Author Topic: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...  (Read 12457 times)

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« on: November 12, 2013, 09:02:57 AM »
I've had MANY expensive hobbies.  Motorcycles, Bicycles, huge Aquariums, metal working and a million other things.  All of these hobbies require an initial investment, but since I look for good deals on craigslist and buy used at a good price, I can always sell those items for at least what I paid.
When I tell people about being Mustachian, I always get a bit of an eye roll before hearing "well you spent a lot of money on your bicycle/motorcycle/aquarium/tools" but what they dont realize is that I didn't buy those items new, so when i resell those items I recover the cash I originally spent.

Examples:
Bought a motorcycle (2006 CBR1000RR) in the spring of 2011 for $5300.  Sold it in the fall of 2013 for $5600.
Bought a 220 gallon aquarium setup last year on craigslist for $900.  Sold it for $850 this year.
Bought a "Computrainer" indoor computerized cycling system for $1200 this summer.  I know I can sell it for over $2000 (and probably will sell it sometime next year).

Even after explaining this to people I feel like they dont believe me or something.. I still get comments "well you spend your extra money on your expensive hobbies".  Even after a friend of mine said "wow I need to start doing that" they are quick to run to the store and buy expensive items.

Anyone else do something similar..?

schimt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 11:12:42 AM »
IMHO you are forgetting about the opportunity costs associated with having your money tied up in these hobbies. How much over your life time could you have made, but having that money invested?

Also there is additional lost costs with the hobbies you mentioned.

Motorcycle (i have an 07 cbr 600 that i raced for a few years before i started on the path to FI, its for sale now)- Protective Equipment, Registration, Insurance, gas for those days where you just went joy riding, maintenance (oil, tires any thing else it may have needed)

Aquarium - there is a huge cost associated with filtering, lighting, the plants and fish you are going to keep in it, food for the fish

Indoor trainer - the cost of time, go ride your bike outside, take care of some errands, get fresh air, socialize with other riders. But good for you if you sell it at a large profit, not so sure I would categorize this as a hobby either, if you are planning to hold it for such a short period of time and just flip it.

I have a lot of friends who try to justify their spending in the same way, but they don't think about all the associated cost that go along with owning these toys. And what if you cracked the aquarium, or dropped the CBR.

Just me 2 cents. Not knocking you for having some things that you enjoy, you just need to evaluate the entire picture and if all of the costs and if the hobby worth it, not just the purchase and selling price of the main piece of the puzzle. As you said though, you are in a better position then your friend who buy simular things brand new at full price from the store.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 11:14:45 AM »
I still get comments "well you spend your extra money on your expensive hobbies".

Yeah, that's part of what the money is for :-)  And it's why I don't waste it on all that consumer crap that gives me no pleasure at all.  People used to ask me whether my airplane wasn't really expensive.  And I'd say, "Yeah, but not nearly as expensive as the monthly payment on your fancy new car or SUV".  Same with the horse: sure, it's not cheap, but still costs less than most people's car payments.

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 11:41:37 AM »
Schmit, I agree with what you're saying about extra costs.. there are costs for the motorcycle like gas, insurance, registration, time, etc.. none of those are very big expenses though, not nearly what most people assumed I "spent" on having a motorcycle.  Also notice on that one I sold it for a few hundred more than I paid for it.

You counted TIME as one of the expenses for the hobby.  Can you name a hobby that doesn't take time? lol it's pleasurable time and that's the whole point of having it as a hobby.

Also you mentioned that if I cracked the fishtank or dropped the motorcycle that it would cost money.  ok fine, if I damaged them I'd lose money..

I'm not flipping the indoor trainer setup, I'm using it.  I am ok with riding outdoors when it's nice here in the midwest, or running a very short errand outdoors on the bike, but there's no possible way to get a meaningful hard workout when snow/ice is on the ground outdoors.  Outdoor riding is "possible" all year around, I agree, but tell me it's safe riding 25+ mph through snow.  The indoor trainer is actually a lot of fun too.  It's definitely a hobby since I love bikes and love riding.  This just lets me stay in good shape all winter.

I dont disagree with your points though, that there are some hidden costs.

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »
I do this with a lot of my outdoor gear. I picked up gear for backcountry skiing for about $800 total, all of it except the climbing skins and poles were used. I'm also in the market for a used pair of ice tools for alpine ice climbing.

Those of us doing this still have expenses: certain accessories I can't or shouldn't be buying used, plus the gas of driving to the backcountry. But before I became mustachian almost all of my disposable income was going toward outdoor hobbies, the difference now is I can spend much less than most people spend and invest the difference. I'm comfortable with the new amounts.

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1386
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 12:19:18 PM »
You counted TIME as one of the expenses for the hobby.  Can you name a hobby that doesn't take time? lol it's pleasurable time and that's the whole point of having it as a hobby.

Exactly.  What is leisure time for?  Making more money?  No thanks.

Yeah, I have thousands of dollars tied up in my (appreciating) gun collection, and a chunk tied up in ammo and whatnot.  If I want to sell any of it I will get back more than I paid.  In the meantime, I have a great time out in the woods.  I spent the whole day yesterday with a coworker and his son teaching them what (little) I know about small game hunting.  We had a great time and each of them got their first critters ever (the kid especially had a huge, shiteating grin by the end of the day).  I came home with what will become http://www.justgamerecipes.com/printer/print-0210525.html tonight. Got lots of exercise (walking 8 to 10 miles with gear) and was in the great outdoors out of cell signal range.  Should I have spent the day working a second job, trying to develop a side hustle, or whatever?  Please.  At some point you have to derive some enjoyment from your time or you have wasted your life.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 12:31:48 PM »
Please.  At some point you have to derive some enjoyment from your time or you have wasted your life.

Exactly.  I think part of the problem is that we have a bunch of people around here who apparently hate work - either their particular job, or the whole idea - so much that they can't enjoy themselves at all as long as they have to do it, hence the whole early retirement thing.

Me, I happen to enjoy most of what I do for work, so my aim has never been to retire, but to accumulate enough of a stash to be FI, while enjoying myself along the way.  Some of the hobbies have been expensive, most are pretty cheap.

I am ok with riding outdoors when it's nice here in the midwest, or running a very short errand outdoors on the bike, but there's no possible way to get a meaningful hard workout when snow/ice is on the ground outdoors.

You couldn't switch to cross-country skiing?

brewer12345

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1386
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2013, 12:37:10 PM »
Please.  At some point you have to derive some enjoyment from your time or you have wasted your life.

Exactly.  I think part of the problem is that we have a bunch of people around here who apparently hate work - either their particular job, or the whole idea - so much that they can't enjoy themselves at all as long as they have to do it, hence the whole early retirement thing.

Me, I happen to enjoy most of what I do for work, so my aim has never been to retire, but to accumulate enough of a stash to be FI, while enjoying myself along the way.  Some of the hobbies have been expensive, most are pretty cheap.


I hate work, too and I am just about to kill the day job.  That said, if I did not have activities that recharge me on a regular basis over the past 20 years of driving toward FI I would have checked into the looney bin a long time ago.

Bruised_Pepper

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Age: 30
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2013, 01:01:04 PM »
I definitely think it's important to take note of the recurring costs you rack up from certain hobbies, in your case motorcycling and fish-having.  You could always try looking for reasonable substitutes that don't come with regular costs.  For example, depending on what you like about motorcycles, you could replace it with several other hobbies.  Do you like feeling the wind in your face as you go down the road?  Get a bicycle.  Do you just like to tinker on an engine?  Did somebody say racing lawnmower???  Like the occasional cross-country trip?  Just rent the motorcycle when you need it. 

That being said, you shouldn't compromise on something you love even if it's expensive.  It's just important to figure out if you really love it, or if you just have become accustomed to it.  And of course, being Mustachian means that if you do choose hobbies with recurring costs, you're at least going to get the most value each time you pay.

cbr shadow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 01:22:12 PM »
You could replace motorcycling with plenty of things.. 
Like the feeling of wind in your face?  Go stand in the wind.
Like road trips?  Go for a walk in the road
Like tinkering with engines?  Go draw a picture of an engine

haha sorry i'm just poking fun and dont mean to be a dick.. But those suggestions aren't substitutes for having the real thing, and some are more expensive.  For example a racing lawnmower would likely cost more than registering my motorcycle + insurance for the summer.  A bicycle isn't the same level of excitement as motorcycling (but I do LOVE bicycling too!), and renting a motorcycle even 1 time for 1-2 days would likely cost as much as the insurance and registration did on my motorcycle.

schimt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 01:53:00 PM »
Hahah at "drawing an engine" the only true replacement for fixing your own toys is fixing someone elses, and its not always as fun.

I have to agree, renting a motorcycle is not the same, unless you rent them all the time. It takes a day or two just to be comfortable on a new bike and really enjoy it.

But like you and others said, this entire blog is about really evaluating what makes you happy and getting it. If owning a yacht or a plane is your passion, then go get it, but this blog makes you think about the true cost in Time spent working to earn those things vs earning your freedom, unless you were born wealthy of course. And makes us realize all the things we were raise to think makes us happy, but in hindsight really don't make us happier.


Bruised_Pepper

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Age: 30
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 02:17:38 PM »
You could replace motorcycling with plenty of things.. 
Like the feeling of wind in your face?  Go stand in the wind.
Like road trips?  Go for a walk in the road
Like tinkering with engines?  Go draw a picture of an engine

Haha, you don't even need wind: you get the same feeling from sprinting until you pass out!

The point of my post (ridiculous lawnmower examples aside) is to make you ask "do I really love/need this?"  Keep asking yourself "why?" ad absurdum until you figure this out. 

I think there are some things you shouldn't worry about how much they cost: you should have the "it's my passion" exception to avoid cutting off something that's truly important.  But if you start using this exception for more than 1 or 2 things, you might be getting caught up in a hedonistic cycle, and you might consider reevaluating your standards. 

But like you and others said, this entire blog is about really evaluating what makes you happy and getting it. If owning a yacht or a plane is your passion, then go get it, but this blog makes you think about the true cost in Time spent working to earn those things vs earning your freedom, unless you were born wealthy of course. And makes us realize all the things we were raise to think makes us happy, but in hindsight really don't make us happier.

In other words, basically this.  When you're lying awake at night knowing that you could've retired already but your recurring motorcycle costs have kept you at work for another few years, will it all have been worth it?  That's something only you can decide. 

schimt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2013, 02:29:06 PM »
This is another thing that i have been struggling with while starting this path to FI, my friends see me selling my toys now that i have realized they don't bring me that much happiness compared to potentially reaching FI much sooner. They all have this mind set that i have already paid everything off on the things i have, so there is no reason to ever sell anything, and of course along with the topic we were talking about, they don't consider the recurring costs much and never ever think of the opportunity costs.

My list of big toys now sold or are for sale include a VW GTI that i turbo charged, 4 door 4x4 dodge Ram to haul my toys, Motorcycle, quad and 2 stand up jet ski's. My buddies are not happy to say the least. It's tough to deal with that disappointment, but feels good to be on the path to FI. And we still go camping and snowboarding and BBQ or go to the beach in the summer, rock climb and ride bicycles and have tons of fun.

It is what it is.

Bruised_Pepper

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Age: 30
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2013, 02:38:05 PM »
This is another thing that i have been struggling with while starting this path to FI, my friends see me selling my toys now that i have realized they don't bring me that much happiness compared to potentially reaching FI much sooner. They all have this mind set that i have already paid everything off on the things i have, so there is no reason to ever sell anything, and of course along with the topic we were talking about, they don't consider the recurring costs much and never ever think of the opportunity costs.

My list of big toys now sold or are for sale include a VW GTI that i turbo charged, 4 door 4x4 dodge Ram to haul my toys, Motorcycle, quad and 2 stand up jet ski's. My buddies are not happy to say the least. It's tough to deal with that disappointment, but feels good to be on the path to FI. And we still go camping and snowboarding and BBQ or go to the beach in the summer, rock climb and ride bicycles and have tons of fun.

It is what it is.

Wow, great job.  It must not have been easy to let go of some things, but it sounds like you were able to honestly evaluate your situation and get to the core question: is it worth the extra years of work? 

FIence!

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 06:56:30 AM »
When people bring up my "expensive" hobbies (meaning ones that I might spend $20-$30 a month on), I ask them how much their cable tv bill is every month. Microphone drop.

schimt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 10:05:10 AM »
When people bring up my "expensive" hobbies (meaning ones that I might spend $20-$30 a month on), I ask them how much their cable tv bill is every month. Microphone drop.

what $20-$30 hobby do you have that people question you about?

Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 10:54:51 AM »
One thing I balance out my hobbies with are interests since they are free. :)

But I do agree with the OP, a hobby is only expensive as you make it. I've been a gear head all my life and it's not a cheap hobby... but by hustling cars and parts you can actually make money or break even while doing something you like.

FIence!

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 110
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 11:03:19 AM »
When people bring up my "expensive" hobbies (meaning ones that I might spend $20-$30 a month on), I ask them how much their cable tv bill is every month. Microphone drop.

what $20-$30 hobby do you have that people question you about?

I do metalsmithing and jewelry making. Probably every four months I will buy about $100- worth of raw silver, plus various things like clamps, pliers, whatever. A VERY common comment is, "Couldn't you have bought some jewelry for that price?" A close second is "why don't you sell everything you make if it's worth so much?" The second one is particularly annoying because it seems like such a challenge: IF it's worth "so much."

It bears noting that I am not announcing how much money the supplies cost, people ask then follow up with one of those questions. Yep, people who pay $100 a month to have a box play shows while they sit on their asses are wondering what's so great about spending the price of a pizza on having something that actually results in a tangible item after the hours of enjoyment that I get from creating it. I think it goes back to what brewer said earlier in this thread... it seems like work to them, so I'm a sucker if I'm actually paying to do it.

Bruised_Pepper

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Age: 30
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 11:04:12 AM »
When people bring up my "expensive" hobbies (meaning ones that I might spend $20-$30 a month on), I ask them how much their cable tv bill is every month. Microphone drop.

I'd be careful with this line of thinking.  Just because you're doing better than someone else doesn't mean you're doing well.  Not that $20-30 a month is a ton of money (though it sounds like you have several hobbies in this range), but a line of reasoning based on superiority might be false justification for an expense you don't need.  I'm not going to get into whether or not your hobby is "worth it"--I've said enough on that subject already--I just don't think justifying your spending like this would let you honestly evaluate the value of your hobby.

Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 11:50:56 AM »
The people who judge you for your hobbies and deem them "expensive" are the ones spending 1000's do decorate their house and take all sorts of vacations throughout the year.

dantownehall

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2013, 09:20:55 AM »
I think this sort of hobby (provided the attendant costs like gas, oil, etc are not excessive) fits in well with the idea of constant optimization.  You get a lot of enjoyment out of these hobbies, at a small cost (basically only the opportunity cost of the money you have tied up in the toys.)

Look at it this way - once you're FI, you will have a bunch of money tied up in a variety of resources that provide different things: stocks provide divdend income, a house provides shelter, etc.

Your toys (as descibed here) are stores of value that provide happiness dividends.  You can obviously take this too far, and spend money on toys that depreciate and end up with no value, but if you can sell them for more or less the same money, I don't see a problem.

schimt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2013, 10:19:11 AM »
dividends of happiness is a great way to put it and i will be using that in the future!

Mr.Macinstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 923
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2013, 10:29:32 AM »
I think this sort of hobby (provided the attendant costs like gas, oil, etc are not excessive) fits in well with the idea of constant optimization.  You get a lot of enjoyment out of these hobbies, at a small cost (basically only the opportunity cost of the money you have tied up in the toys.)

Look at it this way - once you're FI, you will have a bunch of money tied up in a variety of resources that provide different things: stocks provide divdend income, a house provides shelter, etc.

Your toys (as descibed here) are stores of value that provide happiness dividends.  You can obviously take this too far, and spend money on toys that depreciate and end up with no value, but if you can sell them for more or less the same money, I don't see a problem.

Word!

AlexK

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Sparks, NV
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2013, 11:36:25 AM »
The expense of hobbies and finding ways to maximize happiness/dollar is something I think about a lot and struggle with.

For example I have been riding dirt bikes my whole life. For the past few years it has tapered off and I have thought about selling my bike. Then I went camping/riding with friends two weeks ago and had the time of my life riding around on a desert playa and exploring remote canyons, beers in Gerlach, etc. Keep in mind I still love working on bikes and buy and sell them as a side hustle.  So this hobby makes money but actually keeping my own bike does have a small cost in terms of garage space, reg and insurance, and risk of injury.

I made a RC quadcopter a few years ago with the hopes of doing aerial videography for fun and profit. I have become proficient at flying it (some videos on youtube under alexkram). It turns out it is illegal to charge for such services (who knew?) so it is only an expensive toy. I will probably sell the expensive parts on ebay since I don't fly it as much now as I used to but every time I fly it there is s smile on my face for sure.

The thing to remember about deciding on hobbies is realizing interests change and just because something made you happy before doesn't mean it will continue to do so.

ArcticaMT6

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2013, 04:00:37 PM »
My first motorcycle I bought for $1100, and sold it for $1050.

Second Motorcycle I bought for $5000, it got totaled, bought it back from the insurance company for $1700 (they cut me a check for $2800), and I parted it out for about $5000 total.

Third motorcycle I spent $3000 on, put about $600 in parts in it, sold it for $4000 the following spring (just wasn't what I wanted in a bike).

Took that $4000, and bought my current bike for $3800 (leaving me with $200 extra for tolls/gas to go pick it up), when it normally would have gone for about $6000.

Random

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 125
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #25 on: November 14, 2013, 10:32:25 PM »
I usd to spend a good bit of time boating.  Now I am content to stand in a cold shower tearing up hundred dollar bills.  It comes out about the me.

schimt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
  • Age: 32
  • Location: New Jersey
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2013, 05:30:09 AM »
I usd to spend a good bit of time boating.  Now I am content to stand in a cold shower tearing up hundred dollar bills.  It comes out about the me.

Well you know the acronym for B.O.A.T. is just Break Out Another Thousand....$

My buddies all have boats and lot it, and i will go out with them on occasion, but fortunately for me we live on the coast and i prefer going to the beach.

ArcticaMT6

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
Re: Expensive Hobbies are NOT expensive...
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2013, 09:42:42 AM »
BOAT: Hole in the water you pour money into