Beware the Hobby Monster

Do you have a favorite hobby that you spend time and money on? Maybe it’s hitting the local golf course, working on your Harley, traveling with friends, exploring museums, or expressing yourself through arts and crafts.

Hobbies can be fun, educational, and social activities. But, they may also have a negative impact on your finances if you’re not careful. Be diligent not to let your hobby turn into a financial monster that consumes your resources.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to your hobbies in retirement:  

  1. Consider the time you spend on the hobby. How much time do you dedicate to your favorite hobby every week?
  • Hobbies can be fun distractions and can help you explore new ideas. However, be mindful that it doesn’t distract from other important areas of your life like family, friends, and finances.
  • If spending so much time on your hobby has negative effects, perhaps just cutting down the amount of time you spend on it can resolve those issues.
  1. Examine how much money you spend on the hobby. How much does your hobby cost you and your family each month? Is your hobby eating away at your retirement savings and rainy day accounts?
  • Most hobbies do have some expenses, and that’s okay, as long as your budget can handle the costs without robbing from your necessary expenses.
  • Living at or below your means is essential for a long and sustainable retirement.
  • If you have to use credit in order to indulge in your hobby, that’s a big red flag!
  1. Consider storage expenses. Does your hobby require a lot of materials that need extra storage you’re paying for each month? Try making a dedicated space in your home where you can store the materials for free.

Hobbies shouldn’t affect your ability to pay normal bills or buy food. If expenses start to get out of control, think about how you can reduce costs or other ways to spend your free time. Remember, your hobby shouldn’t consume your finances. It should be something that brings you joy and enhances your life.