Is your favorite hobby costing you a fortune? If so, you are in good company - we are all guilty of spending over the odds to do the things we love the best. Something always seems to get in the way of sound financial sense when your passions are involved, and whether you are buying an expensive gardening tool or an overpriced tin of artist’s pencils, it can be hard to avoid temptation.
However, there are several things you can think about doing if you want to start saving big on your hobby. And in today’s guide, we’re going to go through a few tactics and methods you can use to keep your costs down. Let’s get started with some of the basics.
Budget Your Time
Don’t forget that time is money in every aspect of your life. When you are involving yourself in your hobby, you aren’t earning money working - and ignoring your responsibilities is going to end up costing you money. Balancing a busy schedule with your passions is a tough thing to do, but there are a few ways of finding the time.
First of all, be realistic, and budget yourself some time accordingly. For most people, you aren’t going to be able to indulge yourself for several hours a day, but it is important to set aside at least 30 minutes or so every other day to practice and/or take some lessons. Even an hour a week can be useful, and it only takes the simple decision to watch less Netflix every week to free up the time.
Find a Mentor
In business, mentors tend to cost a lot of money - but with your hobbies, you will find a lot of people out there willing to offer you help and advice for nothing. Look around your local community for a group that engages on a regular basis - artists meetups, or gardening groups, for example. Get talking to people, and you will get plenty of hints and tips on how to get better at your favorite past time.
The Internet can be an excellent place for free advice, too. There are dozens of sites out there specializing in any given subject, and even if your hobby is something of a niche subject, the worldwide audience of the web means you will find hundreds of other people who share your passions. There is no need to spend money on one-to-one tuition which, although the fastest way to achieving competency and skill, can cost an awful lot of money.
There’s a big myth surrounding the world of coupons that could be costing you money. Ask the average person, and they will all hold the same opinion - coupons are for groceries, processed foods, and people that are prepared to spend hours every day just to get a few cents worth of discount off their weekly shopping bill.
To an extent, they are right - there are hundreds of coupon campaigns launched on a weekly basis to try and tempt consumers to try a new food or switch brands. But a quick look over at DontPayFull.com reveals that there are coupons available for almost everything you can think of - including the products that you need to buy for your hobbies. Look into specialist magazines, and scour your favorite websites online, including all the major coupon services. You will be surprised at what you might find, whether your favorite hobby is spending time in the garden or DIY home decorating.
Rent First, Buy Later
Starting up a new hobby/ If so, don’t dive in headfirst until you know it’s the right pastime for you. While it can be tempting to invest in all the latest gear and materials, the reality is you will be wasting a lot of cash on something that you quickly get bored of. Your best bet is to see if there is any way of renting your equipment, rather than buying it outright. It will give you the opportunity to find out whether the hobby is a suitable one for your interests, and, ultimately, save you a lot of money.
Once you realize that your hobby is the right one for you, then you can consider making more of an investment. It’s the same principal for taking out memberships - the local gym being the perfect example. You could splash out on an expensive annual membership, but if you only go to the gym for a month, it’s a complete waste of money. Always try and dip your toes into any new hobby first - and monthly payments will end up being cheaper for you until you know you are going to stick it out.
Find Free Stuff
There are plenty of places you can pick things up for free - whatever hobby you take up. Let’s say you are getting into woodworking - a local building firm might have piles of leftover wood from their big projects that they are willing to give you for nothing as it will save them on disposal charges.
You should also try and look into online services such as Freecycle.org - people give away all kinds of things, and you might be surprised at what you manage to pick up. And don’t forget to pay a visit to your local library. All the resources you could ever want to get started in a new hobby can be found in a book that is available to you for precisely zero cost.
Visit Yard Sales
Got a yard sale happening in your local community? Go to all of them - and local auctions can be a good idea, too. Many people take up hobbies and move on very quickly, and whether you are looking for paints, equipment, or other materials, you could find them for knockdown prices at a yard sale.
Pro Tip: If you live near a wealthy community, make a note of all the thrift stores that operate in the area. You will often find that the thrift stores in affluent communities sell some incredible items for next to nothing - and you could pick up some serious bargains. So much so, in fact, that even the act of thrift store shopping could become your hobby!