Author Topic: How do you curb an expensive hobby?  (Read 6353 times)

johnstein

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How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« on: February 04, 2015, 09:08:38 AM »
The subject explains it all.  The hobby is solely enjoyment, there is no benefit to others.  I wont say what it is, but you can think of it as either gambling, shopaholic, collecting expensive useless junk, chasing the latest apple garbage, computers, gaming, drinking, smoking, etc..




CheapskateWife

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2015, 09:11:59 AM »
DH has one of those...he loves working on cars.  And of course if he puts a whole lot of work into it he doesn't want to sell it.  So I put him on an allowance that drafts to non-joint checking account.  So far that is working to curb in-fighting over what is a priority in our nearly FIRE lives and what isn't.  His hope is to figure out how to make some money off of it (like working on, then flipping cars he doesn't want to keep for profit) and fund his personal fun through the business endeavor.

So don't curb it necessarily if it brings you joy, but figure out how to turn it into a side hustle.


rubybeth

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2015, 09:15:07 AM »
Find a new hobby and stop the expensive one. I pretty much lost interest in my expensive hobby when I realized it was fairly well incompatible with my other life goals, meaning to save a lot of money and never have to work again. Would I rather have the hobby or never have to work? Absolutely, never have to work. So bye bye hobby.

Gone Fishing

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2015, 09:39:51 AM »
Start by simply trimming the expense without totally losing the experience.  Here are some examples using your list:

gambling-nickle slots instead of blackjack 
shopaholic-TJ Maxx instead of Nordstroms
collecting expensive useless junk-switch to something cheap but rare
chasing the latest apple garbage-buy used off of ebay/craigslist
computers-buy used off of ebay/craigslist
gaming-buy used off of ebay/craigslist
drinking-switch to cheap wine/beer/liquor
smoking-roll your own

Stash Engineer

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2015, 09:43:58 AM »
Find a new hobby and stop the expensive one. I pretty much lost interest in my expensive hobby when I realized it was fairly well incompatible with my other life goals, meaning to save a lot of money and never have to work again. Would I rather have the hobby or never have to work? Absolutely, never have to work. So bye bye hobby.

This.  Take up a hobbie that promotes FI, like biking.

77rider

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2015, 09:50:11 AM »
This is one of my biggest issues with the "mustachian" ways. At some point you need to make a judgement call on what your hobby is worth for you.

I also have a horrendously expensive hobby. I wouldn't give it up to 'retire' a few years early. I do budget for that hobby. And I'm currently re-evaluating that budget to look for savings and really quantify how much it impacts my "FI" goals. But in the end there is very little that will get me to drop the hobby completely. It is simply too rewarding.

The only thing that would get me to stop it is if it started putting me into debt. A true mustache-head will tell me that the expense has an opportunity cost in lost savings and lost income from that savings. But I still don't care. At some point my selfish desire for this hobby outweighs my drive for financial independence.

In the end, I think this is a value judgement each of us must make.

Riff

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2015, 10:17:54 AM »
drinking-switch to cheap wine/beer/liquor

Brew your own!  Well, maybe not the liquor...

TrMama

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2015, 10:19:54 AM »
This is one of my biggest issues with the "mustachian" ways. At some point you need to make a judgement call on what your hobby is worth for you.

I also have a horrendously expensive hobby. I wouldn't give it up to 'retire' a few years early. I do budget for that hobby. And I'm currently re-evaluating that budget to look for savings and really quantify how much it impacts my "FI" goals. But in the end there is very little that will get me to drop the hobby completely. It is simply too rewarding.

The only thing that would get me to stop it is if it started putting me into debt. A true mustache-head will tell me that the expense has an opportunity cost in lost savings and lost income from that savings. But I still don't care. At some point my selfish desire for this hobby outweighs my drive for financial independence.

In the end, I think this is a value judgement each of us must make.

This is the real heart of the issue. If you value the hobby, more than FIRE, then go ahead and spend on it. However, if you want to FIRE more than you want to continue with the hobby, then deciding to curb it will be easy.

Just as I was starting to get back into triathlon racing, I discovered MMM. Since I want to FIRE more than I want to race, the decision to drop the races was incredibly easy.

JLee

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 10:25:32 AM »
Find a new hobby and stop the expensive one. I pretty much lost interest in my expensive hobby when I realized it was fairly well incompatible with my other life goals, meaning to save a lot of money and never have to work again. Would I rather have the hobby or never have to work? Absolutely, never have to work. So bye bye hobby.

This.  Take up a hobbie that promotes FI, like biking.

This doesn't work for everyone. I have absolutely no passion for biking. That'd be like telling someone who loves dogs to get a mouse for a pet because it's cheaper.

Find ways to make it more affordable. My hobby is vehicles - on and off road. It is expensive.

I do my own work and save an immense amount on labor. I find deals on parts. I occasionally do paid mechanical work for other people. I find great deals on used vehicles and generally sell them for what I paid, or more.

My next project (outfitting my truck for expedition travel) is going to be expensive. Solution? I've signed up as a driver for Lyft and I will see if I can get my vehicle to help pay for itself. I've also started travel writing so hopefully when we are ready for a major trip (e.g. the Pan American Highway), I may be established enough to get sponsors to assist with parts/expenses.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2015, 11:03:27 AM »
This works for some hobbies but not others, but maybe you can find a way to monetize your skills in that hobby? My friend's husband is really into vintage arcade games. He has figured out how to buy cheap broken ones, fix them up and resell. Their basement is full of his favorite ones but he has sold enough that it's at least cash-neutral. I thought that was pretty cool.

Cookie78

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2015, 11:07:00 AM »
Find a new hobby and stop the expensive one. I pretty much lost interest in my expensive hobby when I realized it was fairly well incompatible with my other life goals, meaning to save a lot of money and never have to work again. Would I rather have the hobby or never have to work? Absolutely, never have to work. So bye bye hobby.

This.  Take up a hobbie that promotes FI, like biking.

This doesn't work for everyone. I have absolutely no passion for biking. That'd be like telling someone who loves dogs to get a mouse for a pet because it's cheaper.


I must be Canadian, I thought you said to get a moose for a pet.

Edit:
As for OP, depends what your hobby is, but I agree with the previous posters. Either find a way to monetize it, or find the balance between FI and your expensive hobby that makes you happy.

2ndTimer

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2015, 11:08:41 AM »
This is one of my biggest issues with the "mustachian" ways. At some point you need to make a judgement call on what your hobby is worth for you.

This is a feature not a bug.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2015, 11:26:11 AM »
In my case, I took my expensive hobby (woodworking) and turned it into a profit center. I went from spending $200/month on the hobby to netting over $4,000 last year. And I'm already up $1700 just in the month of January 2015.

I had always been hesitant to take something I loved so much and use it to earn money. I think there was always this feeling that selling my efforts would ruin everything I loved about it - quiet reflection, artistic freedom, etc. But once I realized that I could leverage my efforts in the present to have more time doing what I love in the future, everything fell into place.

Eric

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2015, 11:32:24 AM »
This is one of my biggest issues with the "mustachian" ways. At some point you need to make a judgement call on what your hobby is worth for you.

This is a feature not a bug.

Yes indeed!

If the spending makes you happier than the alternative, then you should spend.

77rider

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2015, 11:37:23 AM »
This is one of my biggest issues with the "mustachian" ways. At some point you need to make a judgement call on what your hobby is worth for you.

This is a feature not a bug.

Yes indeed!

If the spending makes you happier than the alternative, then you should spend.

I would argue this idea has bounds. At some point hobbies become too costly (as measured against income) and can induce debt. At that point, you should not spend.

snshijuptr

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2015, 11:47:32 AM »
My family does Martial Arts, all 3 of us now. This is what I hope to spend more time doing when I retire (that and start yoga and bike even more). So because of that I value this more than retiring earlier.

That said, I'm still going to make sure I don't spend more than necessary on my hobby. We don't buy every t-shirt or jacket or new piece of gear.

In addition, I'm looking at how I can monetize my hobby. We are looking to get our black belts and start instructing. You don't earn much, but sometimes you can at least pay for your own instruction.

So basically 3 steps:
1. Ensure you are putting your money toward your values
2. Don't spend unnecessarily on your hobby
3. Try to generate an income from your hobby.

Forcus

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2015, 12:17:54 PM »
How have I curbed expensive hobbies....

Car stuff - Buying new parts and getting big brown boxes in the mail is fun but expensive. I've toned down my purchasing and spend much more time cleaning / repairing / painting parts by hand instead of buying new. I will tend to modify what I have instead of buying new. I realized I can get 95% of the result and 100% of the enjoyment out of 50% (or less) of the cost. New rims for one of my cars (Cragar S/S's) have skyrocketed in price, they are $250-300 each (used to be $150-$175). I have a set already so instead I polish out the rust pits by hand, etc. Sure they are not new but saving $800 for a little work and not 100% perfect parts is good with me. As far as painting goes, I've had extremely good luck with a good rattle can primer and "oily" rattle can top coats in satin finishes. Almost as good as powdercoat as far as durability. I pick up used parts when deals arise too. Swapped a spare bumper for my IH truck for a plow for one of my really old Cub Cadets so no money out of pocket. Guy I know needed cash fast so I got a front mount intercooler kit that normally goes for $500+ shipping for $100 (and it was still brand new). Etc.

Airplane stuff - Don't want to spend the money for flight training or building my own airplane right now so I'm building balsa models. OK this isn't even close to the same thing but as I build larger and ever more complex models a lot of it will transition to building a kit airplane (if I go wood). It's probably a poor substitute and I'll never be geeked out with RC models and such but as a temporary fix it works for me.

Equipment stuff - I NEED NEED NEED (in my mind) a Kubota BX25D (sub-compact backhoe loader). At $18k, it's not really in the cards right now. So I'm playing with a Cub Cadet 782 which is a large garden tractor. I am thinking about building a front end loader and backhoe for it (there are plans but no real kits). Total cost, $5k? For now instead of playing with something new, maximizing what I have. New tires, 3 point hitch and attachments so I can play in the yard / garden. Had a blast the other day snow plowing the driveway after I picked up an original plow for it for $125. Total cost in it, $600? Even if I spend a couple grand on attachments and upgrades, and a repaint, still about 20% of a new tractor (though I'll freely admit.... it won't have the capability of the new one!).

Eric

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2015, 12:47:22 PM »
This is one of my biggest issues with the "mustachian" ways. At some point you need to make a judgement call on what your hobby is worth for you.

This is a feature not a bug.

Yes indeed!

If the spending makes you happier than the alternative, then you should spend.

I would argue this idea has bounds. At some point hobbies become too costly (as measured against income) and can induce debt. At that point, you should not spend.

Well certainly going into debt makes the activity less enjoyable, no?  I mean, this is an idea for Mustachians, not the general public, so if that's the limiting factor, then I agree that there are limits.  But it's on the mindset, not the spending side.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2015, 12:55:06 PM »

This doesn't work for everyone. I have absolutely no passion for biking. That'd be like telling someone who loves dogs to get a mouse for a pet because it's cheaper.


It's basically the same thing as saying is the hobby worth delaying FI. 
Drop the expensive hobby, and find a new one if it isn't.  If you don't find a passion for biking, find a passion for something else that promotes FI.

If you love dogs, but they are too expensive- perhaps don't get a mouse, but volunteer at an animal shelter.

It wasn't a suggestion that everyone choose biking as a hobby, but to find the hobby that allows you to meet your goals.

I love ice skating, but it was costing a lot of money.  I dropped ice skating.  I actually haven't been able to replace it yet.  I do miss it; but I don't miss it enough to assign the value related to how much I was spending on it.

mak1277

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2015, 01:50:28 PM »

This doesn't work for everyone. I have absolutely no passion for biking. That'd be like telling someone who loves dogs to get a mouse for a pet because it's cheaper.


It's basically the same thing as saying is the hobby worth delaying FI. 
Drop the expensive hobby, and find a new one if it isn't.  If you don't find a passion for biking, find a passion for something else that promotes FI.

If you love dogs, but they are too expensive- perhaps don't get a mouse, but volunteer at an animal shelter.

It wasn't a suggestion that everyone choose biking as a hobby, but to find the hobby that allows you to meet your goals.

I love ice skating, but it was costing a lot of money.  I dropped ice skating.  I actually haven't been able to replace it yet.  I do miss it; but I don't miss it enough to assign the value related to how much I was spending on it.

This line of thinking makes it seem like FIRE is the end all goal.  I suppose that may be true, but for me it's not.  FIRE is merely a step towards accomplishing my goals.

One of the biggest reasons I want to FIRE is to have more time to spend on my hobbies.  If you drop a hobby to get to FIRE quicker, what are you going to do once you're retired if you don't still participate in your hobbies...it's kind of a Catch 22 to me.  If I didn't have a hobby I wouldn't really have a drive to FIRE.

InternationalStache

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2015, 01:58:05 PM »
I have several "expensive" hobbies but don't feel any pressure to drop them because they all fit within my guiding rule - each hobby should make me more cash than I spend on it. This has worked on quite a wide array of hobbies since my teenage years, you just need to be creative. This always works great as a teenager or when you're in a relationship or married--harder to criticize hobbies that are bringing in cash!

Lmoot

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2015, 04:33:25 PM »
All of those things you listed aren't particularly expensive...it's the frequency of which you do them (like any hobby) that determines how expensive. If the hobby is expensive but affordable (to your goals and parameters), then keep at it if you're getting the same level of happiness from it and it is not harmful to you or others. If it's beyond what you can afford then you can curb it by not doing it...if that's too difficult for you then you need to get professional help.

I guess I don't really understand the question. And does is everything you listed have somewhat of a negative connotation? What's your goal here? lol!

I guess my expensive hobby is interior design. I do most of it myself (painting, tiling, refinish furniture), try to catch stuff on sale, or get them from home thrift stores (like habitat for humanity). I fixed up my house and rented it out to friends I trust to take care of it; I've already nearly recouped what I paid in renovations, through rental income. I also curb it by living vicariously through others....there's no shortage of home improvement television and websites.

innerscorecard

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Re: How do you curb an expensive hobby?
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2015, 06:51:28 PM »
In my experience, you will need to undergo a big change in life circumstances.