Hobbies? Goals? Hobby goals?
November 23, 2018 6:59 PM   Subscribe

For years my goal was go to grad school for [field] get job in [field]. And now I've done that, and moved out of my parents' house and now I'm finding I have more time but less money. I'd sort of like some kind of free/cheap hobbies to grow/develop or other goals a late 20s person should be working on. What are of goals/hobbies that I haven't listed below that meet this criteria? Is there a cheaper/free way to do some of the goals I've listed below?

Current goals/hobbies are:

- travel more (costs money)
- write more
- make jewelry more (costs money but I already have a lot of the supplies)
- watch online lectures for courses I haven't taken in university just to learn.
- work on languages I already speak?
posted by azalea_chant to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
For online courses I recommend iTunes U.
posted by bulclippr at 7:03 PM on November 23, 2018

When I was long-term unemployed due to the economy, I had a goal of re-reading all the books I owned. If you have a decent number of books, that shit will keep you busy for quite a while. Or, you could have a goal like, “Read 12 works of classic literature in 2019” and get a library card. That would be free.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:07 PM on November 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

You didn't mention anything athletic. Finding hobbies that get or keep you fit in your 20s will make you much happier in your 30s and 40s. Personally, I've taken to cycling, and a decent bike you can ride for hours and hours doesn't have to cost a fortune.
posted by lucasks at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2018 [11 favorites]

Side gig?
posted by unknowncommand at 7:25 PM on November 23, 2018

WRITE MORE. seriously, it's a skill that it's possible to lose when it's not used (and I know you can't imagine that if you're freshly out of grad school, but it happens). Take advantage of the fact that you probably have your writing chops due to school, and explore writing for fun for a while.

Photography- it can be done well with a smartphone. look for some online courses about photography in general.

online courses: Coursera and other edutainment, various universities' MOOC programs, and lightweight but interesting edutainment like The Teaching COmpany/Great Courses (if you get an AUdible.com account, their audio lecture stuff counts as 1 credit, so it's a lot cheaper that way)

DEFINITELY athletic stuff.
posted by twoplussix at 7:32 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also looking for advice on more nebulous, unhobby connected goals (like "save for retirement") that late 20 somethings should consider.
posted by azalea_chant at 7:40 PM on November 23, 2018

Urban hiking. Get good footwear and socks, bring water and sunscreen/bug spray as needed, bring a map, and take a long walk.
Start local and don't be hesitant to do loops back to the home or vehicle. Get good intel about the next neighborhood and terrain (places to eat and have a bathroom break, problems with traffic, crime and animals) and plot out some new routes.
Bike paths can be good. Try to avoid walking in the street when you can, and walk facing traffic if you must use the road shoulder. Don't wear a headset.
Do a hike with purpose -- bring a tree or flower I.D. guide, bird guide, insect guide, animal track cheat sheet. Identify architecture styles. It's the season for outdoor holiday displays.
Bring a friend. Join a walking club. See if local urban hiking routes are already mapped out.
Avoid overuse injuries and start slow. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong. If you have a nagging problem, get it sorted out rather than letting it become chronic. This is supposed to be fun exercise.
And check out some foul-weather indoor walking routes, such as malls and other large buildings. No need to wait until spring to get organized.
posted by TrishaU at 7:47 PM on November 23, 2018 [7 favorites]

Fitness: your late 20's is the perfect time to develop a fitness habit. Running is free and many gym chains are cheap. Also there are many Meetup groups for outdoor fitness (running, acroyoga, hiking, geocaching, etc)

Mindfulness and Empathy: this last year I've attended a regular NonViolent Communication class which has allowed me to practice empathetic communication and make some friends and get out of my own head. Many meditation places have free or donation-only sessions.

Adventures: just find the best hole in the wall restaurants, the coolest weirdest little museums, the spot in the park that no one finds. Within a bus ride or drive there are incredible gems.

Financial intelligence: I'm not sure how to do this socially (would love to know), but make a goal around building your knowledge. Read some books and listen to some podcast. Outline a plan for yourself.
posted by jander03 at 7:53 PM on November 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

Anything related to making music: you can get a variety of cheap awesome instruments, mess with garage band, use simple looping apps like Loopy.

I’d recommend harmonica, melodica, ukulele, but also cheap MIDI keyboards, a handful of percussive noisemakers etc.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:54 PM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think you are at the perfect stage of life to start experimenting in the kitchen. Pick an ethnic cuisine or speciality like bread or cookies and perfect it. Not too expensive and your friends will love sharing the results. Also good for impressing dates if you are still single. (If you have a partner then cleaning up afterwards as well as sharing the tasty results, is the key to making them love your new hobby )
posted by metahawk at 8:00 PM on November 23, 2018 [6 favorites]

More crafty things that are very inexpensive and reward time more than money:
Wire sculpture

Activities in the same vein of inexpensive but need time:
Identification of flora, fauna, and natural phenomena, including birds, bugs, trees, clouds etc.
Basic drawing
Basic stencil/screen printing

More functional:
Basic cooking (can you make a tasty meal from any random assortment of veg and grains and proteins)
Repair of: shoes, clothing, furniture
Basic first aid
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:02 PM on November 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

go to grad school for [field] get job in [field]

Professional development goals are important. Even if you're not actively looking to change jobs, it takes conscious effort to stay current and aware of the latest developments, to build a network and maintain professional relationships. And even if you're not actively looking to change jobs, I bet someone newer than you to [field] could use your mentorship.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 8:12 PM on November 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Save up six months' worth of your pay.
posted by maurreen at 8:18 PM on November 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

Oh, and I'm sure it depends on [field], but the idea of traveling to professional development conferences and such, either on the employer's dime or funded by some type of award, is not unheard of in most fields, and could be a more affordable way to meet the "travel more" goal.
posted by Former Congressional Representative Lenny Lemming at 8:20 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is not really relevant when you don’t have a regular paycheck, but if you get used to having 20% of your pay pulled out of your paycheck now, you’ll never miss it. 10% to savings, 10% to retirement (preferably a Roth, which is like free money, but an IRA when you’ve maxed out your Roth).

But yeah, public libraries, learn how to be a great cook by cooking at home for yourself, develop a regular exercise habit. But do that money thing first. You’ll be so glad you did.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:06 PM on November 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

LOL reserve enlistment - travel (Monterey CA), work on language (additional A.S.).
BRS retirement as a single term 401-ish item to take with you if you only do one term.
posted by Afghan Stan at 11:24 PM on November 23, 2018

Nthing fitness. In addition to being inexpensive and great for your long-term health, there are all sorts of concrete, achievable goals to set (run a 5k, do X push-ups, etc).
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:50 AM on November 24, 2018

Be debt -free, have financial goals & plan.
Read the important books. There are many such lists. Do the same with important music.
Learn to cook.
Make friends.
Play a musical instrument - I so wish I'd done this, and may yet. It's also very good for your brain.
Be in good physical shape.
Develop a hobby, esp. one that involves others. Contra-dancing, cycling club, beer-making, build houses for Habitat, etc.
Find a way to make the world a little better, or at least less worse.
posted by theora55 at 8:06 AM on November 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

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