3 Ways to Pay for Your Hobbies

4 min read
May 30, 2017

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Some financial purists view hobbies as unnecessary — a waste of good money. They argue that a hobby isn’t essential, and therefore shouldn’t divert funds from savings or investments. While this makes a fair amount of sense, it’s simply not sustainable. Humans need to engage in pleasurable pastimes in order to live a happy and fulfilled life. We need to be able to entertain ourselves, to delight in something, and hobbies are the form this enjoyment often takes.

With all that being said, it’s important not to let our hobbies take complete control of our wallets. While it may not be easy to find the balance between spending too much and not having any money to spend at all, it can be done. Here are three ways to fund your hobbies without breaking the bank.


Some hobbies are expensive right out of the gate while others barely carry a price tag at all. Most, however, have costs that build up over time. The first trick in budgeting for a hobby is to avoid the temptation to go on a shopping spree and buy everything you think you need all at once. You have to exercise a bit of patience. Take things slowly by spending small amounts of money as you lay the foundation for your hobby, and make bigger investments later.

Start by recording a rough estimate of what your hobby (or hobbies) cost you on both a yearly and monthly basis. Set timelines and goals for large purchases or events to determine exactly how much you need to allot or save for your hobby each month. As you progress in your hobby, continue to update your list of needed supplies. If your hobby is ongoing (like reading or jewelry making) build room into your budget for monthly purchases. If your hobby is periodic (like running marathons or cosplaying), budget money to go into your savings account to pay for expenses when they’re due.

Save Money in Other Areas

If you’re struggling to find money for your hobbies, consider cutting back on what you spend on household bills. While you’ve most likely heard these tips before, they bear repeating — especially when the money saved can go toward something you’re passionate about.

The first way to lessen household expenses is to be extra mindful of your utilities:


  • Cut down on your electricity bill by installing a programmable thermostat. Set it to adjust the temperature to a comfortable range for the hours you’re at home, and to provide less heating or cooling immediately when you’re not.
  • Open the windows when it’s nice outside, and use fans to reduce heating and cooling costs.
    • When you leave a room, turn off the light.
    • Use natural light when it’s available.
    • Turn off electronics such as computers, televisions, and stereos when they’re not in use.Only use electricity when you need it
  • Save water by installing low flow fixtures, such a showerheads and faucets.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Repair leaky toilets and faucets.
  • Only run full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher.
  • Turn your water heater down to the lowest practical setting.

You can also save money on household entertainment, food, and household items. If you haven’t already, get rid of cable/satellite television and invest in cheaper alternatives, such as Netflix or Hulu. When grocery shopping, buy bulk items, store brands, sale foods, produce in season, and use coupons as often as possible. Buy clothing, furniture, and electronics pre-owned.

Of course, there are also the old standbys such as make your own coffee instead of going to Starbucks, and eat at home instead of eating out, but these simple pleasures can often mean a lot in the humdrum of the daily grind. It’s up to you to choose where to cut back, and how much money to put toward your hobby.

Monetize Your Hobby

You can always fund your hobby by making it pay for itself! However, this is an idea that must be approached with great caution. By turning your hobby into a business, you can run the risk of it becoming a chore. Pressures such as deadlines and meeting customer expectations can suck the fun, relaxation, and personal satisfaction right out of a hobby. However, if you don’t mind a bit of work, this is a great way to make a little extra cash.

The internet has made it easier than ever to buy, sell, and trade from the comfort of your own home. In fact, it’s projected that in 2018, 482 million dollars will be spent online. You can get in on this in a number of ways.

  • Sell, import, or craft products: Sites like Etsy and eBay exist solely for this reason, and make running your own business a piece of cake. Many of the expenses incurred can be deducted from your taxes at the end of the year — even shipping costs!
  • Teach your hobby to others: Art, cooking, sewing, music, gardening — you can teach almost anything through online web courses, community education programs, or in your home.
  • Speak or write about your hobby: Newbies and enthusiasts alike will always be interested in how-tos, in-depth guides, and historical perspectives.

The number one thing to remember about hobbies is that they exist purely to bring joy into your life. If you find that you no longer take pleasure in your hobby, or that’s it’s taking more out of you than it’s giving, it’s time to move on. There’s no reason to spend your precious time and money on an unfulfilling hobby. Happy hobby hunting, friends!



About the Author

Liz Greene is a writer, anxiety-ridden realist, and full blown pop culture geek from the beautiful City of Trees, Boise, ID. When not stalking the aisles of her local Ulta, she can be found shoveling down sushi while discussing the merits of the latest Game of Thrones fan theories. You can follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene, or check out her latest post on Three Broke Bunnies.