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Everyone has a passion in life. From stamp collectors all the way up to base jumpers, there’s any number of interests and activities that people live and breathe. However, some passions are a lot more expensive than others. If you, your child or your significant other is thinking of getting into a particularly expensive hobby, here are a few tips for managing your finances for it.
Make Sure You (or They) Will Stick with It
Okay, let’s say your husband had a round of golf with their friend, they took to it like a natural, and absolutely loved it. For the week after, they watch golf on TV, read golf blogs, and talk about it non-stop. While they may be genuinely interested, this isn’t quite enough justification to spend the household budget on a new set of clubs, pair of shoes, and anything else they might want. I’m not saying that you should step on anyone’s passion here, least of all your own. However, I am saying that you or your partner should take it slow in the beginning, and avoid spending a small fortune if they don’t know they’ll stick with it. Instead of a full set of clubs, get a few lessons at your local course.
Finding the Money
Pursuing an expensive hobby is all about learning to manage finances in order to meet the hobbyist’s needs and wants. The options you have open to you here depends largely on the hobby itself. For example, if your teenage kid is getting more and more into ballet, but the lessons and clothes are causing a serious strain on your money, then it may be possible for them to offer to clean the studio in exchange for lessons. On the other hand, if your husband wants to pursue classic car tuning, and they need to fund enclosed vehicle transport to get their baby to and from shows, they’re going to have very little wiggling room in terms of how much this will cost. In order to manage those finances properly, start off by writing out the costs, covering everything from equipment to lessons to clothing, and figure out how much you’d have to work in order to fund, say, a year’s worth of the hobby. This will put things in perspective, and allow you to make plans for sourcing extra income if needs be.
Make the Most of What You Buy
When it comes to gear for hobbies, impulse buys are always a bad idea, especially when you have perfectly good equipment. If your son wants to start playing guitar and you’ve got one lying around in the attic, then dig it out and learn everything you can about it. It may not be a Gibson Les Paul, but if it’s in a decent working condition then you can put off a brand new model for some time. In general, you should also learn something about maintaining the equipment in question. Re-stringing your own guitar is infinitely cheaper than what a lot of music stores charge for it!
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