When hobbies take over your wallet, it can be very stressful to even the best of us. We all love our hobbies but many of us get in way over our heads with them. The list of potential hobbies is endless – sports, languages, music, food, wine, photography, computers, bug collecting, celebrity stalking (yes – weird but people do it) and so on. Hobbies can even go so far as becoming an obsession – have you watched My Crazy Obsession on TLC?
The reasons behind our hobbies are endless as well. Friends could have invited you to try out something new, a work colleague told you it would be a great time, or you do it to meet people socially or to find that special someone.
What should you do when your hobbies take over your life and your wallet?
Ask yourself these three things:
1. Budget, money, moolah. First on your list should be your budget. What is in your wallet after all of these hobbies? If your hobbies are taxing your wallet, they are stressing you out not benefiting you.
2. Enjoyment level. Do you enjoy them? Are you fully engaged when you participate or are you dreading going to roller derby twice a week?
3. Goals. What are or were your goals when you signed up for this hobby? Have you accomplished them or has your hobby grown old and boring?
If any of these three things are not there in your hobby anymore, it is time to give it up! Who wants to participate in something that no longer gives any joy or fulfillment?
My “How to hate your hobbies” story:
In 2012, I reached a point where hobbies were taking over my life and my bank account. I was participating in weekly tennis lessons, violin lessons and Spanish language learning online. I am also an avid photographer. It quickly became overwhelming!
The time vs. money breakdown – I spent at least an hour each night on violin and Spanish practice. On the weekends, another hour for tennis and at least several hours trying to enjoy photography.
Time – 14-20 hours a week consumed with hobbies outside of my work life.
Money – $90 + $180 + $33 = $303 a month!! Think of all the gear for each as well! A $700 violin, $150 tennis racquet with $40 yearly stringing and $150 pair of shoes each year. Photography can be costly depending on how often you upgrade equipment – 2012 was an upgrade year $3000.
The result – Too many hobbies equals the quick way to start hating hobbies. Not the route you want to go. Part of me was trying to “find myself” with all these activities but several of my key goals were no longer or already accomplished. Tennis was not a challenge and I wasn’t playing in leagues, violin I had learned quickly and did not require the basic lessons anymore, learning Spanish is still a goal but with no real reason for it. I usually learn a new language if I will be travelling to that country and there are no trips on the horizon until at least 2014. In the end, I decided enough was enough. Realistically, I could not afford any of it; I was going into debt for everything that was supposed to keep me in balance. My hobbies were no longer stress reducers; they had become balance breakers.
Hobbies are in life for enjoyment not for pain. We need hobbies and activities outside of work to keep us balanced and our minds off our work lives for a small amount of time each day. A proper balance of hobbies in our lives can work miracles for our outlook and well-being.