While being rewarding, hobbies such as fishing, camping, and hunting can potentially be very expensive. How do you balance enjoying yourself and having fun with not spending too much money?

Let’s take a look at how you can start and maintain a hobby on a budget.

Why do we need hobbies?

When we surround ourselves with things that we enjoy doing, we generally become happier people. In turn, this has a positive effect on the groups and communities that we live within –  families, friends, work colleagues, and so on. This makes society an overall much nicer place to live in.

For those who do not have a job; perhaps people who are in between jobs, are retired, or having caring and family commitments, a hobby can provide a sense of purpose that a job often gives, and a way to socialize and make friends with others. 

Lots of people worry about how they can fit in a hobby around a job, but it is pretty much always possible. If you have a job that does not enable you to have a decent work/life balance, allowing you to go on a shoot or camping in your own time, look for something that will.  For example, have you tried searching for courier work? It is easy to coordinate work and enjoy a fulfilling hobby too.

How can you save money on your hobbies?

Set a budget

It is important to set a realistic budget, but more importantly stick to it. Do not be tempted to underestimate how much your hobby will set you back financially. Of course, some are more expensive than others. Photography or shooting for example will be more expensive to start up and maintain than sketching or painting. By laying out a clear budget that covers everything, you have a better idea of whether your hobby is viable in terms of your finances. 

Reduce expenses in other areas

Starting up and maintaining a new hobby may require financial sacrifices in other areas in order to be able to afford it. Enjoy going out for dinner in restaurants or having takeouts regularly? That may have to stop if you want the latest angling gear or tents. 

Monetize your hobby

Many people find themselves in financial issues because they have a hobby that has become more expensive than they anticipated. Luckily, there are some lesser-known and yet lucrative ways to make money off of your hobby.

For example, if you enjoy cosplaying, you may look into participating in competitions with cash prizes or become a paid promotional model for events. Alternatively, you can sell costumes, accessories, and props for cosplay. If you’re interested in earning money while still indulging in your hobby, this might be a worthy venture. Apart from the equipment you already own, period-accurate outfits and costumes would also be an essential investment.

Some hobbies, such as crafting or art can be fairly easy to monetize if you are good at them. You can set up your own website or sell through third=parties such as Instagram or Etsy. For other hobbies  – shooting or archery, for example – you could look at teaching or instructing in it, or opening your own site for it. Be aware though that turning your hobby into a job can also turn it into a chore, and suck the enhjoyment out of it.

Buy second hand

You do not always need to buy brand new when it comes to gear, especially in the early days. If you are just starting out, buy second hand or pre-loved items. This way, if you decide your hobby isn’t right for you after all you have not spent a fortune, and if you do keep at it, you can sell the items and upgrade.