Happiness, hobbies and money

This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2013.

A couple of years ago I wrote about the cost of hobbies. Luckily, I’m not into pricey pursuits like snowboarding or scuba diving – most of my hobbies (reading, blogging etc) are pretty close to free, or as close as you can get.

There are two areas where I do channel my money, though.


It’s really hard to stick to our grocery/eating out budget sometimes (the latter of which also basically comprises our entertainment budget). We both love to eat and live to eat rather than eat to live. Yet with other necessities like housing and transport being so expensive, keeping food costs down is important.

When we go over budget (like we have for the past few weeks) I find it hard to feel terribly guilty. I’ll happily splurge on good cheese/ice cream (heck, almost any dairy product), for example. And we celebrate basically all occasions with a meal out.


We spent a slightly ridiculous amount travelling the South Island for two weeks last spring (things like a fishing charter, ski day and river cruise will do that to you) and I didn’t regret a single cent of it. I like my life just fine, but the absolute happiest memories I’ve ever had are those when I’m travelling. Hence, why we’re hitting the road for the rest of the year after the wedding. I know people who go to the same place every year on holiday, but I like variety.

Experiences, not stuff, has always been my thing. Good food and seeing new places make me happy.

What do your hobbies cost you?

10 thoughts on “Happiness, hobbies and money

  • Reply Holly@ClubThrifty March 8, 2013 at 01:09

    I only have one expensive hobby now- juicing. It also falls into the grocery category since it involves food. We have done pretty well keeping it in the budget so far!

  • Reply Manda March 8, 2013 at 02:09

    I seem to have cheap (or free) hobbies, and then expensive ones. Like you, the cheap/free ones are reading, writing, blogging, etc. I also like to explore DC, and lucky for me most of the museums and stuff are free here! As for the expensive ones, shopping and traveling rank high on the list, as does food. Sigh.

  • Reply Michelle March 8, 2013 at 02:29

    MY hobbies cost a decent amount since I like to travel a lot. Blogging is a hobby of mine and that’s relatively inexpensive.

  • Reply Morgaine March 8, 2013 at 05:51

    I totally agree that you should spend money on the things you enjoy. If food and travel make you happy then go for it! 🙂

    I had some expensive hobbies – shopping (joking, kind of) and jewllery making. I spent way too much money on materials and then found it extremely hard to sell my pieces for anywhere close to what the materials cost let alone the time I put into it. I’m now just trying to get rid of my supplies 🙂

  • Reply The Norwegian Girl March 8, 2013 at 06:14

    my hobbies are baking and taking photographs which are fairly inexpensive. but then there´s travelling, which cost a lot more, but I always plan ahead, and start saving at least 6 months in advance for any vacation.

  • Reply Emily March 8, 2013 at 07:19

    My hobbies are pretty cheap too – writing, singing etc. I did invest in some piano lessons recently, which was a bit pricey, so I may stick to teaching myself via YouTube like I did with the uke… and my other hobby is nail art, and I’m ashamed to say I spend about $30/month on nail polish!! Yikes!

  • Reply krantcents March 8, 2013 at 10:56

    My hobbies are bicycling, reading, blogging and some miscellaneous other things. It mostly costs me my time and maybe a few hundred dollars a year. I receive a lot of enjoyment from these things so it is worth it for me.

  • Reply Ian March 9, 2013 at 08:08

    I always have something new going on but my one hobby that costs the most is playing guitar. The playing part is free but the equipment is not. Luckily I play in a band and make a few bucks here and there. I haven’t kept track of everything, but I’m pretty sure I come out in the black. Been playing the same amp for 12+ years and the same guitar for 8+.

  • Reply Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter March 11, 2013 at 07:33

    My expensive hobby is traveling. i love it so much but it requires a lot of money to go the places I like to.

  • Reply MakintheBacon$ March 11, 2013 at 09:46

    Traveling is definitely one of my more expensive hobbies, but this year will actually the first year in three years that I haven’t traveled due to other major expenses. It’s killing me! Working out is relatively cheap since I built up a good size wardrobe and feel my runners can last at least one more year.

    I am with you on the experiences. Stuff just doesn’t do it for me. I’d rather brag about my trip to an exotic faraway land than some expensive watch that I can only wear once in a blue moon.

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