How to Make and Save Money With Hobbies
Hobbies are great for our mental health and we are all encouraged to have some.
What if your hobby could also make or save you money?
Have a think about things you enjoy doing and how you might be able to make money from them.
Here are some hobbies that can make and/or save you money, although some do have a cost associated with them.
Note, you do not need to make money from your hobbies. If making money from them is going to make them a chore, don’t do it.
Hobbies are meant to be enjoyed so if they make or save money it should be a bonus and add to the enjoyment, not detract from it.
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links to products and services I use.
How to Make Money With Hobbies
Before I list out some of my favourite hobbies to make money, here are some ways you can make money from hobbies.
What aspects of your hobby could be sold that you would enjoy?
Some hobbies create things such as gardening, photography, pottery, sewing and so on.
Other hobbies require things that you can make or import to sell.
For example, my sister loved quilting and there are accessories that make it easier, such as a quilt roll.
A quilt roll is a roll where you can lay out your fabric pieces in their design ready to sew but roll it up to keep them in place when you can’t sew.
It saves a lot of time when quilting, especially if you’re a mum who only has a few moments here and there.
I know of others who have made things related to their hobbies such as painted golf balls, special holders for characters, cosplay accessories etc.
Enter competitions connected to your hobby, it can be fun to win or place, meet other people and potentially get prizes.
Sometimes the feedback can help you be even better at what you do as well.
We’ve entered a few and placed in some with cash prizes which was great, such as photography when we were based in the Solomon Islands.
Of course, don’t enter unless it is something you want to do and you’re happy for your hobby to be public.
If you enjoy your hobby and feel you can teach others how to do it, running classes or tutoring one on one could be an option.
Classes don’t have to be in person, you can create a digital course others can buy or you can run classes and workshops in person if you prefer.
With tutoring, it is usually one on one or a few people maximum that you work with them on the hobby at their level to help them progress.
If you choose to teach classes or do tutoring, check the laws in your area and look into insurance.
10 Hobbies That Can Make and Save Money
Below are 10 hobbies that can make and save you money depending on how you do them.
These are the ones I have experience in or was closely involved in helping someone else make and save money from their hobby.
At the end of the article I have a few more suggestions in less detail.
Think outside the box and brainstorm ways to make money with whatever hobby you have.
Growing your own herbs, tomatoes, chillies, salad greens and similar can save a small fortune and be done in minimal space.
Herbs alone cost $3 to $5 a bunch when we buy them and they can completely change a dish.
Growing our own saves us money every week plus we can dry the excess or barter them for other items from neighbours such as eggs.
If you have more space you can grow more than simple herbs and salad items.
For example, go up and grow things on vines, create a lettuce hanger, use washing baskets to grow strawberries and more.
We shared 9 things to grow in your garden to save money before.
Remember that it will only provide food when those things are in season and at times you might have a glut you need to preserve or use up.
Making sauces, drying produce or freezing them make it easy to preserve.
Check out how to reduce food waste for more ideas on specific ingredients you might have in excess.
Make Money Gardening
You can sell your excess or if you love gardening in general, grow things specifically to sell.
Many plants such as succulents are easy to do.
You can set up a stall out the front of your house or sell on Facebook Marketplace.
What You Need to Start Gardening
How much space you have, what you want to grow and how you want to do it will dictate what you need.
Seeds can also be grown in toilet paper rolls, egg cartons and similar, you don’t have to buy a kit.
Alternatively, you might want to look into a hydroponic setup.
Gardening is one of those hobbies where you can get started for basically nothing or spend on things to have it exactly how you want it.
Not only is it good for your health, but walking can save you money plus the more you do it, the easier it gets.
I can walk long distances and often walk instead of driving due to the health benefits and getting my kids more active.
We love hiking as well. It’s free to hike numerous gorgeous trails and national parks.
Hiking has been a great way for us to explore everywhere we have lived and travelled to.
Make Money Walking
If you use a metal detector or collect cans and bottles you see along the way, you can make money from your walk.
We recently added metal detecting to our list of hobbies for walks and the kids love it.
It is truly amazing what you can find at the beach and parks.
Another option to make money from walking is delivering flyers.
Listen to your favourite podcast or audiobook while doing it to get fit, improve your mind and make money.
Check if any of your health insurance or reward programs (e.g. Qantas) offer points/perks for walking.
You will need to connect devices such as a Fitbit for it but there are a few companies who do it now because the healthier you are, the more money they save.
What You Need for Walking/Hiking
I have grouped them together but they do have slightly different requirements.
Walking can be done with any shoes although sneakers/walking shoes are better for your feet, back and body in general.
A drink bottle, a way to track your steps and sun protection are all generally important too.
As does having a backpack with a drink system, some snacks and hiking-specific clothing.
When I first started hiking I didn’t think any of that was necessary but it makes a significant difference to comfort and enjoyment.
We usually catch a few salmon, whiting or flathead around our area when we go fishing.
The kids love playing at the beach and dinner is set for a few nights with the fish.
It’s the kind of hobby that can be as cheap or as expensive as you want.
We don’t own a boat, we fish from the beach, jetty, riverbank or other places we are allowed.
Our preference is fish from the sea rather than rivers but we aim to fish wherever we go.
We got our fishing gear during various sales so it didn’t cost much and now all we need is bait when we go.
You don’t need a lot to get started and can get kits to start for under $50.
Make Money Fishing
Fishing groups, tours, teaching how to fish and other fishing experiences can be sold through Airbnb or similar platforms if you want to do it as a hobby and get paid.
Otherwise, you can set it up as a business but it’s a lot of work.
Alternatively, reselling fishing gear and various items could be a little side hustle related to fishing if you know what is worth it and where to get it. Check out tips for reselling to make that easier.
What You Need for Fishing
As mentioned, you don’t need a lot to get started and can get kits to start for under $50.
Generally, a rod, line, hooks, sinkers, knife, bait, bucket, ruler and information on what you are legally allowed to catch and keep is essential.
However, the type of fishing you want to do determines what rod would be best.
For example, if you fish from the beach, you’ll want a strong surf rod that tends to be longer whereas fishing from the boat, a shorter rod is usually preferable.
Different lures, hooks, sinkers etc used for different purposes.
You will also need to check if a licence is required in your area.
Learning to sew is a fantastic skill for life and one many people I know enjoy as a hobby too.
They make some of their own clothes, repair items, repurpose clothes and other items as well as make some gifts.
My mother taught me to sew when I was a child and I have taught my kids the basics.
This has saved us so much money over the years from being able to mend or repurpose items and later, when my kids got into cosplaying, they could do incredible costumes.
Make Money Sewing
Alterations and repairs are one way to make money if you enjoy it and are good at it.
Sell things you make at markets, on Etsy and elsewhere.
Think about things you use, enjoy or are popular (e.g. anything to do with cosplay or specific characters/shows can do well but there are legalities you will need to check).
One year I sold aprons and various Christmas items such as felt Santa’s full of lollies.
They didn’t take me long to make them but they were popular and it was a good way to make a little income.
At other times, I made and sold modern cloth nappies before they became popular.
In general, handmade items take a while to make, the materials cost more and your prices need to reflect that.
Take into account your time, as well as the cost of materials to ensure you are making a profit.
What You Need For Sewing
Needles, thread, bobbins, scissors, measuring tape, fabric, pins, patterns and a pin cushion are all good to have.
You could get a sewing kit with these basics to get you started but you will want good quality fabric scissors as well.
We love cooking, trying new recipes, experimenting and learning about other cultures.
To save money, we theme cook around specific ingredients so if there is a recipe we want to try, we will ensure we use all the ingredients in other ways so nothing is wasted.
Knowing how to cook, what herbs and spices go well together, how you can turn the sad veggies you have left into an amazing meal and so on can save you a fortune.
With the cost of food getting extreme, cooking skills are priceless.
Check out how to reduce food waste, ideas for leftovers, 29 meals for leftover roast chicken, 5 meals from one pack of sausages, 25 meal ideas from leftover ham, 20 meal ideas for leftover sausages and 28 meal ideas for mince.
Make Money Cooking
Generally, you will need your kitchen to be approved and to follow a few legalities when it comes to food.
If you enjoy cooking, decorating cakes or similar, you can turn it into a bit of a side hustle provided you follow the laws in your area.
Friends and family members of mine have made businesses by selling pies, cakes, grazing platters, unique treats, cookies for corporate events, culture-specific catering and more.
What You Need For Cooking
For this, it depends completely on what you want to cook or bake.
If you’re doing cake decorating, that is completely different to cooking and selling main meals.
Research what you want to do, what you will need and go from there.
Check out my 7 must-have kitchen items to see what I use for cooking and in the kitchen.
6. Restoring/Flipping Furniture and Other Items
For some people, restoring furniture for their own home is a hobby, others I know love refashioning clothing or reselling other items.
My kids and I have regular op shop days where we go get clothes and books we want and look for things to resell.
They enjoy it and always get compliments on what they wear, their fashion sense etc.
We save money on clothing with this hobby, it’s an activity they request every school holidays and we make money from it.
Make Money Flipping
There are some great Facebook groups to learn from if you’re interested in flipping items.
It’s amazing what furniture you can pick up for free, the furniture you can overhaul and other items to resell for a decent profit.
I have done well with rockabilly and brand-specific clothing. I share how I do it in this eBook.
If you are doing furniture makeovers for commercial purposes, there are laws in most areas around that.
Be careful as you don’t want to upset your neighbours with power tools going all the time.
What You Need For Reselling
If you are refurbishing furniture, you’ll need a selection of supplies such as a sander, hammer, nails, paint stripper and various tools.
Reselling clothing and similar accessories might require a sewing machine and supplies for quick repairs and alterations.
Other items might only need a quick clean to be resold.
7. Brew Your Own
Learning how to brew your own can be a lot of fun.
My daughter and I are currently doing ginger beer the way my mother did when I was a kid.
Brewing your own can apply to beer, kombucha, fermented foods and drinks.
Some people like to try their hand at distilling other liquors or flavouring them such as bacon bourbon or garlic and herb vodka.
Obviously, you cannot sell alcoholic items without following a strict process and getting approved, but experimenting for personal use and finding ones you like can be a lot of fun and save a small fortune.
Make Money Brewing
Teaching classes on fermented food and drink is one way to make money from brewing.
Alternatively, you could sell the starter culture, ginger plant for ginger beer and similar.
If you find what you make is amazing and you want to have a craft brewery or similar, be sure to follow the laws.
Research it thoroughly and you might be surprised at the opportunities out there.
Non-alcoholic versions are becoming popular too as more and more people realise the issues with alcoholic drinks.
Check the laws in your area thoroughly regarding this though.
What You Need for Brewing
If you want to brew your own beer, there are great brewing kits you can get with everything you need to get started.
Kombucha is much cheaper and easier to get started with. Buy a kombucha starter kit for under $40.
It started as a hobby and led to a book deal, freelance writing, public speaking, a company, buying and selling websites plus so much more.
Writing, editing, creating graphics, marketing and networking are just a few of the skills you need for blogging.
Realistically, for me, I do it in ‘hobby hours’.
Meaning I do it around my kids and don’t treat it like a business but definitely make a full-time income from it in those few hours and pay tax.
If I treated it like a business, spent proper time on it, had a bigger team etc it would make more but I never wanted that pressure from it because writing is something I enjoy.
Many people blog for fun. They enjoy the community they have, the people they connect with and sharing their content.
Any income to some people is a bonus but others do it seriously and make millions.
Make Money Blogging
Check out all my blogging tips here from getting set up to making money.
Bloggers typically make money from ads, sponsored posts, affiliate links and their own products.
It can take time to get set up and gain an audience/community interested in you but there is a lot of help now to make it quicker and easier than when I started.
What You Need For Blogging
You can get started for free but it will limit what you can do to make money.
I recommend getting your domain name and hosting, then adding WordPress. It’s all in this article on how to set up a blog and make money blogging.
9. Freelance Writing
This has been a favourite of mine as it has enabled us to travel and enabled me to work around my kids. I have a lot of tips on writing here.
Writing isn’t for everyone and for some wouldn’t be considered a hobby.
It has been a hobby of mine since I was a kid though and I am grateful to make full-time income from very little time doing it.
For me, writing is something I love and I choose to only write on topics I am interested in so it is fun.
Make Money Writing
How you make money writing depends on what you enjoy, what you are good at and what you want to do.
Freelance writing for websites, magazines, newspapers and business is the main way many writers make money.
Publishing books, either with a traditional publisher or self-publishing is another and can be a great way to build credibility.
Ebooks are easy to create and sell now, compared to traditional publishing and you make money as soon as they sell instead of waiting for royalty payments.
Social media, content creation, marketing, short stories, competitions or anything that requires writing are all ways you can make money from it.
What You Need to Write
The more you write, the better you get.
Use tools such as Grammarly to learn, read about SEO and readability plus keep reading books to improve your own writing.
Set up your own website to have a portfolio if you want to get paid for it and follow the tips in this article.
Most of us take numerous photos with our phones now since it is so easy.
Some of us like to take it further and learn how to take amazing photos to capture special moments, events and places.
It’s a fun hobby and can be a profitable business or side gig.
If you do it for profit, there are some places you may need special permits so dheck legal requirements for your area before doing any of these, including insurance if operating any of these from the home.
Make Money With Photography
Aside from having a photography business, you can also sell photos, create items to sell such as mugs, run photography walks where people come with you and learn about photos or your local area.
Some people offer their services for the day to tourists so the tourist can get professional photos at all the top attractions.
We combine photography with writing for magazine gigs, social media and marketing.
What You Need For Photography
If you are going to be more than a phone photographer, it is expensive to get set-up.
Decent cameras and lenses cost thousands, along with tripods, a good camera bag, reflectors and other equipment.
The style of photography you want to do will determine what you need as well.
For example, some want to do aerial so need a drone, others want to do underwater so need underwater housing for their camera.
Wedding photography is different from travel to boudoir or even family portraits.
You can hire photography items to start with and see if you enjoy it before investing in the equipment.
Or start with your smartphone, see what you can do and what you enjoy then look into it all further.
11. Other Ideas for Hobbies That Can Make Money
Whatever hobby you enjoy, you can probably make money from it. Here are a few more ideas.
Apply what you read above to any of these and you could make or save money with them.
Music is fantastic for your mind but can also make you money through gigs, competitions or teaching others.
Depending on the instrument or what you choose to do with music you might be able to make and sell accessories to match such as guitar straps.
Makeup and styling hair for weddings and events can be lucrative if you are good at it and know what you are doing.
Yoga/Pilates/Fitness or anything along these lines can be both a hobby and if you are willing to get the right qualifications, you can run classes for them, create programs online and make money that way.
Pet sitting can be a great option for those who love animals but don’t have their own pets.
Think about things you enjoy doing and what you can do to make or save money with it.
What hobbies make and save you money?
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