Whether you love climbing mountains, playing golf or collecting rare artefacts, some hobbies can get very pricy very quickly.
Between club memberships, specialised equipment, tournaments and auctions, it’s very easy for your spending to soar.
Hobbies are important for a well-balanced life, and can even contribute to mental wellbeing, but unchecked enthusiasm can blow the budgets of even the most budget-conscious.
So how can you make sure your thrills remain affordable? It all starts with defining how much you want and can put into your hobby.
Setting limits and boundaries
Like most other enjoyable activities, hobbies have to be managed in a way that gives you the most pleasure without affecting your ability to function in other areas of your life.
If, for instance, you’ve ever neglected your professional or family activities in favour of your hobby, chances are it may be taking over. More tellingly, if you’ve ever spent too much on an extravagant hobby-related purchase–expensive equipment and memberships, or lavish travelling arrangements–it may be a sign that you need to re-examine your priorities.
Four signs to watch for
How do you know if your hobby has the potential to become very expensive?
Here are four things to watch out for:
- You are required to spend a significant amount of money to participate. Most consumption-based hobbies that take place in an exclusive setting (golf club, yacht club, winery) fall into this category
- The sense of community among enthusiasts is strong. From specialised magazines to websites and weekend meetings, there’s always a discussion or a point of view that needs to be kept up with
- It involves a never-ending list of tempting purchases
- There’s immense pressure to look the part wherever you are.
Ways to curb your expenses
Hobbies are as fulfilling and as expensive as you make them. Some people can be perfectly happy playing the same instrument for 10 years, while others will go out of their way to buy every new musical gadget that comes out.
Whatever the case, you can curb some of the costs and manage your expenses so your hobby doesn’t break the bank.
Here are some ways to control your expenses:
- Set your limits
If you know you have a tendency to overspend or that you’re easily tempted by shiny new gadgets, avoid signing up for hobby publications and specialised shops. If necessary, set a weekly or monthly limit.
- Seize bargains
High-end equipment doesn’t have to be purchased new or at designer stores. If what you want is the equipment, not the prestige, look for second-hand items.
- Upgrade as needed
When starting a hobby, begin cheaply and only consider more expensive gear as your skills improve and as your budget allows.
- Share the costs
Look for club membership discounts. Having friends in the same circle of hobbyists also allows you to pool costs and share equipment.
- Find thriftier alternatives
If you enjoy mountain climbing, but Mount Everest is out of your price range, explore more accessible terrain. Mount Everest will still be there once you’ve saved enough.
We’re here to help
It’s important that hobbies allow you to relax, release stress and have some fun. And it’s just as important to know that you don’t have to give up your hobbies if you feel they may be getting expensive.
And if you need additional guidance, our advisers are here to help you keep your hobbies as a source of joy.
When you’re faced with unexpected expenses, having emergency cash set aside can make all the difference.