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Set a Budget for “Hobby” Expenses

What is your hobby? What do you do to stay sane in a world that is full of stress? If you don’t have a hobby you need to find one. If you already have one, which a large portion of the population do, you know that keeping up with it can be quite expensive. A hobby can be anything from flying remote control airplanes to collecting baseball cards and anything in between. How much money you spend on your hobby every month is very important. Even though this is something you need in your life, it is not more important than “necessary expenses” such as your mortgage or rent, utilities, and food.

Setting a budget for hobby expenses is not as difficult as you may think. Here are some things to remember:

  1. It is easy to go overboard on something you love, like your hobby, because it is exciting to you. In other words, if you do not have a budget, you may overspend and eventually find yourself in debt.
  2. When you have a budget, every purchase will mean that much more to you. For example, a baseball card collector being able to buy every card may sound like a dream come true, but if you can always buy what you want, without saving, some of the luster is sure to wear off over time. Saving for what you truly want can make it all the more exciting in the end.
  3. If need be, you can always cut back your hobby budget. I know it’s tough to do this but it should be one of the first things to cut down if times get tough. It is nice to know that you can spend a certain amount of money in good times, but that you can have this money back if needed for more important expenses.
  4. Save what you don’t spend. For example, maybe you have a budget of $300 per month, which is a nice sum for your hobby. If you only spend $200 this month, carry over the extra $100 and add it to your original $300. This gives you $400 in your hobby budget category, and helps you save for larger purchases. Just because you have a certain amount of money budgeted doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make changes. If you find that your budget is entirely too big, and you are overspending, cut back for the time being, even if you don’t have to. See if you can still have a good time with your hobby by spending less.

How much money do you spend on your favorite hobby every month? Do you have a budget? We want to hear about all of your great hobbies and how you deal with funding them.

(photo credit: jblpn)

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

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