When I was growing up, I had a lot of hobbies, but most of them just sucked my allowance dry while I enjoyed what they had to offer. I had an aquarium of guppies which I eventually promoted in size and fish variety, I took up piano as well as a number of sports, and collected stamps and coins. The only form of recreation I had that didn’t cost a dime was my interest in collecting various shiny rocks and stones which I picked up from any place I visited.
I didn’t realize of course, that a hobby can be just the opposite. It could help you out a little with your finances if you embark on the right kind.
I suggested a while ago that taking up a hobby that didn’t cost you anything or could cost you very little may probably help you avoid overspending. Since with less idle time which you would conceivably be spending on your new activity, your mind won’t go floating around wondering where to alight next, especially if it happens to be a retail counter in a Great Mall near you. As something to do during your leisure hours, “shopping” or its more harmless sibling called “window shopping,” don’t score high on my recommendations list as this is exactly what you should aim to replace with something less financially draining. Nevertheless, the right interest can be therapeutic and many bored minds will do well on well selected activities.
Even better, you could pick a hobby that actually makes you money! Here are some ways to find and manage one that’s financially friendly.
How To Pick The Right Hobby For Your Enjoyment And Your Wallet
#1 Do some research and determine your potential outlay before getting into something new.
Do a little bit of research on the hobby before committing to it. Does it take a lot of equipment to work with? Will it cause you to fork out a bunch of money on a regular basis? If so, then you may want to reconsider if that model building you’re getting into is not just addicting, but becoming a money pit. Anything that’s large, entails a lot of pricey parts, and requires labor and materials on a regular basis can potentially be hazardous to your wallet. Now if you were on the other side of this equation and you’d like to get into a great revenue producing business, then be the one manufacturing these “hobby kits”, video games, or model supplies.
#2 Check out inexpensive or even “free” hobbies.
Do you read to relax? Going to the library to spend your leisure time there, or perusing internet pages from your favorite sites at work provides us “free” occupation. Cooking is another creative activity that pretty much just piggy backs onto your need to eat. So brushing up on culinary skills is a great choice. The point here is that there are definitely more affordable alternatives to more exotic, complicated and typically costly passions. That’s something you can figure out by doing this sort of analysis. Of course, nobody can stop you if you’re really eager to find yourself in the Great Barrier Reef someday with a camera, or decide to take up polo, and NOT the water kind. It is your money!
#3 Cut down on hobby costs.
So you’re aspiring to be the next Mario Andretti, or you’re really mean on skis. There are still ways to pare down your budget when starting a hobby that has some outlay. Try a few of these techniques:
- Share your equipment
Maybe invest in some equipment that can be shared across other like-minded individuals? Not everyone needs to travel to the Alps all at the same time right? Yeah, even though it would be more fun that way.
Rent or lease before buying
Test out the waters with some used equipment before committing to some heavy purchases.
- Buy used stuff
Though it’s fun to break in the new materials for your activity, it wouldn’t hurt to start out by using second hand stuff and seeing how it works out for you.
- Just pick up what you need
You don’t need to go overboard right away with top of the line merchandise. Have enough to get started. After you’ve gotten the hang of it and you’re a certified expert, you can invest in more 1st class equipment.
#4 Turn your hobby into a business.
You get into a hobby because you like and enjoy it. However, you could become so good at it that you don’t realize it has money making potential! That’s something to explore. There are definitely some recreational activities that can potentially turn into businesses because they happen to result in products that have a market for them.
Some examples? Baking cakes, dressmaking or designing embroidery, fashioning candles, creating art, making jewelry. Taking up a hobby that allows you to hone your skills and serves as a creative outlet may very well be one of those things that can easily become a business. Ready for more possibilities? Here’s more advice on the subject.
If you want to get inspired, here’s how well some people have done with their internet businesses that could’ve just been a hobby to start with.
From what I’ve seen, internet based interests are quite easy to turn into some form of money generating scheme: just ask some software programmers out there.
But just don’t let it turn into work. When it’s no longer fun and you’re just doing it for money, then you may as well find another hobby to enjoy.
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