Sunday, July 18, 2010

Costs of Having a Hobby


Hobbies might be an important, maybe even an integral part of your life. They can keep you from boredom, help you teach others, can provide great satisfaction and enjoyment, and may even make you money. At the same time however, these activities could end up costing you money. While you may feel your hobby or hobbies should not be dictated too tightly by financial aspects, the money you are spending on these activities will likely still have to be a consideration.

Affordability
One of the most important considerations of having a hobby is affordability. How much money will your hobby cost, and do you have the money or time needed to devote to your hobby or hobbies? It can be frustrating to enter into a hobby only to find that you can’t fully take advantage of the opportunity it presents, or participate in the activity due to lack of funds.

In order to determine whether the hobby or hobbies you have selected are economically feasible, it might be a good idea to speak to others who are involved in the particular activity, do some online research or visit your local library and check out a few books or magazines on the hobby to determine associated costs. Whether it’s camping, caving, golf, or collecting, hobbies can often range greatly in costs depending on how involved the participant decides to become or what the hobby is. It may therefore be a good idea to get more than one opinion or read more than one publication to get a better idea of how much you’ll be spending on your hobby. Once you have a general idea of how much a hobby will cost, it can be a good idea to lay out a budget.

Hobby Budget
Hobbies are meant to be fun, but costs can get out of control if you let them. Once you have an idea of how much a hobby might cost you, it’s time to determine how much you can afford to throw at it. Many hobbies will require a reasonably sized initial investment to get started. You may have to buy gear, equipment, supplies, a membership, or other items needed to partake in your hobby of choice. As with camping, you could find that the initial costs for a tent, sleeping bags, backpacks, cookware, and related equipment is quite high, but after those items are obtained, the cost of camping as a hobby can drop off dramatically as your equipment (if maintained properly) may last for years or longer.

Other hobbies might not call for such a large initial buy-in but will require continuous reinvestment due to the regularity of re-supply costs or as in golf, club membership dues or rounds of golf, cart fees, etc. A hobby such as collecting dishes, silverware, antiques or similar items, might not call for much of an initial financial outlay, but over time may become a regular expense as the collection builds and items are found on shopping trips.

Going into your hobby with a budget can help provide a general idea of how much it will cost as well as how much you can afford to put toward your hobby. A budget can help avoid unforeseen surprises when it comes to the cost of your chosen pastime and may allow you to better enjoy your hobby without overdoing it when it comes to costs.

Earnings
Sometimes hobbies can make you money. This might be a fantastic, not to mention unexpected aspect, since you’ll hopefully be doing something you love while making money at the same time. You may even find that your hobby pays for itself. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet. A hobby is something that is meant to be enjoyed, not necessarily a money making venture. If you are able to tie the two together though, you may get the best of both worlds.

Whether your art is selling by way of your paintings, ceramics or weaving, you’re writing freelance articles, reselling antiques or collectibles, making a profit as a woodworker, make a bit from selling your gardening products, or just enjoy reselling items at garage sales, there are numerous ways hobbies can earn you a buck or two. However, it’s often important to the enjoyment of your hobby that you don’t let making money detract from the joy you receive from your pastime. If the two can comingle, so much the better, but if a hobby becomes work, it may no longer be a hobby!

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