In the past few posts, I have been discussing on the basics of fundamental analysis. We have looked into the balance sheet, cash flow statement and income statement of a company. Now, I will discuss something more causal, which is the activities you can do during your free time to keep yourself meaningfully occupied and engaged. And in line with our goal of financial self sufficiency, I would be suggesting activities that won’t cost you a lot of your money to do.
Why is having one or more hobbies important? Because after you had achieved financial independence, you would have more free time to yourself. Unless you like being idle for long periods of time, chances are you would feel bored from your newfound freedom if you didn’t have anything to do. You would need at least a hobby to occupy your time. If you are currently working, you would need a hobby to relax and recharge yourself from the daily grind of work. So let’s get started.
I think many of you may already be doing this in your off time if you didn’t had a hobby to engage yourself. But I feel it is good to highlight this as during our working days, most of us did not have adequate sleep. We would rely on our alarm clocks to wake up early in the morning, and some of us would drink coffee to force ourselves to be alert and ready for the day. So the natural thing to do for many of you here when you are not working is to get enough rest. And that is okay. Just don’t overdo it though, the negative effects of oversleeping can be found here.
One of the low cost hobbies to pick up can be exercising. It can be jogging, running, brisk walking, swimming, cycling or even climbing the stairs. All you need to do is to have your running shoes ready or a cheap bicycle or swimsuit and you are set. Personally, my favourite forms of exercises would be brisk walking, swimming and cycling. It’s just that like most people, I am not as disciplined as I would want to be when it comes to working out. For me, I occasionally hit the gym to do cardio exercises. It’s very affordable, only costing $2.90 per entry to the gym. And the feeling you get when you shower after a workout is very refreshing and invigorating. If you are feeling stressed, down or unhappy in life, exercise can be a natural happiness pill.
Many people watch television programmes in their free time. For me, I watch ChannelNewsAsia, Channel 5 and Love Nature in the freeview channels. My sister also got a Netflix account that I used to view as well. Just don’t spend the whole day watching TV. It’s not a very healthy thing to do, in my opinion.
Watching Documentaries (or podcasts)
Almost similar to watching TV, documentaries or podcasts provide a rich source of information on the topic or subject that you are interested in. You can become knowledgeable in the interests that you have. It can be from current affairs, celebrities’ autobiographies and biographies, cooking, personal finance and even religion. Currently, I am watching Pastor Rick Warren’s sermons on Youtube. I used to do this every day after work when I am riding the bus back home. You can also watch videos on Youtube. There are many content out there in the Internet for you to view when you are free. All it takes is a genuine interest and free time.
This is a recent activity that I got myself preoccupied with. Ken’s Passive Income Journey is my first blog on financial independence and I only paid $5/month of hosting from WordPress. They sell in an annual bundle so I spent $5 x 12 = $60 in this month Feb. You can write from a wide variety of interests like fashion, food, science, technology, computer, finance, entrepreneurship and many more. Don’t be disheartened by the fact that you are not a pro blogger; every master starts off being a newbie. I don’t consider myself to be a pro or guru; I am just a regular guy trying to survive life’s challenges. I usually invite my friends to read and comment on my blog post to see if it appeals to them. This website is meant to be a personal blog for now. I hope to see the readership of this website grow over time. You can do the same too.
Another popular hobby that I engage in from time to time, video gaming can be cheap or expensive depending on the games you choose to play. There are some popular free-to-play games like Team Fortress 2 or Runescape that you don’t have to fork out your credit card to play. Or alternatively, you can browse Steam games that are on sale and buy those that are on steep discounts. For example, I bought Rainbow Six Siege and Rainbow Six Vegas 2 when they are on sale. For Rainbow Six Siege, I got it for S$24.45 (now at this time of writing it’s selling for S$16.99) while for Rainbow Six Vegas 2, I purchased it with S$5.09. You can make online friends through gaming in Steam or other platforms. I have made some friends through the game Garry’s Mod too.
Listening to Music
There are many music videos on Youtube that you can watch for free. Depending on your taste, you can search for techno, rock, hip hop, jazz, country or classical music just to name a few. You can go to this website to convert youtube music into mp3 music before downloading it into your phone. You also can create your own custom music playlist, be it in your PC or mobile. For me, I download sentimental, as well as techno, nightcore and Christian, music and listen to them when I am travelling to work.
These are some of the low-cost hobbies that I take up and engage in after work. What hobbies are you interested in? Share them in the comments section below!