Have you considered how your hobbies could be money earning or saving skills?
Hobbies are fun. They allow us to express ourselves in unique ways, enjoy our time, and learn new skills. While they can be completely recreational, there’s also an array of them that can help your finances without having money as their primary focus.
Hobbies such as these teach you skills to help you save throughout your life, whether it’s by repairing something that’s broken, or learning to do something yourself that you previously would have outsourced. They even have the potential to make you money if you become proficient enough at it by selling your goods or services.
Here are six skills worth learning through a hobby that fit in those money-conscious parameters:
Sewing is a great skill to have no matter who you are. If it seems intimidating to you, don’t think that your goal has to be to become a seamstress. (Although that is a pretty profitable field.) Even just learning some simple stitches by hand can help you mend clothing, do some patchwork, and even make a basic quilt. When you get to the quilt level, sewing machine skills will help you greatly as they speed up the process dramatically. When you get there, you can start to make some basic clothing items like pajama bottoms or kids’ shorts. As your skills progress, you can start to get into more advanced clothing items and possibly even tailoring, allowing you to make money on either your finished product or your services. Sewing, as with all of these skills, is all about scaffolding upon what you’ve already learned. You can set your goal as high or low as you want to; the important thing with hobbies is that you’re having fun doing it, and don’t turn a creative outlet into a stress-inducer.
Continuing with the scaffolding concept, you can start out pretty basic in carpentry. You don’t have to have an entire wood shop in your carpark to get started. You can start with basic tools and materials, making basic structures or items. As you progress you can work your way to more advanced and ornate items, slowly building up your tool stock as you go. My friend recently made his own dining room table. It’s gorgeous, and although he has the skill to do it, it didn’t include any ornate flourishes or overly advanced engineering. He would have spent hundreds of dollars on an equivalent. In my region of Pennsylvania in the United States, the Amish are known for their superior woodwork, particularly with furniture. They have stores in different localities that sell it, and people are willing to pay a pretty penny for their hard work. If you’re able to build your skills to their level, you hobby could potentially turn into a rewarding business.
Starting with a point-and-shoot, and working your way up to a DSLR, is a good way to approach photography. Similarly, you can work your way up from still life, experimenting with light, exposure, and other camera features, until you are ready for portraits or action-shots of people. Once you’ve mastered this, instead of taking your kids into a studio and shelling out a lot of money, you will be able to take you own pictures at their milestone birthdays and celebrations, and look into providing that same service to others for profit. Another option would be to sell prints.
Art is wonderful in that you don’t necessarily have to use scaffolding. What we define as art, beauty, or thought-provoking doesn’t always require years of practice. There are definitely certain areas of art where this does not hold water at all. For instance, if you’re trying to learn a specific skill within your preferred medium, like realistic portraits, it will require hours if not years of practice and instruction. But if you create something that speaks to you, you can put it up on your walls, regardless of if its accuracy in its portrayal of reality. For ideas on how to make money as an artist, check out this post.
Learning how to cook well can be a lot of fun. The same goes for baking. Not only do you get to spend your time in an aromatic setting, but you get to eat your finished product. Learning to do either well saves you money over eating out, and there are opportunities to make money with it should you get good enough. Think catering, becoming a private cook for households who spend the money on it, or baking and/or birthday cakes.
6. Working on Cars
If you have an interest in cars, learning to fix them up can be a great skill to have. This has gotten more complex than it once was, as all cars used to have basically the same thing under the hood. Now each make and sometimes model is a bit different. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to learn. It just means you may become more specialized if you’re interested in a particular type of car, or that you will have to spend more time at it than if you had started 50 years ago. Knowing how to fix a car can be incredibly rewarding monetarily, as a lot of what you pay for when you go in to get your car fixed is the labour. If you can do the repairs yourself, you eliminate labour costs, saving a ton of money. You can do occasional jobs for friends and family for lower than what they’d pay at a business, both making you money and saving it for them. You can also end up pursuing this as a full-time job, though it can take a toll on your body.
Do you have a hobby that has saved you or made you cash? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Author – Femme of Femme Frugality