We all need a hobby: That diversion in our life that takes us away from the stresses and strains of modern day living. Whether it’s a gentle outdoor activity such as hiking, or a more active sport like tennis or golf, many hobbies can get our bodies moving and improve our physical health.
Sedentary hobbies are there to benefit the mind. Maybe you’re still adding to that stamp collection from your youth or you’ve discovered a new online card game. Whatever your preference, hobbies are important but, rather than take over our lives, they should remain a happy distraction.
Some of us will find, from time to time, that we’re investing a little too much from a financial perspective. If overspending becomes an issue, here are some tips on addressing the concerns.
The Great Outdoors
It’s important to remain active, particularly in later years but any sport has the capacity to be detrimental to your bank balance. Cost of equipment, in certain instances, has risen exponentially with racket sports being a perfect example. Do you fancy dusting off those old cricket boots and joining your local village club? It’s not uncommon for the higher value cricket bats to set you back £200.00 or more.
Golf can be equally expensive but only if you are aiming for that high end driver, putter and every club in between. Many who start out in recreational sport fall into the trap of purchasing expensive equipment which subsequently sees out its days festering in a corner of the garage. They’re known as the ‘all the gear, no idea brigade’ but there’s no reason to join that particular club.
If you’re not going to enjoy a game with basic equipment, it won’t turn into a full time hobby so take it easy in the first instance. Borrow a cricket bat or tennis racket, purchase a cheaper, second hand set of clubs or look to hire equipment from the venue concerned. Even when you’re committed to a sporting hobby, it needn’t cost a packet to pursue it more seriously.
Guarding Your Bankroll
If you know how to play poker or any other card or casino game, there is a vast set of opportunities to test your skills online. Enjoying a few hands of Texas Hold’Em, Omaha or any other version of the game can be a perfect hobby. As long as you meet the age for legal gambling requirements, there are no barriers; all that’s needed is the skill to outwit your opponents and scoop the prize pot.
Poker can be great fun, mentally stimulating and for some, it can also be financially rewarding but there is the scope to take things too far. Like all types of casino play or sports betting, it can be tempting to chase your losses and keep playing when it’s just not your day.
Simple advice tells us to set a playing budget each time we log on and to not go over this limit. The more you learn the rules of poker, the better you’ll get at putting this plan into action, this is a vital starting point, but it can be taken further by applying advanced poker strategies. Study techniques that the pros use such as capped ranges and you’ll learn how to spot stronger, more likely opening hands and to stay within your limits.
Collector or Hoarder?
The digital age makes it easier than ever before to add to a collection. Whether it’s a classic set of stamps or coins or something a little more unusual, there’s no longer any need to waste time at the car boot or jumble sale. A few clicks of a mouse at a sales or auction site can boost that collection in an instant but what happens when things get a little too obsessive?
If you are still taking pride in that collection and you’re keeping your purchases under control that’s fine: If, however, you’re buying for the sake of it and throwing items on a pile, you may have crossed the fine line between collecting and hoarding.
Recognizing the issue is part of the battle and many people, when they realize the extent of their obsession, are able to stop. If, however, it’s harder to stay away from those purchases, consider seeking some professional medical help. While that course of action may sound drastic, it can sometimes be the only way to address an unhealthy path and to restore your bank balance.
Paying it Forward
We’ve talked about saving money throughout this article, but could your hobby be used to add a nice side income into your family budget? Maybe you enjoy writing or photography and like to think that your amateur skills are a level above the rest.
If that’s the case, there is an extensive range of websites that hire freelancers and may want to pay for your gift. Writing and photography are two good examples but, with millions of websites online, there is a need for freelance graphic designers, illustrators, and many more disciplines.
Collectors could also use the internet to sell their surplus stock. If you’ve some duplicates or you’re simply looking to move on into another hobby, auction sites and sales sites could be the perfect answer. Consider a sales business on the side where your expert knowledge of a certain area of the collecting world can be harnessed to help others and to generate some extra funds.