How to Afford Your Hobbies
Have you ever heard someone joke about how much they’ve spent on a hobby? Just this morning a relative joked about how much it cost her to grow a few potatoes (about $1 each if you are wondering). She did say the boost from doing it made her very happy; isn’t that what a hobby is all about?
What is Your Commitment Level?
There are basically three levels of hobbyists. The first is a newbie, meaning it’s something you have never done before. Second is deepening your skills and commitment, and the third is going all in with supplies and long-term commitment. I have watched a few people in my life go through all these stages multiple times and it always impresses me.
Being a Newbie
When you are trying something new it’s a good idea to keep your costs down. What if you spent a lot of money on specialized supplies and equipment and then realize it’s not for you? If a hobby requires specialized tools, try renting or borrowing them first. For instance, my brother is a photographer. Renting lenses is something he can do to save money; I was stunned by the price of some lenses!
I know from personal experience how expensive a new hobby can get. I spent a lot of money on cross stitch supplies several years ago. Eventually, I realized I didn’t have the patience to keep up with it, so I gave away a huge organizer full of colored floss, needles, and special fabric.
There are so many ways to learn about how to do things better. I have recommended YouTube many times in the past, and I still think it’s an amazing resource. I have always wanted to learn to knit and watching a video makes it easier. If you want to be able to ask questions you will either need a live feed or take a class in person. For live classes, try Creative Live, the variety there is staggering. Or try asking a local business that specializes in your interest. Sewing and knitting stores almost always have classes available.
Going All In
Some hobbies can really take over and become a way of life for people. My son-in-law spent so much time fly fishing that his job now centers around it. He is blessed that his hobby also pays the bills, but not all fishermen can get paid to fish. Going back to my mention of growing potatoes, sometimes the result costs far more than the retail price, but the satisfaction of doing it yourself overrides the cost. Personally, I think homegrown vegetables taste better than store-bought, but I could be imagining it.
Beyond money, there are a few other points to keep in mind. Does this hobby require a lot of space? For years my mother kept her sewing machine on a small desk in the corner of the house, but now she has a room dedicated to sewing and I’d call her an expert. What kind of time do you need to devote to this hobby? If whatever hobby you choose dominates your life and forces you to abandon your other responsibilities, well maybe it’s not the right one for you. Just give it some thought before you dive in.
So How Will You Pay?
All of us at BillCutterz have hobbies we are passionate about, so we certainly understand how much you love yours. While our Savings Experts can’t help you find bargains on supplies and equipment, they can certainly free up your time and money by negotiating the best rates on your bills. Take a few short minutes away from your hobby to sign up and submit your bills, and then you can get back to the business of having fun!