Saturday, January 3, 2009


I want to tackle the topic of hobbies today because for some, it can be perceived as an "un-necessary" expense that stands in the way of debt repayment.

As my blog is about living life without extreme deprivation nor extravagance, I've made it pretty obvious where I stand but do realize there exists a sliding scale unique to each individual / family.

Some questions immediately come to mind.

Would you chose hobbies that are only free or close to free in order to be debt free?

Would you chose to eliminate hobbies / activities that cost money only until you become debt free?

Do you view hobbies / extra curricular activities a necessary part of life or an extravagance?

For those who have children:

Do you go about choosing sports / artistic lessons for your kids based on price?

Where would you "draw the line" with respect to cost?

I have not hidden the extent of my extracurricular travel, lessons and habits. They cost money. My view is that being able to participate in those activities is the reason why I work for money.

There has been times where I feel the desire to cash everything in and live my life out hidden away from everything but that tends to be short lived.

Do I have debt? Yes!

Would I pay off my debt earlier if I didn't travel, ski, eat out etc? Yes!

So yes, I realize that I may be undermining my debt repayment efforts by indulging in higher cost activities while I still owe money.

How I decided to write about this today came last night when I stumbled upon an ad for an aviation headset for sale. Earlier I had updated my sidebars with newer goals and thought the timing may be right to start my flight training this spring after ski season ends.

An initial search for ground school books led to headsets and so on. Now I am in negotiations to buy books and a used headset.

Then I stopped.

Here was yet another high price hobby. Do I really want to do this? It certainly isn't a need. I've changed since my intro flight lesson 3 years ago. This is the question I've been struggling with and don't have a firm answer yet.

Financially, the cost of the lessons won't impact my debt repayment or savings efforts. But I do not want to be doing something because I can vs. really really wanting to. Without passion, the value won't be there and it would be a waste of money.


  1. It's all about quality of life. The activities that I happen to enjoy just happen to be free/very cheap. My husband is a little more expensive to keep in hobbies.

    When it comes to the kids, we want them to experience as many different activities and hobbies as they want. We haven't said no to anything yet. Some activities take and some activities don't.

    When they find something they really love, it is worth the money to add it to their lives. They know about tradeoffs and prioritizing which activities are really important to them.

  2. Ha, ha, tricky one. When it doesnt impact of debt or savings plans, doesnt mess with your time or other committments then you can only decide based on what you actually desire. I actually find that much harder than working within constraints.
    I would like to learn to fly too but its £120 a lesson, so too expensive to consider at the point, easy-decision made for me. When its affordable I have to decide if I really want it and that a lot harder.
    Good luck!

  3. I really want to buy a horse but the daily chores and cost for upkeep are too much. I have to be satisfied with renting a horse now and then. And I don't do it very often so it must not be that important to me after all.

  4. Hi Money!

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. If I had children, I'd want them to learn as much as they are able to as they are growing up because I feel it is very valuable in shaping their ideals and goals.

    Hi Lizzie!

    You hit it right on the money. I do feel it to be harder when firm constraints aren't there and I have to think it through with my right brain and gut vs. my logical left brain which can be too dominant!

    Hi Daisy!

    I think it is a great to be able to have the best of both worlds while you are deciding if you really really want your own horse and if it is financial constraints that are clouding your desire. You have time on your side!

  5. Just wanted to say that I am happy to have found your blog. :)

  6. Thank you Christine!

    I am looking forward to reading your blog too!

  7. Hey, you have said it all in your last sentence. I can not agree more with you. Especially, in today's world, it is borrow and enjoy ... within your own affordable limits. But beware of that term " affordable" - i bet it will take a great balancing act just to find out if something is affordable or not !! Nice post.

  8. I think if you are passionate about something then you should make sure it's a part of your life. If it's just something to do because you can, perhaps you don't need it in your life.

    I have a couple of hobbies I'm passionate about, namely travel and photography. I don't spend excessive amounts on either, but they do make up a large portion of my yearly expenses.

    I'm now working on how to start making a living from these passions in the future!

  9. @ snigdha -- I think part of my hesitation is that I am seeing my life in a bigger picture than I ever have and because of that, I see the long term effects of my actions clearer.

    @ livingmyrichlife -- Welcome back! That is exactly what I wish to determine before just blindly going ahead because it is on my list of goals. People change and thus goals change. I need to figure out if it is still relevant.

    I've decided to take another lesson before committing to buying equipment or signing up for the whole thing. If I don't "feel it", then I'll know.