sun helps your body to produce the highly important vitamin D that improves your mood.
When couples walk together, they have time to talk and to exchange their thoughts, impressions, and experiences. This may help them to feel even closer to each other.
It is also no problem if you walk all alone as this gives you the chance to feel complete peace of mind and to think about everything you want. In your daydreams, you may even fly away to every place that you are longing for.
Beside this, looking at all the fresh green along your way has a proven positive effect on our health. Maybe you will even be ready to listen to the fascinating stories that old trees may have to tell you.
And the very best of all: You will get all this for free.
9. Go hiking
If a shorter walk is not enough for you, just pack and grab your backpack and leave for a long hike!
It is completely up to you if you will decide to come back home at the end of the day or if you will take a tent with you to spend a night outside. Listen to the songs of the birds, watch cute and interesting animals, and enjoy seeing thousands of stars with a much brighter light than in the city!
Hiking is great for your health and you have the choice to do it with your family, with your friends, or all alone (but be sure to tell someone where you go!).
Having fun is up to you
Does any of these nine activities suit you?
If not, here comes the good news:
You do not necessarily have to resort to sports, learning or programming.
There are many other creative pastimes:
- Playing soccer
- Playing computer games
- … Or anything else that takes you out into nature
What do they all have in common? They are all creative, active, or even productive occupations.
Instead of spending a lot of money to be served at restaurants, theaters, or cocktail bars, you generate the “added value” with your own activities. That will make you happier in the long run and allows you to learn something new every time.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional restaurant visit or concert ticket, but it needs to be in moderation and not every weekend. The same applies to holidays. A five-star all-inclusive luxury hotel is cool, but so is camping… and it is also significantly cheaper!
Sticking to active, inexpensive leisure pursuits instead of expensive consumer hobbies is not a renunciation but an asset. Friendships, fun, and happiness do not cost money in and of themselves. Consumption is what costs money.
Anyone who is used to making friendships, fun and happiness through consumption may come to think that these things have to cost money, but in my opinion, this confuses some fundamental values. Saving does not mean that one has to forego quality of life, enjoyment, and meaningful relationships.