Author Topic: Spending on Hobbies  (Read 3223 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Spending on Hobbies
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:56:03 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm pretty new to the MMM frame of mind.  I LOVE the idea of being free from my job and being able to spend my time the way I want to and I'm trying to implement the MMM way of life in small ways right now (it's a huge change for me).  So far I've stopped buying new clothes unless I absolutely need them and they're also on an incredible sale, I started bringing my lunch to work, I do more biking and less driving, etc.  As I said, I'm starting small and building as I go. 

My current dilemma is whether or not to buy this tool I want/need for my jewelry making hobby.  If I am ever able to retire I envision that I'll spend a large portion of my time making jewelry (currently I spend at leat 50% of my free time on it).  The tool I want/need is a tapered bezel block for making stone settings that are tapered.  It's a pretty specialized item and, unfortunately, is expensive for what it is ($92!!).  I don't think it is something I can make myself and while I could make settings without the tool they will not look as nice and will take much longer to make which means the jewelry I sell will not be as profitable.  This tool is something I should be able to use reliably for the rest of my life though.

So, I guess the question is, how do you handle spending money for tools/hobbies?  Of course I'll shop around for the best possible price and all of that, but is it crazy to spend money on specialized tools of this nature?  The old me would not have thought twice about this purchase, by the way, it would be ordered and done.  I want to save as much as possible but at the same time, I know I want to make jewelry when I retire and acquiring specialized tools is simply something I'll need to do in order to have any sort of efficiency. 


  • Stubble
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Re: Spending on Hobbies
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 09:22:04 AM »
The MMM tenet on spending is this: before each and every purchase you make, ask yourself the question, "Will this thing I'm buying add any real tangible value to my life compared with not owning it?"

In general, durable tools that save you significant time or expand your production abilities are a firm "yes" to that question.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 09:26:48 AM by eil »


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Spending on Hobbies
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 09:32:51 AM »
there seems to be two related but distinct questions.
Q1: is it ok to spend $92 on a hobby for myself?
Q2: if it's really for a future business where I might make money, how do I evaluate whether it's a good expenditure.

Q1 goes back to your personal budget.  You have to decide whether you can afford $92 right now.  Do you have a lot of loans or cc debt? Can you still contribute to savings accounts? Maxing out your IRA? How much are you comfortable spending on a hobby each month?  Once you answer those questions the answer should be fairly clear.
For Q2, i'd advise a cost-benefit analysis.  I know nothing about making jewelry, but you might ask "how much value will this tool bring to what I sell?"  If it means you can charge $5 more per piece, then you need to sell 19 pieces to make up the cost of buying it.  If it will take you more than a couple years to sell 19 pieces, then you are back to Q1.

that's the way I do it, at least.


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Re: Spending on Hobbies
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 09:46:49 AM »
I give myself $120/month to spend on "personal" items- that is anything I want that doesn't fall into the category of household spending ($100), groceries ($150), or entertainment ($40).  For me, an item like that would come out of my personal spending budget, either all at once in a big chunk, or I would set aside $20-$30 each month until I had enough to buy the desired item.

There is plenty of stuff I want that I don't need, and this is how I keep my spending in line.

Note that I am also debt free.  If I had any debts then I wouldn't have a "personal spending" category.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Spending on Hobbies
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 03:42:14 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

I think I will go ahead and get the tool.  I feel like we can afford it.  Our only debt right now is or mortgage, car payment (I know, I know, we bought the car before I had ever heard of MMM), and one credit card that has 0% interest (so obviously we'll pay it off before we are ever charged anything).  We're not true mustachians yet, but we're getting there, I think.

Now to make more jewelry!


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