Everyone knows there are free or very cheap hobbies out there, but the problem is that a great many of these interests just don’t sound that appealing to the average person.
Sure, you could spend all your time feeding your obsession with Korean dramas or gaming, but in the big bad world, the amount of street cred these hobbies gives you is minimal.
On the other hand, hobbies with high glam factors like skydiving and surfing tend to be expensive or just not available in Singapore.
For those who still care about looking “cool”, here are four hobbies you can pick up for free that will immediately boost your street cred.
While you always hear stories of self-taught guitarists who prove their musical genius by mastering the instrument on YouTube, most mere mortals progress much faster when taught by a real live teacher, and that’s after shelling out the money for an instrument.
But beatboxing is one of those skills that many pros pick up entirely online. Best of all, you need only your mouth and your hands, which we’re assuming you already own, so no additional costs there.
Most beatboxers these days start out watching online tutorials and then try to improvise by observing and trying to replicate the sounds around them. When you’ve become fairly good, you’ll have the power to impress people without having to lug around an instrument. Here’s a long list of tutorials to get you started.
You’ve seen Yamakasi as well as that Singaporean parkour video. You think it’d be pretty cool to be able to get from the MRT station to your block by leaping across railings and balancing on parapets.
Well, despite the fact that more and more parkour training courses are being run across the country, it remains a discipline that you can practise in any urban environment. Most of the basic moves—precision jumping, rolling and climbing, have to be practised repeatedly on your own even if you have a coach.
Conversely, even if you do attend lessons, without the observational skills or practice, you’ll impress noone. All you need are running shoes and an HDB estate. Watch tutorials on YouTube to et the basics down, and then attend free parkour jams where you can learn from others.
No, we don’t mean Magic The Gathering. Just to be clear, we mean the hocus pocus type. If you have a few street magic or card/coin tricks up your sleeve, you’ll instantly be the star at any party.
An intern once appeared at one of my previous companies and started doing all these card tricks. If that had been my company I would’ve hired him, or at least remembered his face from amongst a sea of other interns.
As a magic practitioner, you won’t be sawing people in half or buying elaborate props. You’ll be working mainly with cards or coins, or simply trying to mess with people’s minds.
Many serious magicians start out with a book like The Royal Road to Card Magic, which you can borrow free at the National Library. Serious hobbyists usually read numerous books and then memorise the routines in them. There are also countless tutorials on YouTube, although hardcore hobbyists tend to consider these too amateurish.
You might have been a complete failure at your state-declared “Mother Tongue” back in secondary school, but all is forgotten the minute you burst into fluent French/Korean/Russian/Thai.
Even if you can’t afford to enrol yourself in a language school, don’t sweat. The vast majority of Singaporeans who attend language schools come out not being able to hold a conversation. Conversely, most of those who do speak a language fluently rely overwhelmingly on self study and practice. That says a lot.
Don’t think that just doing 10 minutes of Duolingo a day is going to turn you into a fluent speaker, though. It takes months or even years of consistent studying, reading, listening and practising to become fluent, but it’s possible, and best of all it can be free thanks to a wealth of online and library resources.
What other free hobbies do you enjoy? Tell us in the comments!