10 Hobbies that can make you money

CrochetingMuch has been written about “follow your passion,” and hobbies are certainly a passion for many of us.  There are arguments about whether “following your passion” can lead to a full time career but we won’t get into that here!  We just want to take a look at some hobbies that can make you a little side income, all the while having fun enjoying your hobby while you’re at it!

Coin Collecting

Coin Collecting is a fascinating hobby that has the potential to make you money both from the investment side and through sales.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Before you pay a dime for a coin invest your time on education. Learn what makes a coin worth what, and all about condition, which makes a huge difference in the value of coins.
  2. Study EBay auctions and prices.
  3. Look for alternative ways to acquire your coins, from searching your spare change to placing a local classified ad and buying small collections from people no longer interested in the hobby.

Stamp Collecting

Most of what can be said about coin collecting can be said about stamp collecting.

Woodworking

This hobby has many possibilities for making money.  People value quality one of a kind items.  Like many hobbies that make money if you try to measure success by an hourly return you might fall short but if you love what you are doing it can all make sense.  As you gain experience you will learn what sells and you can improve that hourly rate.

Investing Research

This one is tricky because the stock market is tricky.  My point here is that some time spent on research improves your odds.  The investing world and learning about all the different options and the companies behind the ticker symbols can be fascinating.  Just look at all the internet sites, magazines, and books related to investing.  Not all the people using this information are millionaires, many just enjoy the learning experience.

Fixing up old cars

Lots of people like fixing up old cars.  For many it’s a labor of love.  This can take many forms from just taking an older non running used car and making it drive-able to full restorations of classics.  In either case there may be money to be made.

Making Art

Artists get a thrill out of creativity.  Many consider making money from their art to be the furthest thing from their minds.  However, those that can channel some of their creativity into the marketing side of art stand to make some bucks.  Today the internet is an artist’s best friend.  The key seems to be developing a following and marketing to your list.

Some Crafts

I say “some” crafts because finding crafts that sell can be dicey.  The key is testing what sells before you spend a lot on materials.  Some crafts work only for hobby purposes.

Quilting

Those that love quilting can’t make enough of them.  Eventually you run out of places to put them in your own home and even where to give them as gifts.  So why not sell some?  This is common practice in the Amish areas of Pennsylvania near where I live.  This is another one of those cases where if you tried to justify on an hourly wage basis you would probably fail.  But if your love is making quilts this becomes a secondary consideration.

Yard Sales

This one can take many forms.  Many people simply love going to yard sales and looking for bargains.  The key here is knowing enough to buy items that can be sold at a profit and not accumulating “junk!”

Antiques

Again the secret hear is knowing what to buy that can be resold as a profit.  Another possibility is re-purposing an antique item into another use that makes it more valuable.

Probably almost any hobby can be made into a money making side venture.  Just use your imagination!

10 Mini Hobbies that can be done in 1 hour a week

Model railroadingYou might ask “Isn’t the idea with retirement that I have lots of time to do the things I enjoy?” “Why do I need hobbies that only take an hour a week?” Well, think two themes – variety and adventurism.

It is great that you can take a hobby that you did before retirement and expand it using some of the free time that retirement hopefully provides. However studies have shown that variety creates the mental stimulation that we all need as we get older.

And we need new adventures with our hobbies. Who knows where a hobby that takes one hour a week can lead. Maybe it will become your biggest hobby because you simply love it. Perhaps it will enable you to connect with new friends. It might even provide a side income someday.

So, let’s start looking at some possibilities to give you some ideas:

Astronomy

Astronomy can be as simple as going out on a clear night, sitting in a comfortable lounge chair and looking up. Then you do some internet research and buy some books to learn about the constellations and movement of the planets. Eventually you pick up some binoculars or even a telescope. Be careful, this hobby can be addicting!

Coin Collecting

You can start this one just by looking at your loose change. Try saving a penny or a nickel for each of the last 25 years. Check out the internet and books and learn about mint marks and the history behind your coins. Surprise yourself when you find all the 100 year old coins you can purchase for very little money. Some coins might even be an investment.

Writing

If you are reading this on a computer chances are you have everything you need to become a writer. Start a blog on a subject you like and write a short post every week. Write a short article on anything and offer it to another blog. Of course you might get the writing bug bad and start that great new novel!

Getting into Nature

This can be as simple as taking a walk in a peaceful place once a week. Are you traveling somewhere? Why not add a nature component with a short hike or wildlife viewing. Do some research on an environmental concern and see how you can help.

Music

Try listening to some unknown performers and find one you like. Find them on YouTube or other online services. If you don’t know where to start talk to a young person. They are probably an expert even if they don’t have your same taste in music!

Crafts

Make something small, clever and easy. We’re not talking an artistic masterpiece here. Anything that is fun!

Collect Something

Stop at one or two yard sales and find something collectable. Or renew an interest you had years ago. I’ve heard Beanie Babies are pretty cheap these days!

Reading

Browse Amazon and add a couple books to your wish list. Figure out where your local library is and pay it a visit. You may be surprised how much they have changed but most still let you borrow books for free. And while you are there drop off a book you have already read as a donation.

Travel

Search the internet and build your own wish list of places to visit. Make a list of all the places you can visit for $1000. Make a list of weekend trips. Or make that travel bucket list and start researching destinations on the list. If you do this a little every week you are sure to turn some of your research into concrete plans.

There are many other hobbies you can begin exploring with very little time. Do some research and use your imagination!
Until next time…

Electronics as a hobby

Picture of Multimeter

Image courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hobbies are very important in retirement and electronics is one of my favorites so we’ll talk about it here. Hobbies are so important in fact that we’ll be doing a whole series of hobby posts.

Why hobbies?

Hobbies are a much better use of your time than say, watching TV. In retirement you finally have some time to pursue hobbies that you started years ago, or that gained your recent interest. They help mental sharpness and social interaction. Some can even turn into part time jobs.

I fooled around with electronics when I was a young up until the time it was no longer cool. Do you remember Heathkit and when going to Radio Shack for parts was a blast? Well electronics is still fun and with the Internet ideas and suppliers are just a click away. Most parts are accessible and generally reasonable.

Where to start

You can start at least two ways. One is by learning through experiments and the other is by building kits.

MAKE magazine sells some excellent learn electronics books and sells kits with all the parts to do the experiments in the books. Kits are available through many sources. Here are a few to get you started:

Maker Shed (associated with MAKE magazine.)

Spark Fun Electronics

Jameco Electronics

Adafruit

You can also do projects from scratch and collect ideas and parts yourself. Check out Instructables on the web. Parts are available from the sources above as well as Amazon, Newegg, and Ebay. Just do some Google searches on the company names we have mentioned. The ideas are limitless!

Arduino

There are two special classes of electronics that I’ll mention here because they are so popular. One is called Arduino and other is Raspberry Pi.

Arduino is programmable board containing a microcontroller that can be programmed using an open source development language and environment. Hobbyists and experimenters have used it for hundreds of different projects.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a little one board computer developed in the UK. It sells for under $40 and has taken the hobbyist and experimenter’s world by storm. It is used for all kinds of projects and a simple Internet search will give you all kinds of ideas.

With electronics the idea is to keep learning and keep trying new things. There is an almost limitless number of ideas to keep you busy and yearning for more. I suggest you keep a journal of your projects and experiments. Often you will re-use parts of project ideas long after you forget about them (and the journal is real handy for that.)

Some websites

Some websites mentioned in this article:

www.makezine.com

www.instructables.com

www.sparkfun.com

www.adafruit.com

www.jameco.com

www.ebay.com

www.amazon.com

www.newegg.com

www.arduino.cc

www.raspberrypi.org