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Guest post written by Jennifer McGregor
Our hobbies keep us sane when the stress of work and family becomes too much to bear. But unless you have deep pockets, some of the best pastimes can break your budget. Keep reading for ways to get the most out of your money while doing what you love.
Hobbies Like Golf Have Options
The golf course has gained popularity over the years as a go-to place to broker big business deals. It also makes a great date spot for active couples, and golfing comes with numerous health benefits. That said, it’s not cheap. A set of drivers can set you back as much as $600, according to ThoughtCo. And that doesn’t even include putters or a gear bag. However, you don’t have to settle for bottom-of-the-barrel clubs if you get serious about your search before impulse buying. Look for discount codes and get cashback online for your favorite sports store, like Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can also find great deals and coupons on other sporting gear and athletic wear. If golf isn’t fast-paced enough for you, Dick’s also has deals on tennis rackets.
Sports isn’t the only area where you can save money. If you want to play an instrument, there are ways to shave costs down here, too. Start by searching at local stores for discount codes and coupons you can put toward lessons or an instrument. You can also rent your instrument of choice, which will save you from making a costly mistake if you decide music isn’t your cup of tea.
Hobbies Like Crafting are Diverse
Crafts are a great hobby, though while they cost money, they are also a way to make money if you’re good and can get deals on supplies. Start by scavenging your local thrift stores; for example, TheThriftShopper.com currently lists more than 12,400 charity-based secondhand shops so you can give back while you stock up. Yard sales are another largely untapped resource. If you need a more reliable supply, buy in bulk from stores like Hobby Lobby, which is known for offering money-saving coupons. And if you don’t mind making a trip a few days in a row, you can stock up some great deals (one coupon per day).
Photographers can easily spend more on a camera body than even the most diehard golfer will on equipment. But if you’re just getting started and can’t afford a professional setup, you can still get plenty of great pictures without losing your life savings. Many third-party camera lenses that are just as good – and half the price – as the name-brand counterparts. Tamron and Sigma are two of the most popular manufacturers of budget camera lenses. DP Review lists a few standouts and offers in-depth information on removable camera lenses.
It’s elegant, and it’s exercise, which makes ballroom dancing a favorite albeit not-so-wallet-friendly hobby. In addition to the cost of classes, you will also need to invest in clothes specific to the style of dance. For those on a budget, eBay is your best friend when it comes to finding cheap ballroom dresses and other similar attire.
Out of all the hobbies on our list, none are quite as pricey as travel. However, with a little persistence and a willingness to compromise on accommodation and transportation arrangements, you can still have an amazing travel experience (when the timing is right, of course). Groupon offers discounts on last-minute travel, and most airlines cut prices for early bookers. The most cost-effective way to see the sights and the sounds of the world is cruising. Cruise Critic offers more information on how you can get the most bang for your seafaring buck. You can also keep things local and take a staycation in Indiana to save money. It’s the Small Stuff suggests a unique activity you can try if you decide to stay in or near Hamilton County.
Turn the Tables
One simple way to keep your expensive hobby affordable is to turn it into a business. Whether you go side gig or whole hog, consider selling your product or service via an e-commerce store or by vlogging or blogging about it. You need to approach this type of decision like any other business, though. That includes basics like writing a business plan, choosing a structure, and registering your business with your state.
Thankfully, there is help online for these concerns. The SBA can walk you through writing a business plan, and they provide a lot of other guidance for new businesses and can help you weigh the pros and cons of different structures. For example, an LLC can safeguard your assets, provides ax perks, and flex as your business grows. It’s simple to register via the web, too. Then you can get down to the business of making your hobby pay for itself.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of hobbies that don’t cost a penny. Hiking, walking, and swimming in your local lake are just as enjoyable as ballroom dancing or golf without the price tag. But if you insist on a high-end hobby, these tips can help you save your hard-earned cash.
Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to write about health and wellness topics. She is a pre-med student who aims to make it easier for people to find high quality health info in one place.