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Save Money on Hobbies

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[Each Monday for the next couple months, I'm going through many of the ways to save money. Read the whole Save Money series. Last week we looked at how to save money on cars.]

Americans spend a lot of money on hobbies. When I went to the Hearst Castle, the tour guide said that William Randolph Hearst had two hobbies, building and collecting. He was quick to point out that this would be a huge problem for most everyone, but it wasn't an issue for him since he had millions and millions of dollars. I don't have millions and millions of dollars and the odds are that you don't either. With that being the case, I thought I'd give you a few ideas.

  • Be careful about collecting - Collecting can cost you in a couple of ways. There's the obvious price to acquire the pieces of the collection and then there's the cost of storing the item. I collected shot glasses from everywhere I traveled and now that collection is big enough to require a small amount of storage. I should get a display for the collection, but that's an additional cost. I can imagine that if I collected Beanie Babies during that craze that I would have overpaid for to build and complete the collection and then had sizable boxes in the attic to show for it.
  • Blogging is a great hobby - Blogging can be a very frugal hobby. It can be done for free if you have an Internet connection. In fact it can even make me money. Here are ten benefits I have received from blogging.
  • Some sports make for frugal hobbies - Basketball and Soccer don't require a lot of upfront costs. Hockey can get expensive with rink time, pads, and hockey stick. Active sports can provide health benefits (if performed safely), which should reduce health care costs down the line.
  • Music and/or Photography can be great hobbies - The initial cost of a camera or guitar can be cheap or expensive. However, there are no on-going costs for either (as long as your camera is digital). Additionally, there are web sites where you can upload a photo and earn royalties. You may get good enough to earn some meaningful dollars as a photographer or a band. You'll want to watch your expenses and make sure that it really makes sense to upgrade to a better camera or instrument. You don't want to spend a couple of thousand dollars, if you are only making $100 every couple of months.
  • Reading and other entertainment - Don't forget these ways to save on movies, music, television and books..

Last updated on January 28, 2008.

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16 Responses to “Save Money on Hobbies”

  1. The Div Guy says:

    Running is a cheap hobby and can keep you in good shape.

    What ever happened to that book you were going to giveaway?

    The Pats looked great! Should be a good game with SD.

  2. Lazy Man says:

    The winners of the books should have them. The PR firm running the prize fulfillment received a damaged bag, so there’s be a hold-up in shipping that to the winner. I’m waiting for everyone to have received their prizes before I announce the winners. I simply don’t want to give the PR company or the book any attention until the prize fulfillment is completed.

  3. irina says:

    My balloon art making started as a hobby and now it is a full time job….. Actually it is a part-time full-time job..because I mostly work on weekends.. (I read your blog regularly and love it.)

  4. I found the perfect hobby: my kids!
    They keep you busy day and night and on top of that, anything is wonderful for them. Therefore, you can have a ton of fun with very few bucks!
    The only drawback is that you can’t quit that hobby ;-)

  5. […] Save Money On Hobbies Right now, my two most expensive hobbies are my Wii and cooking. The Wii’s biggest expense is my temptation to get a new game for it, which rarely happens – with cooking, I generally produce a tasty product (like the honey wheat bread I made yesterday, for example). (@ lazy man and money) […]

  6. Lazy Man says:

    TFB, from a financial perspective, I don’t know if I’d call children as a cheap hobby.

  7. Tuesday is when I share good things. | How I Will Be Rich says:

    […] Lazy Man and Money explains how to “Save Money on Hobbies.” […]

  8. DivaJean says:

    I think looking realistically at what time and resources you have for any hobby is important too.

    My biggest chunks of time available for myself and what I like to do (sew) are the 20 minutes each way from work. So I had to figure out what hand sewing projects I could try…

    Then I looked at my resources- free fabric, chiefly muslins and cottons, from my uncle in law (he’s an upholsterer and brings me and my mother in law a car load full twice a year).

    What could I sew on the bus using my free fabrics? I have taken up hand embroidery and made myself a small kit that I carry in my backpack everyday with a current project under way. I have made mostly small projects and made some quilted wall hangings that I have sold at my company’s twice a year craft sales. I have just finished a big quilt for myself (pink and white and black- very funky!) with embroidered 50’s dresses/fashions from bobbysocks.com (it was last years block of the month). I am now working on this years- as well as making memory quilts of our extended family’s trip to Maine this summer. I love to hand embroider on the bus, then after my kids go to bed, dig thru my fabric stash to piece together quilts featuring my work.

    And lets face it- all I am buying for this hobby is thread. Embroidery thread is usually on sale for 5 skeins for a dollar and my machine thread I have oceans accumulated from a local fabric store closure (went on sale for 75% off- I bought a few years worth).

  9. […] Save Money on Hobbies by Lazy @ Lazy Man and Money. Apart from these tips, just remember to not turn a hobby into an addiction. *cough* blogging *cough* note to self *cough*. […]

  10. […] out Lazy Man and Money for some great ideas for saving money on hobbies. My favorite inexpensive hobby: sitting in a lonely, quiet corner repressing painful childhood […]

  11. […] out Lazy Man and Money for some great ideas for saving money on hobbies. My favorite inexpensive hobby: sitting in a lonely, quiet corner repressing painful childhood […]

  12. Joseph Sangl says:

    I second running!

    Also basketball is cheap!

    I would say that running, basketball, and blogging are all tied as my most favorite, cheapest hobbies!

    Fixing up an older house that we bought on the cheap is also going to turn out to be a cheap hobby that just might pay off handsomely in the future! (It is only a hobby if you like this type of work, however!)

  13. […] how to save money. I recommend reading the whole Save Money series. Last week we looked at how to save money on hobbies.] Share […]

  14. […] Save Money on Hobbies – Back in college, I had a friend who collected Beanie Babies. She spent hundreds of dollars completing her collection. If you add up the value of that collection now, it’s barely a fraction of the money she spent. […]

  15. […] For one month, don’t shop for any unnecessary things, control your shopping impulses. Set aside the money you saved for the emergency fund.  Contrary to popular opinion, frugality isn’t a bad word. Be creative; try to save money on your hobbies. […]

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