Save money on your hobby

People turn their hobbies into an excuse to spend money. Scrapbookers, I’m talking to you.



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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 “Ooooh, I don’t have one of those” item, you know for sure it isn’t lying 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.

What’s 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!

2 comments on “Save money on your hobby

  1. Part of having a hobby is the compulsion to buy something because it's new or cool or whatever. It's all in moderation. I would rather spend $100 on some hobby stuff rather than $200 going out for dinner, or $50 on a bottle of booze. What is to be said to those people who spent $1000's of dollars for the Olympic gold medal game? I doubt most of those people had that money saved up.

    In terms of hobby spending. If you're spending $100's of dollars every month then there's an issue. If you're buying something every once in a while and you can cover it, I say no issue. We can't all live a Spartan and bare minimum lifestyle.

    Although overall I don't mind Gail I sometimes her thoughts/post are overly simplistic. This happens to be one of them.


  2. My hobbies (quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, etc.) have cost me money over the years, but I would say that they have also saved me some too. While ultimately they haven't paid for themselves, by bargain hunting for material, buying a floor model sewing machine (I think for $100, about 10 years ago), etc., and then using the hobbies and materials to create gifts, add value to my home through decor (making curtians, etc.) I've come close to even.

    For example, I do actually make cards for the birthday parties my son is invited to, packs of blank card stock cards are cheap and you can add stickers, etc. For the price of one "character card" for a child's birthday, I can make 20 or more with a sheet of Disney stickers.

    Also, if you consider "eating from your pantry" as a way to cut costs sometimes, you can "craft from your stores" as well and make things just with what you have on hand, or buy select small amounts to finish something. I plan to make baby and lap quilts soon and I will use remnants from old projects to make them.

    I'd also suggest that clever planning with hobbies can reduce other entertainment costs.


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