With Summer in full swing and the sight of your bank account on a constant decrease, it may be time to open up your horizons to some new free hobbies. The once full reservoir of your student loan has perhaps not withstood its initial promise of plentitude as you look disparagingly towards those ever waning figures. However, the overall picture is not so bad and you still have the virtue of time to make back some money by finding some free or at least extremely inexpensive hobbies to keep you highly entertained through Summer whilst also being mindful of your spending.
How about reading a new book? Or if you don’t enjoy doing that, then perhaps a podcast? This will teach you things different from that on your course and it hardly feels like ‘learning’ in the classroom sense that we’re accustomed to. Another free time filler is to have an explore of areas of the city through a wider lens, visit the parks, the museums or peruse the internet to investigate some of the free events available to you, especially as a student there are endless discounts around that you’ll miss once they’re gone!
During the cold winter nights of my university experience I found that creating a scrapbook of recent as well as old photos of some lived memories. Maybe this sounds like a childish waste of time, but it can be an extremely creative exercise as well as being therapeutic. Other ways of self- relaxation would be to try practising yoga? The proven health benefits of this includes improvement of flexibility, posture and strength as well as the sharpening mental attention and concentration by calming and centering the nervous system.
If you are a believer in the understanding that time is money, then a quick answer is to go online and do some paid online surveys which credit you in either vouchers or often real cash! Alternatively, how about using your time to develop practical skills that will benefit you in the future by developing purchasable attributes? Being bilingual enhances cognitive skills, and gives you a skill in high demand from employers, so why not start learning Spanish? If you aren’t linguistically inclined then perhaps you could learn something like coding, online websites will teach you how to master the skill in trade for a week of your Netflix consumption! Coding is a major, and growing part of online business and pays extremely well.
Or Learn to graphic design! This is another skill which can be learned from websites online and surprisingly doesn’t require you to be a natural ‘designer’ or have a particular artistic flair. Graphic design, from my experience of using online websites requires you to learn how to use the tools particular to graphic design, this can take some time but using them doesn’t require the same skills as picking up a paint brush. Instead it allows you to use software to communicate your own ideas to a consumable audience and once you know how to do this you can begin your freelance graphic design career.
Skills and hobbies are extremely important to hold on to. It can be tempting to think that we need to spend lots of money on exciting experiences to fill our lives that may seem essential to the brightening of our days. However, free hobbies which hone and develop our skills as people to help us grow can be equally, if not more personally enriching and give us greater confidence. Working on our hobbies now whether they be musical, practical or physical can also keep our financial options open in the future by gaining us employable skills. So try not to use your time stressing over your diminishing bank but do something you find entertaining and interesting to do which doesn’t cost- you never know, it might even pay off!