Budgeting, Hobbies

How Much is Too Much for Your Hobby?

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Everyone has hobbies that they enjoy. I, for one, tinkering with stuff and recently, I got into making my own DIY earphones and amps. Nothing special, really, just trying to learn how to make them and hopefully, learn to make them sound good.

I’ve been keeping track of my expenses and I realized that I’ve been spending a small amount of money on the different parts that I need. I began to think about the money that I spent and is it worth it to me? My answer is yes, by the way. Learning about different stuff is always something that I enjoy and I will gladly spend money on it if it brings me satisfaction.

This got me thinking. Some hobbies can be very expensive due to the things that you need to buy in order to get the best experience. This begs the question, are the expenses worth it?

When you start a hobby that requires some spending, it can be hard to decide on which ones to spend your money on. One of the traps that a lot of people fall for is that they have to have the best equipment available. If you are serious about your hobby and you are skilled enough, then yes, by all means, get the best available equipment that you need. However, if you are a beginner or not yet skilled, you shouldn’t focus on the expenses at first, try to learn more about the hobby for now and worry about getting the best gear later on when you know that you will be serious about it.

Here are some tips to help you before spending too much on your hobby.

First off, learn about the particular hobby and know your goals. What is your objective? Do you plan on getting serious about the hobby for the long term? Most importantly, do you have the money to spare without affecting your financial obligations? Think of these first before spending too much on a single hobby.

The best equipment or gear is not a substitute for skill. Getting the best gear or equipment will not instantly make you more skilled in your hobby. In fact, they can be a hindrance in your improvement because you will become reliant on these gears. For example, if you are learning to play guitar, getting the best amplifier and effects can make you sound better. This is because the effects can mask your tone and the amp can color the sound that is coming out. This is not your skill that’s producing great sound, it’s the equipment. Once you’ve learned how to sound good with a budget or entry level equipment, you will know for sure that your skill/proficiency with playing the guitar has increased.

Never take a salesman’s advice when it comes to buying equipment. Yes, they are knowledgeable about the equipment but they also want to get a sale as much as possible and there is a conflict of interest here. You may be talked into buying something that you don’t really need or more expensive than what you need. Instead of salespeople, talk with a friend that knows about your hobby or browse the net for topics concerning your particular hobby.

Consider renting or used equipment. This will be far cheaper than buying a brand new one. There are deals online that you can watch out for. If what you’re after is really expensive and you won’t be using it on a regular basis, it might be better to rent or buy it used.

Some hobbies are money traps. They are disguised as hobbies but they really are just a way for you to spend more money on them. For example, collecting stuff that a lot of people are already collecting. By all means, if you like collecting and you have the money for it, no problem. However, if you just want to collect something for the heck of it, think twice because it can really put a hole in your budget.

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