Hobbies are what we rely on for fun, relaxation and self-satisfaction, things many people can’t put a price on. But hobbies also cost money. Even less expensive hobbies like running or crafting require materials and gear that can end up putting a serious dent in your bank account. Let’s explore a few ways people are pursuing their hobbies, while continuing to focus on creating financial stability.
Tips to Save Money & Enjoy Your Hobbies
Without money in the bank, participating in hobbies is impossible. Not only will you need your scant finances for essentials, you will likely be struggling to rebuild your financial security, left without time for fun. Luckily, there are several ways you can both achieve your financial goals, and also participate in your favorite hobby or activity.
- Set Financial Goals – Focus on setting clear long and short-term goals for your finances. Budget out the money you can afford to spend on your hobby, and also what you need for essentials like food, bills and housing. Make sure you are living below your means, funneling all excess money into your savings or investment accounts. Many like to keep an emergency fund around the house or in the bank, to cover any unexpected health, housing or miscellaneous costs.
- Focus on your Hobbies – What hobbies give you the most joy and pleasure, and what hobbies are you participating in out of habit? It will be much easier to save for and invest in the hobbies that you truly enjoy. If you can’t bear to shed an expensive hobby or two, create a budget for each one, and stick with it! Many people also like to invest in used or second-hand gear for their less important hobbies, leaving more money for hobbies that require more costly gear, like scuba diving, rock climbing or even home decoration.
- Make a Profit – Creative hobbies are not only fun, but can even help you make money. Try setting up a website, or sell your homemade crafts on Etsy.com or using your social media profile. For example, if woodworking is your favorite hobby, offset the cost of materials by selling custom made pieces to friends or online. If DIY interior design or fashion are your favorites, consider creating a social media channel to showcase your work, and potentially build a business as an influencer. Use reputable services like USPS Flat Rate Boxes to ship your products and save money for both you and your customer.
- Expand your Horizons – Hobbies are fun, but often we find ourselves gravitating away from some hobbies, and toward others. Just because you have been investing in a hobby for some time, doesn’t mean you are locked into it, especially if it becomes too expensive. If you find that a particular hobby is too expensive, you are perfectly within your rights to shift to one that is less costly. You can always come back to this hobby later when you have achieved your financial goals and have a bit more extra money.
- Get Creative! – Let’s say you love yoga, but can’t afford yoga studio fees or classes? Consider switching to free online class options! If learning languages is your favorite hobby, but classes are costly and time consuming, consider downloading one of many free language learning applications out there. As the internet continues to sprawl, there are many free or low-cost options available for those without the means to participate in more expensive hobbies.
- Look for Deals Online – The internet is a great place to find deals on gear you need for your hobby, or to find less expensive ways to participate. Take advantage of deals around the holidays to get less expensive gear, or buy classes in bulk for the year. Some are even able to purchase gift cards below face value, and then use the profits to buy equipment that might be too expensive otherwise.
You wouldn’t order food from a restaurant without being able to pay the bill. Hobbies are critical to our happiness, just like food is critical to our bodies, but you should never participate in a hobby that is draining your bank account. It’s your responsibility to find a way to participate in your chosen sport or activity, without breaking the bank. Finding a balance will take some work and careful thought, but will be well worth it in the long run, paying off in savings and in self-satisfaction.