Hobbies don’t have to break the bank but they can end up decimating your finances if you don’t exercise restraint or mindfulness regarding your expenditure.
When you buy without any forethought then it’s a train wreck waiting to happen.
As a caveat, expensive hobbies can be worth it if they’re within your budget i.e. you can still afford to pay your essential bills and feed your family, however, they should be tempered or streamlined if you find you are starting to struggle financially in these areas.
As an added point, it also doesn’t help that many hobbies are setup to condition us psychologically to buy more and often use slot-machine style tactics such as buying random card packs in a TCG game.
There’s not always a guarantee you’ll get what you want from your hobby which is sometimes what drives people to spend more to achieve what they had envisioned.
In other cases, there may be new releases every year which can incentivize people to join the herd mentality and spend extra money when in truth, they already had something that did the same or similar job.
Regardless, we’ve got five tips for you today to help save you some money on your hobbies which we’re sure will help streamline some of your expenditure.
Curb Your Passion: 5 Tips to Reduce Your Hobby Expenditure
1. Look for cheaper alternatives
Firstly, and depending on your hobby, you should always look for cheaper alternatives to whatever it is you’re doing or purchasing.
For example, you don’t need a $200 pair of Nike’s to start running, or even a $2000 DSLR set up to start shooting photographs.
It’s very easy to get a sudden urge of commitment that leads you to buy the absolute best of the best when in reality, you should focus on achieving results first within your chosen hobby.
In fact, even if you’re experienced, you should always look for cheaper ways to do things as this will help keep your expenditure down.
Some of the best bargains can be had by going for used products instead of brand new, so always make sure to check eBay, Gumtree, Craigslist, Reddit, and other discount mediums to keep your costs low.
2. Be mindful
The best person to prevent you from making an impulse purchase is yourself.
You should constantly be asking yourself before you make a purchase whether you want it for a logical reason or whether it’s an emotional choice just to meet some imagined standard.
As mentioned in the intro, many stores and hobbies are designed to psychologically manipulate you which will have you buying more due to the fear of missing out, commonly known as FOMO.
A classic example of this is the recent Black Friday discount events that people rush out to buy things for as they worry they won’t be able to get them again.
However, if they’d spend a moment to reflect then they would realize there will be an even better product next year for them to buy which allows them some time to get back on their feet financially.
Mindfulness isn’t just helpful when it comes to finance but it also helps you check irregular emotions or unhelpful thoughts before you let them spiral.
3. Change your hobby
This won’t apply to all hobbies but as an example, going for a run outdoors is far cheaper than signing up for a gym membership just to hit your exercise goals.
In fact many hobbies have similar replacements that could work more favourably for you, especially if you’re having a bad year with your finances.
Sometimes you don’t even need to change your hobby, you could just change the brand of the item you’re buying or invest in a different company.
For example, most top of the line gaming consoles such as Xbox or Playstation will cost an extra one to two hundred dollars versus a Nintendo but they both achieve a similar end result.
If you’re feeling a little more daring, you could swap your hobbies altogether.
Reading books is a great way to pass the time and costs very little for weeks of enjoyment.
Sometimes you just need to drift outside of your comfort zone a little to discover ways of becoming more thrifty.
4. Recognize an addiction
Some hobbies are financially destructive and need to be recognized or stopped before it leads you to ruin.
One of the most common problems we’ve seen recently is kids (and grown-ups) spending thousands on in-game loot boxes or purchases that yield a chance to win something valuable for the game.
The keyword here is chance meaning you could be spending thousands without ever receiving what you were expecting or wanting.
This links back to being mindful in some regards as you need to be asking yourself whether the choice is practical or if it’s for your own emotional high which is often short lived.
If you feel like this is you then it could be worth doing a “dopamine detox” which involves cutting yourself off from your addictive hobby for a couple of weeks to help sensitize your brain to normal stimulation.
Here’s a great video explaining mindfulness, how it works, and why it’s so powerful in basically any situation in life:
5. Share or borrow
If you like cycling and you know a friend or family member who has a road bike then you’re better off taking that for a spin before going out to purchase your own.
This can be the same for basically anything such as a good book to read, a camera for shooting snaps, and board games for playing with the family.
If you don’t ask then you’ll never have the opportunity to receive.
In fact, most people would be happy to oblige to borrowing something provided they know you’ll treat it with care and return it in the same condition it went out in.
This will help you save thousands of pounds over the years and will even help you establish better relationships with the people you’re borrowing from.
To reiterate then, expensive hobbies are sometimes worth it and sometimes they aren’t. It really depends on your personality and how you handle your emotions which can sometimes lead us to impulse purchasing.
Hopefully then, some of the points should have helped you recognize opportunities to cut your costs and offer some better solutions for helping you thrive within your chosen hobby.
Never underestimate the power of borrowing or buying used goods!
This can give you an opportunity to test something before buying and can even replace buying brand new stuff altogether.
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