I’ve always been an active person without a lot of free time. In college I took the maximum number of credit hours my university would allow, I wrote for the university newspaper, and I also worked a full-time job. The rest of my time was spend studying and watching Netflix marathons.
I always thought I’d have more free time after I graduated college, but now with a full-time job, a part-time job, a direct-selling business, and a blossoming freelance writing business, I still don’t have much free time.
But when I do have time off from my busy work schedule, I like to use it frugally and sometimes I still try to be productive on my “days off”. Here are a few smart and frugal ways to fill your free time.
Build Up a Side Hustle
As I mentioned, my side hustle is part of why I don’t have much free time these days. When I first graduated college I’d go home after work at 5:00p.m. and sit in front of the TV until bedtime.
After a couple months of this, I began to get bored of the same old routine and I was inspired by personal finance blogs to start a side hustle of writing online. A side hustle is a great way to earn some extra money and learn new skills by doing something you love or have always wanted to try.
Plus, most side hustles don’t cost too much to get started.
Entertain Yourself for Free
Another frugal hobby I have is reading. Since I’ve started a decluttering and getting out of debt mission, I haven’t been buying books or magazines. Instead I check out books from the library or borrow them from friends.
I do still get books as gifts sometimes, but otherwise I’m trying hard to not bring a bunch of new books into my home if they are not just borrowed. Reading is a free hobby if you always borrow and never buy and it’s a great way to learn and exercise your brain. It can also be a social activity if you are in a book club like I am.
…Or Really Cheap
Whenever my brain feels fried and it needs a break from reading and writing, I still like to veg out and watch some TV. These days I’m trying to do it on the cheap though.
As soon as my TV contract is up, I’ll be watching all of my TV via Netflix. Services like Netflix and Hulu are pretty cheap forms of entertainment (especially if you watch a lot of it). 🙂
Learn a New Skill
I have learned a few different skills over the years by practicing them in my free time. I am now decent at sewing and quilting, and I’d love to take up gardening and canning.
Some of these skills have become almost lost in our society today which is a shame as they are great ways to pass the time and sometimes save a little money too. Most of these hobbies do require some capital outlay (quilting can actually be pretty expensive if you’re not careful), but overall they are great skills to have.
What are some smart and frugal ways you use your free time?