Whoever coined the phrase “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” was wrong. Boomers can learn new skills and enjoy new hobbies with as much enthusiasm as the younger generations. Maybe you’ve been on the hunt for a new hobby. Or maybe your current hobby is getting a little stale—or expensive. The good news is, there are fun hobbies that won’t break the bank! Here are 15 low-cost hobbies for Boomers.
C.S. Lewis, British scholar and author of the beloved Chronicles of Narnia series, once said: “You can make anything by writing.” Creative writing is a form of magic like no other: plucking thoughts from your head and ordering them on paper until they flow in beautiful prose. Best of all, you don’t have to pay a dime to write! All you need is a pen and some paper. You can also use a free word processor, like Google Docs or LibreOffice.
Did you know that over 95% of Boomers don’t listen to podcasts? That means 95 percent of Boomers are missing out! As a matter, many podcasts are made specifically for the older demographic. Consider The Retirement Answer Man or Retirement for Real. They break down complex topics like preparing for retirement into easy, bite-sized nuggets of information. You can discover even more podcasts on Senior Resource by clicking HERE.
Geocaching is a fun outdoor activity that hobbyists of all ages can enjoy. Invented in 2000 in a tiny Oregon town, it involves using a GPS system to locate containers. Caches are usually filled with items, known in the geocaching community as “SWAG.” The golden rule of geocaching is: “If you take something, leave something of equal or higher value.” Make sure you buy a few items, so you can follow this rule! They can be something as simple as a bouncy ball or a cute pen. Additionally, the geocaching app is FREE to download!
Do you have a passion for baking? Do you like photography? Or do you really want to discuss that new show you just finished Then you should start a blog! Whether you have one loyal reader or thousands, blogging is a fun way to share your thoughts with the world. You don’t even need to pay a cent! There are FREE blogging platforms that would be more than happy to be your new digital home.
Stargazing is an overlooked hobby. For those of us who live in the country, we might not even appreciate the celestial diamonds that grace the heavens every night. If you’re looking for an inexpensive hobby, try out stargazing! You don’t even need a telescope. All you need is your eyes and a comfortable spot in your backyard. To make it more educational, try to find as many constellations and stars as you can!
Nowadays, our favorite songs are only a Google search away. Websites like Spotify allow for easy listening. Of course, you can always visit YouTube and search for your favorite music that way, too. There’s another benefit to this hobby, too. Research shows that listening to music can actually reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep quality.
You don’t need an amazing camera to take beautiful photos. You just need a phone and a little creativity! If you end up wanting a better camera, you don’t have to take a loan to afford it. Best Buy sells discounted digital cameras. You can also find them on Amazon. If you’d prefer to shop in person, check out your local Goodwill. Some stores offer secondhand digital cameras.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker with several tiered cakes under your belt, baking is a fun skill! Plus, it’s useful! If you’re new to the pastry world, start small. Try to make some simple banana bread or brownies. For the more health-conscious among us, have no fear. You can still enjoy baking, too! Search for recipes that are healthier versions of your favorite, get out your mixer, and let loose. As famous chef and cooking teacher Julia Child once said: “The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.”
Did you know there are over 2,059 bird species in the United States? Birds are everywhere. They build nests in our trees and serenade us to sleep at night. And yet, many people don’t ever pay attention to them. However, a really fun and low-cost hobby anyone can enjoy is birdwatching! All you really need is some patience and a pair of binoculars. You can birdwatch in a state park or your own backyard. Plus, did you know that birdwatching might actually be good for your health? In fact, birdwatching is a proven form of stress relief. Who knew?
A lot of people exercise to stay in shape. Exercise may be especially important for older adults. Not only does it help with weight management, but it also boasts a wide range of cognitive benefits, too. Studies show that regular exercise actually reduces anxiety and depression! Exercising is also a low-cost hobby. You don’t even have to buy a gym membership or fancy equipment! You can always slip your feet into your comfiest shoes and hit the nearest walking trail. Or, if you prefer working out indoors, you can find countless FREE workout routines online. For example, Senior Fitness with Meredith has a huge catalog of free workouts, ranging from quick, low-impact HIIT to balance exercises.
Puzzles are a fun, affordable hobby for people of all ages. You can buy a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle for as low as $10.99! Of course, there are also crossword puzzles and sudoku! You can find sudoku online for free at great sites like Sudoku.com and 24/7 Sudoku. Additionally, puzzles can be a fun social event! Invite your friends or loved ones to join you in putting together a puzzle. No wonder puzzles have so many wonderful health benefits!
If you’re a theater kid at heart, don’t let age stand in the way of pursuing your passions. Join a local theater troupe! Every production may not have an age-appropriate role, but you can still be involved by helping out backstage! Check your local senior center or community theater and see how you can get involved.
Fishing can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. At its core, it’s very simple. All you really need is a rod, some worms, and a bit of fortitude. You can buy fishing poles cheap, like this one for only $9.98 on Amazon! Plus, there’s another reason to look into fishing. It actually can improve your health! From boosting your immune system to stimulating the brain, the benefits of fishing are no red herring!
Book clubs can be a fun hobby for bookworms of any age. Better yet, it’s cheap! If you have a library card, you can check out books for FREE. If you can’t find any local book clubs in your area, you can always join an online book club. For example, the Goodreads Choice Awards Book Club is free to join, an easy way to connect with fellow bibliophiles, and a great place to find your new favorite reads. Talkshow host Oprah Winfrey also has a virtual book club that you can sign up for on her website. Of course, if you’d prefer to meet in person, don’t be afraid to start your own book club! All you need are some books and a few friends.
It’s never too late to learn a new language! In fact, older adults may benefit the most from learning a second language, as studies have shown it may thwart the onset of dementia. You can download apps like Duolingo for FREE. Of course, you can find free language lessons on YouTube, as well. Channels like Langfocus and Pod101 are great places to start your second language journey.
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Originally published November 08, 2023