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10 Common Expensive Hobbies and How to Save Money on Them

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common expensive hobbiesIt’s said that a hobby a day keeps the boredom at bay. Life would be a million times boring without any activity to engage in when we have nothing to do. That’s why we have a hobby – or hobbies – that we rely on to put our spare time into good use.

Picking up a hobby will most likely lead to unwanted and, at times, unknown expenses. It often seems like the most engaging hobbies are the most expensive – and yes, they are.

When balancing your budget, you often find it hard to account for your hobbies. Most of these activities could amount to thousands of dollars every year, depending on the frequency in which you engage in them.

It would be worth noting that the hobby you cling on to so dearly might cost you more than just money. Lucky for you, there are ways you can tame the dragon of extravagant spending and still be able to make the most of your pass time habit.

Here are a couple of the most expensive hobbies and three significant ways you can save a dollar or more from each.

1. Golfing

Golfing is usually associated with the rich people, considering they can spend up to $1,200 on golf clubs, $45 on golf balls and other hefty expenditures.

Well, that’s not the case.  You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy your weekend on the course. Here are a couple of frugal strategies you should try out.

  • Buy used golf clubs and balls

For a fraction of the price, you can get a surprisingly great selection of used golf clubs and golf balls.

This particular option may not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s better than splurging thousands of dollars on equipment of the same kind – some may even be better.

  • Ditch the cart and walk

If you play 50+ rounds every year, you stand to save $20 for each. Do the math, and you’ll think twice about paying for a cart fee next time.

Plus, you get to exercise more, explore nature and have time for yourself. If you prefer not to carry your bag, buy an affordable pushcart, rather than renting one for $5 per round.

  • Carry your own eatables

Snacks and drinks are insanely overpriced at most, if not all golf courses. Save that $10 you’d have spent on a candy bar, Gatorade/beer and sandwich by making a trip to second grocery stores like Walmart.

If this may be too much a hustle, sort out your tummy at home before leaving for the golf course. Every saving, no matter how small, goes a long way.

There are tons of ways to save money on golf. It all boils down to how much you’re willing to sacrifice to save some extra bucks.

2. Horseback Riding

Any professional horseback rider (technically, an equestrian) out there can attest to the fact that horseback riding is very expensive.

There are ways you can tighten your financial girth and still steer clear from compromising your fun on the barn.

  • Consider Leasing a horse

This will be way more affordable compared to actually owning one. Leasing a horse is the perfect way to save money while simultaneously considering the chances of holding your own.

The benefits of leasing a horse are endless – most of them are well beyond saving a few dollars.

  • Get into the equine industry

The best way to get some extra (not to mention free) ride time is working a job that is horse-related. There are endless jobs that are centered around horses.

You could be a barn manager, exercise rider, farm manager, groom and loads of other excellent positions. Get the best of both worlds engaging in your favorite hobby while earning some cash on the side.

  • Buy secondhand equipment and saddlery

When doing this online, be sure to compare different stores and their prices. Get in touch with the customer service if you doubt the authenticity of any item that catches your eye.

Decide on a price that fits your budget, based on your type, color, and size. If you buy one from eBay, be sure to get a saddle fitter to check if it’s an exact fit.

No matter how expensive it may be, giving up horseback riding is not an option. Follow these and more tips, and you’ll have no second thoughts about putting on those cowboy boots.

3. World Travel

You’ve probably been dreaming of exploring new places, learning new languages and feasting on fresh delicacies. Well, it doesn’t have to be a dream anymore.  Though traveling gets pricey at times, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re spending your precious pennies on all the right stuff.

  • Travel Inexpensive Destinations

Australia, New Zealand, and the USA are full of places that are worth visiting – on a budget. The majority of the world may cost you relatively more.

Less-costly destinations mean that you can spend a little more, without splashing more than what you budgeted for. Do your research and settle on the most attractive destinations that are worth your buck.

  • Build your budget ahead of time

Often, there’s no need to cut off all big-budget activities from your trip – they’re usually the ones worth remembering.

How many times have you visited a particular place and realized you’ve spent more than you set aside for? Planning will enable you to avoid such scenarios.

Build your budget ahead of time and ensure that hot air balloon ride over the Mara or cruise around the red sea becomes the highlight of your next trip.

  • No cafes, no restaurants

While abroad, avoid grabbing your food from cafes and restaurants. This is the best money saving strategy you can apply to your next trip.

Even if it means buying food in bulk from supermarkets, you’ll definitely save a lot of cash. Fancy meals at restaurants are often not worth the jaw-dropping bill.

Not only will you save cash, but you’ll also get to explore the beautiful and weird tastes of foreign foods – Manau Soda from Thailand’s Seven Eleven, Australia’s Tim Tams, etc.

4. Hunting

If you head out for a hunting spree every once in a while, you understand how costly this particular leisure activity can be. With the following cost-cutting measures, you can save more money and hunt on practically any budget.

  • Choose a site not too far off

All hunters have an undeniable affinity for adventure. Excessive adventure, unfortunately, may be too much for your budget to handle.

To be on the safe side, opt for a site closer to your home. This way, you will save on fuel costs and save yourself the hustle of trekking to some remote hunting site.

  • Get a financial planner

If you’re not so good with numbers, then a financial planner will be worth your while. Stick close to your planner and let them know your hunting plans well before your next trip.

Getting a financial planner in your youthful years is wise. By the time you’re in your 30s and 40s, you’ll be amazed at the amount of cash you would have saved by then.

  • Get a hold of your expenditure

Other than saving more or hoping for a salary increment, it’s time you considered a reduction in expenses. Simply put, spend your cash frugally.

Do a quick check of stuff you need and those you don’t. Spend less by purchasing second-hand boots and hunting equipment other than buying expensively at stores.

As you seek to cut costs on your hunting expeditions, be sure to shop wisely and never compromise on safety and quality.

5. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is one of those hobbies that can double your costs once it becomes an occasional activity.

Diving should not be dismissed as a hobby for individuals with tonnes of income to squander. These and more techniques are sure to make scuba diving (in this case, budget diving) a fun hobby well within your reach.

  • Carry your equipment

If you’re a regular diver (or wish to be one), it makes a ton of sense to invest into buying some diving gear. Always make it a point to compare dive gear rental costs vs baggage excess costs beforehand.

Otherwise, you may end up paying excessively more for gear you can get at special offers or online deals by reputable diving brands.

  • Book flights in advance

Looking to save big on international air travel? Book flights on Skyscanner a week or so before your trip. The earlier you do it, the higher your chances of landing a great deal.

Once you’re there, also be mindful of the transport you use. Go easy on your budget by using local buses, taxis or slow boats – depending on the country you’re visiting.

  • Avoid staying in luxurious accommodations

Purposely opt to stay at a cost-effective accommodation on your dive trip. Don’t book all-inclusive hotel options either. Instead, settle for cheaper alternatives such as local guesthouses, Airbnb, Couchsurfing or Hostels. Dive resorts are also an option worth considering.

Ensure your accommodation is close to the dive center. This will save you transport money and the probable hectic travel.

6. Aquarium Keeping

Contrary to what most unenlightened people believe, aquarium keeping involves more than just a fish tank. Items such as fish food, heater, filter, etc. are all paramount but costly necessities.

If you’re an avid aquarist with a tight budget, the last thing you need right now is spending even more than you are right now. The following are the most useful tips when it comes to catering for your aquarium:

  • Use high-quality equipment

Low-quality equipment will often break or develop unwarranted complications, prompting you to buy a new one each time. However costly they may be, they’re worth every penny.

There are tonnes of aquarium equipment out there, but EHEIM stands out for all the right reasons. Purchasing a quality EHEIM aquarium, heater or filter will end up saving you money (and frustration) in the long run.

  • Buy cheap plants

Many fish keepers prefer planted aquariums due to their attractiveness. Unfortunately, aquariums of this kind require additional products such as plant foods and CO2.

There are many spots such as aquarium groups and forums where you can find affordable plants. Going for natural aquarium plants will prevent having to buy some other costly stuff, including CO2 dispensers and extra lights.

  • Don’t use regular bulbs

Keep your electricity bill down by using LED lights. They may cost a little extra, but they consume a significantly less amount of power compared to their counterparts.

Aquariums are known to consume a lot of power. Purchasing one or two LED lights can make a noticeable difference with regards to reducing your power bill. What’s more, they’re environmentally friendly.

Your aquarium hobby can thrive even in the harshest conditions, provided you understand and implement all the relevant money-saving tips and tricks.

7. Giving to Charity

If there’s one hobby that’s common among the wealthy today, it has to be philanthropy. However, what most people are unaware of is that giving to charity doesn’t need a bulk of disposable income.

While you may not build a hospital in a remote village or feed the needy, there are ways you can make kind, charitable donations without splurging all your income:

  • Don’t do cash

Most philanthropic organizations thrive through volunteers’ efforts. Rather than donating money that you need yourself, why not give your time?

Volunteering is just as valuable as cash donations and is a way of contributing to your community. There are numerous places where you can be physically present: homeless shelters, animal rescues, hospice facilities, etc.

  • Purchase purposefully

When shopping online, visit goodshop.com. This is a portal through which 3-4 percent of every purchase you make in any of its 1,500 participating stores goes to your desired charity organization.

Plastic money can be put into good use as well. Search your charity’s name along with credit or debit card to see which ones are compatible. If you have a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) credit, for instance, the world life fund will receive $100 for every $100 you spend.

  • Donate to a single organization

You stand to make a more significant impact if you donate $100 to one organization instead of $25 to four other ones.

Visit charitynavigator.org or networkforgood.org to find a worthy group that will utilize your money to the best of its ability.

Choose one with either a 3 or 4-star rating and spends at least 75% on charity funds on programs rather than administrative costs.

There are lots of ways to make a difference even with a hole in your pocket. Giving back is the best hobby anyone can have – provided it’s done with no ulterior motive.

8. Shopping

The downsides of shopping outweigh the upsides by more than 80%. While shopping may be a fun pass time activity, it is also the best way to waste money and time all at once.

Everyone – mostly millennials – always want to keep up with the latest trends. The following are ways you can look better, feel your best at the same time having a dollar or two to spare.

  • Shop around for price comparisons

Most applies when dealing with designer goods. It may occur to you that global retailers have pieces marked at various price points, and when you spend the big bucks, there is a noticeable difference.

At Farfetch, for instance, a pair of Prada slingbacks go for £784 at one store and £720 at another. So really, it’s a matter of doing some online digging for better deals.

  • It’s not worth your while if it’s not your style

Those who consider experimenting and charting with the latest trends are more often than not trying to fit in with the crowd. If, for instance, if you’ve never been into sportswear, don’t bother adopting it into your wardrobe.

Never waste your money on items you’d probably never feel comfortable in. You’ll be better off cementing your unique style by locating your own ‘classics’.

  • Don’t chuck away ‘old’ pieces

Disposing of one-week-old clothes or shoes is not advisable – no matter how cool the practice may be. Even for truly worn out clothes, there’s a new life that can be found in them.

You could transform it into something wearable with some DIY know-how, have it adequately dry-cleaned.

A cobbler who knows his/her stuff will advise you on whether or not your sandals or shoes are way past their sell-by date. Do these and other alternative stuff, but whatever you do, avoid wasteage at all costs.

9. Sailing

Most people nowadays prefer exploring the beauty of the world on a sailboat. It’s true that sailing can be expensive, but false that it’s for the wealthy alone.

Sailing on the water can be cheaper compared to living on land. Anyone can do it on a long-term basis and still have something extra to spare. Here are three tips to explore the world by sailboat on a budget:

  • Keep your sailboat simple

Lay off the luxuries of getting a bigger-than-life modern sailboat and get yourself a simple, low-maintenance boat. The less-complicated they are, the cheaper and easier living aboard will be.

A smaller vessel is easy to look after as it is less likely to break, easier to heat, dock, and sail. It’s satisfying to sail the world without having to worry about the money you’ll spend on repairing and replacing various systems.

  • Work as you sail

The fundamental part about sailing is keeping a steady income. No matter your level of frugality, you’re bound to spend a dollar or two. You’ll, therefore, need to fund your fairly expensive hobby in one way or the other.

Being a freelancer gives you the advantage of carrying your work with you wherever, whenever. Though there are lots of other ways to make money as you cruise, it would be best if you worked without having to stop every now and then.

  • Research your potential destination(s)

Naturally, you won’t be sailing anywhere the cool ambient breeze takes you. Research the ports or countries you’re going to visit and account for all the expenses in advance. Any experienced sailor understands the headache of unforeseen costs all too well.

Make sure you have an idea of your destination’s cost of living along with any VISAs that may be required of you.

10. Polo

Polo is commonly referred to as ‘the sport of kings’. It is the perfect game for a group of friends seeking to while away their spare time on horses.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a ‘king’ or a mere ‘popper’, polo is equally enjoyable to riders of all levels when played on a budget. Here are some cost-effective tips every pro and potential polo player should know:

  • Find the right groom

Horses are the pillar of every polo game. Do your research and find a person who is great at keeping horses fit, caring and very conscientious. After all, you’re going to trust this individual with more than $50k of your assets.

When you find the right groom, take into consideration what they have to say. If he/she calls for your horse to take time off, schedule a two-week rest for your horse. This may save you thousands of dollars in treatment later on.

  • Focus on performance and not quality

You’ll save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by avoiding impulse purchases of horse equipment such as grooming tools, stable supplies, halters, and blankets.

Look for used tack that has been well-maintained at tack shops, eBay or from private parties. Sites such as Chick’s Saddlery, horse.com and tackloverz.com are filled with used tack with new boots, wraps and saddle pads.

  • You don’t have to own a pony

If you’re playing or seeking to play at a polo-active community, it’s not a requirement to keep a pony. Leasing one may seem costly, but you’d be shocked at how much it actually takes to own one.

The good thing about leasing is that vet bills and feed are someone else’s problem, not yours. However, as with every other critical agreement, it pays to have a clear contract on a paper setting. This will save you and your leaser a great deal of confusion and drama.

Bottom Line

There are more ways than one to save money on even the most expensive of hobbies. Above everything else, it pays a lot to do a crazy amount of research before making your hobby more expensive than it should be.

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