Cut the cost of hobbies

18 November 2009

Doing an activity you love is one of the best ways to relax, but don't spoil it by spending more than you need to.

Follow Moneywise's top tips on how to cut the cost of your favourite hobby - and share your own tips in the comment box below.

Exercise for free

Gym membership and fitness classes can be pricey. So if you have a bit of experience, and a big enough living room, try doing the exercises yourself at home. stocks a huge variety of exercise DVDs at great prices. Alternatively, take a cheaper approach and do a team sport.

Read more tips on how to cut the cost of keeping fit

Swap shop

Buying brand-new books is expensive. Join your local library or start a swap shop at work where people bring in old books in exchange for ones they haven't read. Another option is to buy them second-hand.

Barnardo's and Oxfam both have shops dedicated to books, so there is plenty of choice for the average bookworm.

Read Moneywise's guide on how to make the most of swap shops

Make it social

Kill two birds with one stone by combining your hobby and seeing friends. Clubs such as 'Stitch 'n' bitch' (a knitting movement started in the US) have experienced a surge in popularity recently, as people look to enjoy their hobby with other enthusiasts.

If there's not a group for your hobby in the local area, start your own by asking in coffee shops or pubs if you can host informal gatherings there.

Become fluent

Try to learn a language with internet programmes or borrowed CDs instead of paying to go on a course.

You could also advertise in your local area to partner up with someone who wants to improve their English, and learn their native tongue in exchange. is a useful place to list requests.

Benefit from a maestro

Paying a professional for music tuition doesn't come cheap. A good way to get around this is to join a choir or orchestra that accommodates various skill levels.

This way you will get the benefit of playing alongside more experienced musicians and learn from them. is a good place to start looking.

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