I'm unemployed! I need cheap and time intensive hobbies!

Recently I’ve become unemployed and have a bit too much free time on my hands. For the past week I have looked over job postings, done my master’s degree homework, read straight dope, and in general not left the apartment. I’m out of books to read on my shelf, out of movies to watch on my list, and definitely out of ideas.

Well, I’m going stir crazy from the lack of things to do. You can only cook, play around on the computer, and exercise for so long. My employed friends are probably getting sick of me calling them everyday, but dammit I’m bored! Being unemployed, I don’t really have the budget to go do anything that costs more than a couple bucks (and even then I probably shouldn’t spend the money anyway). I’ve tried to pick up a few hobbies, join a few groups, but they just don’t take long enough. I need something that will fill more hours in the day.

For example, I tried joining a local board gaming group. Great, that’ll give me something to do. And it did, for about 6 hours one day. Ok, 6 hours down this week, 166 hours left to fill… What can I do with all this free time?! There has got to be some more time intensive hobbies I can undertake that aren’t going to cost much. I’m all up for volunteer work, but as a 24 year old male those options seem limited. How do housewives and bums do this for years on end?

May I present, Esquire Magazine’s "Five Recession-Proof Hobbies."

One word: Sudoku

You should take up a hobby that produces something instead of one that just burns time. In other words, be creative!

Outside: Hike,bike,tutor, mentor,volunteer, library, lectures, free classes, free concerts, parks, meet people etc. etc.

Inside: cook, clean, puzzles, porn, TV that’s about it.

Hint, Hint;)

Learn a musical instument. Borrow it and get a book from the library - or just join the library and try to read all the books on *their *shelves.

Have you considered a handwork hobby? Chicks dig dudes who can knit.

However, the cheapest, most time intensive hobby I’ve done along those lines is makeing crocheted fabric rugs. You can use old sheets (people will come out of the woodwork to give you their old shhets, thus the cheapness). You rip them into strips, double fold them, wind them into balls of “yarn” and then crochet them into rugs.

First you’d have to learn how to crochet (don’t worry, it’s easy, and only the most primary crochet skills are needed to make rugs).

Then you send away for this book. Eventually, you’ll be making things like this:

Blammo, time sucking hobby + Christmas presents.

Make yogurt, sprout sprouts, start a garden - or plan things … a garden maybe - your dream around the world vacation etc. Assist an old person, refinish furniture.

Oops I just saw you’re fed up of cooking so I took out baking bread.


I can lose hours and hours of time knitting. And yarn can be pretty cheap - 4 balls for $1 if you go to the right shops.

Try being a housewife with 3 kids at home sometime and see how much free time you have.

That said, you could go for long walks and get in better shape, or do jigsaws at the library, or learn to crochet leper bandages.

How about playing some games online? When I’m sick or have a lot of time on my hands, I go to Yahoo! games and spend hours playing chess and getting beat by 7 year olds from Russia.

There are also online crossword puzzles. The Los Angeles Times is my favorite.

Try papercrafting! It’s cheap, fun, and you’ll end up with some nifty stuff to put on your desk when you get another job.

Here’s a good place to start: http://papercraft-world.blogspot.com/

Sorry, has to be said…

You call yourself a Doper and you can’t figure out a way to waste time?! :smack:

zoogirl, veteren of way to many six hour Dope feasts

Your solution starts at the local library.

Either books on hobbies,or books as a hobby.

For more reading material at minimal or no cost: Your local used book store (trades accepted) , an online book swap or your public library.

For excercise and the environment: Volunteer to adopt a highway or street. The DOT or street department will furnish you with a nifty orange reflective vest and all the trash bags you need. You furnish the time, energy and a pair of gloves.

More volunteer stuff: With the upcoming elections, your local party headquarters could likely use some computer literate volunteers (especially during the daytime). Your local VA Center, Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs, soup kitchens and homeless shelters could probably use a young, healthy person to do some of the things that their senior volunteers no longer can. If you pass the background check, public schools usually have something that needs to be done. Bonus: a lot of this will look good on your resume and can introduce you to job contacts!

Art: If you want to try your hand, a sketch pad, drawing pencils and erasers don’t cost much. Some discount stores even have the supplies. Check a “How to Draw” book from the library and give it a try.

Start a blog: One that would be a lot of fun, given your free time, would be on the strange world of late night or daytime tv. There’s a gold mine of stuff to pan from those sources.

Hope that your unemployment doesn’t last long! :slight_smile:

Why do you think volunteer opportunities would be limited for a man in his 20s? You should be able to do just about any kind of volunteer work there is.

As for hobbies, drawing is very cheap and you could spend years perfecting your skills.

Sleight of hand keeps me occupied at least two hours a day, during my commute. Just get the equivalent of a Norwegian 20,- (i.e. big and with good weight) and print out this to get you started.

Play poker online. You can enter tournaments for as little as a dollar, or you can play no-limit cash games for as little as $2. And if you are any good, you can actually make money!

Pick up a cheap guitar and learn how to play it.

Learn to juggle.