SPONSORED CONTENT -- (StatePoint) Have you ever been reluctant to try a new hobby because you were worried you would spend a lot of money on gear, supplies and other start-up costs only to lose interest?
Here are five great ways to explore hobbies more affordably:
1. Language exchange: Rather than purchase pricey software or attend in-person classes, consider finding a language exchange partner. Take turns conversing in each other’s native tongue and pick up important communication skills -- and maybe a friend -- along the way.
2. Built-in music lessons: Music lessons and instruments can be expensive. However, you don’t need a full-sized grand piano or multiple sessions with a private teacher to master the instrument. Today, digital keyboards can offer a high-quality piano sound at a price that’s within reach, along with features specifically designed for building the skills of novices. For example, Casio keyboards are affordable and some models are outfitted with Casio’s Step-up Lesson System, which can help you learn built-in songs at your own pace. Additionally, the LCD display teaches both music notation and correct hand positioning, while an innovative scoring system allows you to track your progress. By connecting to the free Chordana Play iOS/Android app, you can learn to play your favorite songs from downloaded MIDI files, taking your music further.
3. Pick-up games: While organized sports leagues are an opportunity to make friends and get some exercise, you may not have the time to commit to weekly games or the inclination to spend money on team equipment and uniforms. Whether you call up your best pals to play in the backyard, or try your luck at the local court or field, all the benefits of team sports (e.g. fresh air and camaraderie) can be experienced participating in a casual pick-up game.
4. Wellness: To participate in online yoga classes, all you need is a mat and comfy clothes. Online classes can deliver high-quality instruction for free on a schedule that works for you. The important thing is to find a teacher whose cues you understand and who practices a style that aligns with your needs and goals. Safety tip: if you are unsure how a certain pose or flow is performed, watch the video first before attempting it on your own.
5. Return-on-investment crafting: Crafting can be expensive, particularly if you work with high-quality materials. The good news is that once you master a particular skill, be it knitting, sewing or mosaics, there are opportunities to sell your work at craft fairs and on sites like Etsy. And of course, crafts can make amazing gifts for friends and family.
While hobbies can enrich the mind, body and soul, they don’t need to cost a fortune. With a little creativity, you can learn new skills and try different activities without breaking the bank.