The cost of hobbies – how expensive are yours?

Ledge Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand

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Sometimes, reading or hearing about other peoples’ hobbies make my stomach ache a little. bt. $3000 on bungy jumping? $2500 for Bathurst? Season ski passes? Dance shoes/costumes/competitions?

I guess I’m quite lucky that my hobbies are cheap. (T’s…perhaps not so much; eventually working on cars will probably be one, and I’m thankful that that’s still years away unless we happen to find a million bucks lying in the street one day.)

Reading: I love books, always have. But for a bookworm, I don’t actually own many. All my books have been freebies of some sort, and I don’t actually like all that many of them. Instead, I’m a total library whore; at a dollar per requested book, it’s not free, but it’s a long way off $30+ for a new paperback.

Guitar: Initial outlay, around $650 for guitar, amp and associated accessories. Otherwise, basically free.

Photography: I can’t really call this a hobby yet, but hopefully in the future I will. I can’t justify the expense of a dSLR, but at the same time, I feel ridiculous with my little point-and-shoot camera. Still, it’s not like I’m doing all that much with my camera at this point anyway. What do you snappers shoot photos of?

And then we get to the expensive vices…food and travel. We both love eating out, and love going to new places. Dining out is our main form of entertainment,

What about you? Are your hobbies big-ticket ones?

23 thoughts on “The cost of hobbies – how expensive are yours?

  • Reply ctreit October 26, 2010 at 23:53

    I got a few big ticket hobbies like eating out at fancy restaurants, traveling (58 countries and counting), cooking gourmet foods, and various sports like skiing and golfing. Yikes. Am I a hobby junkie?

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com October 27, 2010 at 01:22

    Reading. I’d like an ebook reader but for now I am making do with what I kept

    Blogging. It’s free-ish and fun 😛

    Piano Playing. I’d like a portable piano but am waiting on it. If I could get my hands on one and an ebook reader? **HEAVEN**

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie October 27, 2010 at 02:10

    Books can get a bit expensive when the library system sucks, but luckily people like using my amazon wishlist at Christmas which keeps costs down for me (and limits the junk I get). My netflix subscription keeps me up on anime. So… not too expensive there.

  • Reply ndchic October 27, 2010 at 03:30

    I really like reading, too. I like rollerblading and biking but those are my only hobbies. My husband is always telling me to get a hobby and I tell him that I have a hobby, our daughter! He doesn’t think she should count as my hobby 🙂

  • Reply ndchic October 27, 2010 at 03:33

    I added you to my blogroll 🙂

  • Reply Kara October 27, 2010 at 04:54

    I suppose my hobbies include reading and playing video games. I usually buy all my books (the public library never has the ones I want) but sometimes I’ll borrow from family or friends.

    Video games can get expensive, but I’ll buy one and play it to death for months. I only have a handful and I’m picky when it comes to game selection.

  • Reply Newlyweds on a Budget October 27, 2010 at 06:49

    my hobby is shopping…so yeah, it can get expensive : P

    lately, i’ve gotten into cooking. It’s only expensive if you make big elaborate meals, but I’m a novice so I stay simple

  • Reply First Gen American October 27, 2010 at 08:51

    I’m a hobbyaholic. I take crappy pictures, so photography will never be my hobby.

    Most of my hobbies are practical in nature. (although I did bungy jump off a cable car in switzerland once..it was expensive but once was enough).

  • Reply Aloysa October 27, 2010 at 11:22

    My big hobby is reading. I have Kindle so it can be expensive because Kindle books cost somewehre from $9 to $13. I love blogging and I pay about $10 for a self hosted webiste. 🙂 I love travel, but it is mostly luxury now…

  • Reply Brucebucks October 27, 2010 at 18:27

    Some of my hobbies are sports related. I love playing golf… Going to a bar to watch sports…music and clothes…. And finally new experiences. I love to go to a new place and try something new. L

  • Reply Serendipity October 27, 2010 at 20:19

    I love reading ( free unless I’m buying books or forgetting to take my library books back) blogging ( free!) and watching movies ( 9.95 Netflix subscription plus a movie ticket here and there.) Scrapbooking does get pricey which is probably a reason I haven’t really been doing it lately since I’m pretending to penny pinch. 🙂

  • Reply Fig October 27, 2010 at 23:12

    My hobbies are mostly cheap. Blogging is one, reading is one, photography is another. I don’t spend much on those if anything. I also consider cooking a hobby, which is nice since it’s useful!

    Previously travel was a hobby. I traveled and moved around a lot. It was expensive and I’m glad I’ve settled down a bit. Snowboarding was another expensive one, but now I go once every year or two.

  • Reply Melysmusings October 28, 2010 at 05:39


    I recently set up a blog (and by recently, I mean about 20min ago at best), and while browsing through, I saw yours. I noticed that the names are similar so I had to take a look 🙂 Loving it! And this post in particular I just had to comment on as I was gong through something similar recently when an acquaintance mentioned that they had just spent close to $1000 to set up a fish aquarium! It looks amazing and she seems to love it, but it’s definitely not for me.

    My hobbies are inexpensive, mostly due to the student budget issue. I love to read, but unfortunately most of my reading is limited to textbooks and research articles at the moment. When I have the time to commit to it, I love baking, but I have a tiny oven in my apartment, so that makes it difficult sometimes.

    Other than that, I don’t have all that much time to do anything else due to school 🙁 But there are definitely some good ideas!

  • Reply JK October 29, 2010 at 07:29

    I have relatively inexpensive hobbies as well. Working out, (which I pay $27/month for membership) hiking, and the beach. It’s good to have inexpensive hobbies, I do them for “cheap fun” when I don’t have money to go out to the bars and clubs with my friends, or eat $20 lunches.

  • Reply Maggie October 30, 2010 at 01:53

    I really don’t know what my hobbies are other than photography, for sure. I do quite enjoy photography too. Currently (very slowly) completing this online course and it’s been very interesting and learned a lot. It was quite a bargain. Been wanting to do the Photography Institute one but can’t justify spending that much on a course. And yeah, would love a DSLR one day!

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  • Reply Broke by Choice November 2, 2010 at 06:58

    I dance…my classe (8) are a total of $55 per month ($660 per year)
    Costumes can be expensive, but I bought one for $220 and I have used it for 2 years and many performances. Recently, I bought material to alter a second costume for about $100. I will continue using these until I have money for a new one. For less than $30 I can buy material to change the color of my costume, but making a new skirt.

  • Reply findingserenity2010 November 2, 2010 at 12:07

    I wish I had expensive hobbies! Right now, my biggest hobby is reading blogs, which, after the initial expense for my internet every month, is free!

    In the past week alone, my BF, family, and friends have told me I should try all of the following:

    – skiing
    – snowboarding
    – skydiving
    – golf
    – Zumba classes at a fitness center

    Yeah … not going to happen. Definitely all expensive (or at least out of my budget!) not to mention, some are dangerous!

  • Reply me in millions November 6, 2010 at 02:57

    Costs of yoga classes are really starting to add up for me! However, most of the other stuff I like to do are cheap or free… reading, blogging, watching tv/movies, etc.

  • Reply jaime February 5, 2011 at 09:10

    My thing is art. Art used to be cheap, you just needed a sketchpad and pencils up until a few decades ago. Nowadays art is as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. With things like Photoshop & Wacom tablets they can make art an expensive hobby.

    Currently I’m still sticking to my sketchpad and pencils, but eventually I’d like to try the Wacom tablet and get Photoshop. I hear those are nice, and I’d like to get into digital art. It seems like a lot of fun. I wouldn’t mind investing in a nice tablet and buying Photoshop.

    If I do eventually buy a tablet, I’ll use one for years. Those things are pricey, the best tablet is around 1,000 – 2,000 dollars in the U.S. Photoshop a new version is around $700. Although if those are the only things that I need to buy to do digital art then its not so bad.

    Like I said its as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. I can think of other hobbies that are constant money pits.

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