Dungeons & Dragons: The Ultimate Cheap Hobby

This summer I started a new hobby. Warning, it’s EXTREMELY NERDY!!! I got a small group of friends together and began playing Dungeons & Dragons! We’ve only had a couple sessions so far, but it’s an absolute blast!

Before you decide this post is too nerdy, let me explain another reason I love this new hobby! The best thing about Dungeons and Dragons is how cheap it is to play! It made me wonder if there are any other super cheap hobbies. Starting a new hobby can be crazy expensive, but I think there are a few ways to keep the costs down and still enjoy yourself.

How Many Hobbies is Too Many? Can I Afford New Hobbies?

I had a conversation about hobbies with a friend this summer. We started counting all of our hobbies and debating how many is realistic to pursue. My current hobbies include reading, playing sports, playing guitar and ukulele, running my blog, playing golf, biking (the pedal version) and most recently playing D & D.

All of my hobbies cost varying degrees of money to get started and maintain. Plus, they all compete for my time if I want to truly pursue them. Then of course I need to find time to take care of my dogs, grade papers, and most importantly spend quality time with my wife.

Starting a New Hobby Can Be Crazy Expensive

When I think about starting a new hobby, I get pretty excited. When I learned about D & D, I researched like crazy to learn how to play and watched a bunch of youtube videos. I got sucked into the rabbit hole and dove deeper and deeper!

One hobby I haven’t pulled the trigger on is cross country skiing. My wife and I have been talking about it for the last two winters. There are two main reasons holding us back; we’re not sure if we’d actually do it consistently, and secondly, it costs an arm and a leg to get all the supplies. Even if we buy used, it’s several hundred dollars to get everything we need. That doesn’t even include all the maintenance supplies!

Cross Country Skiing. Cheap Hobbies
Cross country skiing is a great, healthy hobby…Someday…sigh

Dungeons & Dragons is so CHEAP!!!

The beautiful thing about D & D is that it’s crazy cheap! I spent about $50 on a few sets of dice and a starter set adventure, and so far that’s it! I can play for years and spend virtually no money if I don’t want to.

If you don’t already play D & D, here’s the basic rundown on how to play. It’s a role playing game where you take the role of a person. It can be a human, elf, dwarf, gnome, etc, and you are a hero going through the world fighting enemies and solving adventures. I like to compare it to The Lord of the Rings. All of the characters are basically heroes adventuring to destroy the ring of power, and fight any enemies that stand in their way.

Then there’s the dice. Anytime a player wants to do something that involves chance, for example, sneaking up on an enemy, they roll a die to see how successful they are. The same goes for trying to attack with a weapon or persuade someone to believe a lie. There are a ton more rules but that’s the basics.

Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures. Cheap Hobbies
Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures are awesome, but expensive.

Therefore, the game doesn’t need all kinds of equipment or expansions. I only need some friends and a lot of creativity. Have I mentioned that I LOVE IT!

Hobbies Don’t Need to be Crazy Expensive. You Get to Choose How Much to Spend

The rabbit hole for any hobby can be really deep, if you let it. I’ve only spent $50 on D & D so far, but I could spend hundreds! I could buy brand new adventures, buy really fancy dice, and buy all kinds of miniature figurines to use when we play. I’ve heard of people spending over a $100 on a single miniature! Talk about expensive.

But there are usually options to keep costs down and indulge in hobbies more frugally. I choose to spend very little on D & D. I download rule books and adventure modules instead of buying them. I draw out maps and characters instead of buying miniatures.

I am frugal in my other hobbies too! I only golf a few times a year, and take advantage of specials instead of buying a membership. I check out books from the library instead of buying them new. I bought a used guitar for cheap. The sports I play are usually pick-up games with friends or in leagues where the fees are covered by a sponsor.

Buy used guitars for much less. Cheap Hobbies
Playing guitar doesn’t need to be expensive! Used guitars play just as well as new!

Every hobby has the potential to be really expensive, or relatively affordable. It all depends on how far down the rabbit hole you go and how much you want to invest. Stay frugal or go hog wild.

Wrapping it Up

Starting a new hobby can be crazy expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. There are always ways to be frugal and cut costs.

Let Me Know in the Comments

What do you think? What cheap hobbies do you love? How do you keep your costs down?

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