Hobby: for Fun or Spending?
Posted by Gail | Filed under Smart Shopper
I have a few hobbies. I paint (oils) for the joy of it, not because I’m particularly good at it. I garden, indoors and out. And I knit because it feels like meditation to me and I’m always surprised when something turns out. What I don’t do with my hobbies is blow my budget to kingdom come.
People turn their hobbies into an excuse to spend money. Scrapbookers, I’m talking to you. And you, amateur photographers. And you, knitters, sewers, woodworkers, and (insert your hobby here). If you’ve got a closet full of yarn, you aren’t so much about the knitting and crocheting as you are about the acquisition. And if you’re spending as much time shopping for your hobby as doing your hobby, your real hobby is shopping.
The first step in curving your shopping hobby is to take stock of what you have. Make an inventory so that the next time you’re tempted to drop money on an “Oooo, I don’t have one of those” item, you know for sure it isn’t laying forgotten behind the impulse purchases you’ve made in the name of your hobby.
Next, learn to reuse stuff. Don’t like how the scarf turned out? Don’t just stick it in the back of a closet. Pull it out, rewind the yarn and use it for something else. Be creative about where you find your supplies. Consider swapping some of what you have for some of what someone else has through a swap coffee or tea party. Watch for sales and buy used; those are two great ways to get what you need to keep having fun, without blowing your budget
You do have a budget for your hobby, don’t you? No? Well set one up. Even if you set aside just $10 or $15 a month for your woodworking, painting or sewing, having some money in your budget means you can take advantage of a great deal when you see it.
If you’re justifying spending money by all the money you’ll “save” through your hobby, you’re in trouble. When Jackie told Sam her new scrapbooking punches would save them a fortune in gift cards, Sam just shook his head. “We’re talking really fabulous cards,” he said with a grin. Jackie should just stick to having fun and stop trying to justify her spending. It’s a hobby!