October 02, 2012 | By: Laurie Campbell

Bored and broke? Let's talk about a fix.

Boredom, some say, is the enemy of thrift in a world obsessed with material pleasures. It seems that nowadays whenever anybody is ambling about the house bored, the first solution that comes to mind is shopping, or some other means of titillating the senses with cash or credit card in hand - hitting the bar, dining out high style, gambling at the casino, carousing at clubs, and the list goes on. But what do you do to fight boredom when the money runs low? And what are your options when you don’t have the money to spend in the first place? How do you confront the brute dreariness of boredom then?

Well, first of all, you have to understand that being bored is a choice you make. You see, by slogging around telling yourself you have nothing to do, well, then you are hardly predisposed to finding something to do when you’ve no easy out through cash or credit. As with just about everything in life, it all comes down to attitude. What if I were to say to you that it’s possible to overcome boredom anytime it threatens to darken your outlook? This can be readily accomplished, but only if you make the effort to stop living in your jaded head and imagine a world of play that can be interesting, fun, and very easy on the pocketbook.

Welcome to the fascinating universe of hobbies – a practically endless array of pursuits suited to people of all aptitudes and ages.

Granted, plenty of hobbies require some serious cash outlays – raising horses, say, or collecting antique cars, or taking up drag racing. But there are plenty more hobbies that cost very little to pursue, or that at most require a bit of an outlay up front before bringing endless hours of enjoyment at little or no ongoing cost. Just as an example, take bird watching. You don’t need to spend much to get into the act - probably $100.00 to $150.00 all in for a good pair of binoculars with case and a couple of guidebooks. From there, you’re set for years, with no other expenditures for an activity that is fun, healthy, educational, and nourishing to the soul. The same basically holds true for activities such as cycling, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and lots of other outdoor activities.

Then again, maybe you’re no nature type. Not a problem. Outdoors or in, there’s a hobby with your name on it.

If in the beginning you are at odds about the hobby that suits you best, then take a little time to do some soul searching. Ask yourself, what are the things that please or fascinate you in life? What are you skilled at that you love to do inside and outside of work? By exploring these questions and taking care to answer them honestly and in full, you are bound to come around to a sound choice for a hobby. For guidance, don’t be afraid to explore your memories, too, and especially your childhood memories. Truth is, for complicated reasons we need not go into here, many of us as children abandon beloved pursuits and activities that are in fact perfectly suited to us. Or as children we dream of things we never get a chance to pursue, and then they slip away into the recesses of our minds as we grow older.

The basic rule here is: follow your heart and you will discover a hobby that you love.

Now, keep in mind that there are always ways to cut back on costs for hobbies with ongoing requirements for material, such as painting, craft making, fabric arts, jewellery making, and the like. Check for savings on material online, and through discount stores and used goods stores. Don’t be disheartened thinking that, just because your funds are limited, you can’t take up a hobby. Moreover, remember that a lot of people who take up hobbies end up profiting from the activity, often in surprising ways. Someone sees a photograph you’ve taken and enquires after the price of a large-format print. Or a quilt you’ve made suddenly captures the heart of someone who sees it and wants it. That’s the way it often goes. In some instances, people end up building profitable businesses premised on what began as a simple pastime.

So, to fight boredom, I recommend that you get online right now and start searching out all the possibilities that await you as a potential hobbyist. Astronomy maybe? Cooking? Dancing? Collecting? Acting? Singing? Playing music? Magic? Candle making? Volunteering services to fields like the arts or ecology? Or if you think you have creative skills, how about cartooning, design work, poetry, sculpting, or creating a blog devoted to some topic that engages you, perhaps movies? As I say, a universe awaits your exploration, with activities that are limited only by your imagination.

Come to think of it, how about a hobby involving T-shirt designs? I can see the first shirt already, boasting three colourful words:

Boredom Bores Me.


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