My cheap hobbies (what’s yours?)

People’s hobbies fascinate the heck out of me. I love finding out what people like to do for fun, love that moment when their faces light up, grinning while they explain their obsessions. I love when their faces get expressive and their body language exudes openness, sharing. I get seriously high basking in other people’s passion.

(Unless their passion is collecting+displaying expensive stuff for the sole purpose of showing off. I’ve had people show me their designer clothes/shoes collection, their vape collection, expensive liquor collection, perfume… I can’t help but to be a bit judgmental – that could have been your retirement fund, dude/ette… oh well it’s your money.

Hobbies can be cheap or expensive. My personal preference is cheap and practical, but I it doesn’t always turn out that way. Sometimes your hobbies pick you, and you just gotta go with it.

Below, I’m sharing my cheap hobbies and how much it costs to start. As I write, a part of me is like, why some of it so girl one your hobbies, then another part is like, what’s wrong with girl hobbies Suraya hish just be proud of it. Internal misogyny wtf.

Personal finance

Duh. I swear, when I have nothing to do, I start checking my budget and double check my spending-tracker app to make sure I didn’t forget to list something, or accidentally double-listed something.

Cost to start: Time. Read a lot, and apply best tips one by one, see which ones you can live with. The best personal finance tips are the ones you can use.


IMG 20151110 175726
top: dreamcatcher design        bottom: unfinished half-sleeve

Picked it up as a hobby during 2015 New Years. Bought myself a set of 10 black henna tubes to start with, learned basics via Youtube, practiced (thanks, friends who let me use your body as canvas!), and now my skills are getting better 😀

I must admit that I fantasised going around Europe, offering it to people and earning travel money that way. Haha, it’s nowhere near as good as I hope (yet!), but henna is so, much, fun. It washes off in a couple of weeks, so when mistakes happen, I’m like, eh, you’ll fade soon enough.

Best part is that this satisfies my tattoo craving, being Muslim and all. When I have a half-sleeve on and ride LRT or whatever in public, I get a bit poyo (padahal punya buruk the drawing lol).

Cost to start: You can get single tubes at Indian shops for around RM4. I got mine in bulk from here.

Practical use: My sister might use my services for her wedding! Might.


Pic taken from reddit

Picked it up from a friend, because oh my gosh look at it, it’s so pretty and graceful unlike me. Poi is part of flow arts, which also include a range of other pretty things like hoops, wands, whips, staffs, etc.

Cost to start: I got myself a Podpoi, for RM300++, but you can start with a Sock Poi which is much cheaper (buy from the KL Flow Community). Attend their Wednesday Flow Meetups to meet the community and to learn from friendly people. Getting the toy is a one-time investment to start dabbling in flow arts, but know that you will itch for other toys, simply because they are so damn cool.

Practical use: More dexterity. The Podpoi itself can be used as decoration.


Pic credit

My aunt slash cousin taught me how to crochet when I was really young, in primary school. In Japan, during my exchange year, I made a scarf similar to the picture above and used it during winter. My last project was some time ago, but I’m planning to make a crochet basket or something soon. Something like below. It’s hard to find a large needle in Malaysia, perhaps I have to order it online somehow.

I was taught how to knit and cross-stitch as well, but I like crochet better – but that’s just a preference.

Pic credit

Cost to start: To make small things like doilies and stuff, all you need is a needle and some yarn (go to sewing shops or Daiso). RM10-20 perhaps? Go to Youtube for lessons and Pinterest for inspiration.

Practical use: Make something to give as present? But I don’t want and don’t like to give people something they don’t use, so this is hard. I’ve only made things for myself.

Am trying new things at the moment, so while they don’t count as a hobby yet,they have the potential to be. Am currently learning how to code via Code Academy (here’s a great resource on where to start). I have started brewing my own kombucha, a fermented health drink (thanks friend for the starter culture!). Am also starting cross fit, because I don’t think I can lose weight healthily on my own (but at the same time, scared – because the last time I joined a fitness class, I got a knee injury).

I have more things to do on my to-try checklist. Set up an herbs garden. Make own yogurt. Set up a couple of aquaponics farm in my house. Get and play around with robotics kit. List goes on, and continue being added.

What’s your cheap hobby(ies)?


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