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Giving up expensive hobbies??
Old 12-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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Giving up expensive hobbies??

I'm curious how many people on the road to FIRE or after FIRE have managed to give up an expensive hobby or activity? How did you do it and what did you replace it with? Did you come to terms with it and accept its impact on your FIRE goals?

I'm an extreme LBYM person and have a history of aggressive saving since my first job. I'm in my mid 30's today and while I can identify with a ton of FIRE related info you find on this site and others I have two huge vicec.

For me it has been cars and boats. For getting from point A to B I don't actually care what I drive on a daily basis as long as it works. I actually commute most days on a motorcycle which at my old job paid for itself because it saved me $200+ a month on parking alone. My problem is I love old cars and enjoy driving them and modifying them. Currently, I actually have an extremely modified 68 Camaro that I take to track days (driving your street car on a road course/race track). I also, until recently have been an avid wakeboarder.

These two hobbies have had a HUGE impact on my finances that goes way beyond the purchase cost of the items themselves, which is enormous. These hobbies pretty much force me to have a two car garage, a storage site for the boat, a tow vehicle, etc.

My wife and I recently moved and while we were able to reduce our housing costs by 25% we could of reduced it another 10-20% if I didn't need a two car garage to support these two hobbies. I also bought a new to me SUV because my previous tow vehicle was worn out. The incremental costs of these two hobbies add up pretty quick.

I bring my frugal habits to these hobbies as well (buying used/using my mechanical skills to refurbish/keep older items working) but they are still insanely expensive.

Health reasons are putting me in a position where I will probably sell the boat which then allows me to get rid of the gas guzzling SUV and get a cheaper car to back up my motorcycle. Facing the reality of giving up the boating has made me thing even more about the classic car too. I honestly don't know if I can give it up.

Curious to hear others experiences.

I'm not obsessed with money, I'm obsessed with work! Er, rather the not doing it anymore part...
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #2
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I never had an expensive hobby that I can think of, at least not that expensive.

No wait - - I had one, buying toys for my daughter when she was little. I spent a lot on that; there are so many delightful and cute toys that I couldn't resist. The poor child was drowning in toys. But that "hobby" vanished when she (we?) grew up.

"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I never had an expensive hobby that I can think of, at least not that expensive.

No wait - - I had one, buying toys for my daughter when she was little. I spent a lot on that; there are so many delightful and cute toys that I couldn't resist. The poor child was drowning in toys. But that "hobby" vanished when she (we?) grew up.
DH got a headache last week trying to figure out how much our grown kids cost us over their lifetimes (not that we regret a penny of it--okay, I don't). Don't we wish it had been only the toys when they were little! Now that they've been on their own pretty much for almost 10 years, we don't have any pricey hobbies or activities of our own, other than travel, I guess.

Chad, boating is the most expensive hobby, isn't it? The old Camaro is probably a bargain compared to the boat.
Go Cubs
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
DH got a headache last week trying to figure out how much our grown kids cost us...
That's a calculation you'll never see me attempt...
Numbers is hard.

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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Scuba, windsurfing and skiing. The stuff didn't cost that much but the trips were pricy. If you like em, don't give them up.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:51 PM   #6
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When it comes to expensive, low frequency of use stuff - make friends with the guy who has a ___________

It's not like he's going boating alone.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:11 AM   #7
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I sold my plane a few years ago. Now I find myself looking at airplane ads on a regular basis.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:14 AM   #8
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I don't have bank-breaking hobbies. But I will have to give up most of my current hobbies in a few weeks, when I move from a large house in the burbs with a yard and spacious garage to a small condo in a large city with no yard or garage. I'll tell you in 6 months how I feel about giving up hobbies!
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:55 AM   #9
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I don't have many expensive hobbies. the one I had was training and raising a couple of beagle hounds for rabbit hunting. while it doesn't sound like much of a hobby, going to field trials and training them was fairly expensive. I did have to give it up because the property we live on is being slowly surrounded by subdivisions and with that the people who think that they are still living in the city and don't allow dogs any freedom. hobbies are what they are, if you have to give up everything you enjoy to retire it won't be much of a retirement anyway.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:00 AM   #10
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My hobbies, traditional B&W photography (wet darkroom processing & printing) and amateur radio, do cost some money but not that expensive. I was going to say at least you haven't mentioned airplane yet when check6 did it. My neighbor across street bought an Airstream RV one year ago, and he kept buffing it till it became a mirror. As far as I know, he probably hasn't gone to a trip in that RV yet.

Please don't torture yourself in deciding which one to give up. Learn from Oscar Wilde: "The best way to resist temptation is to yield to it.".
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:03 AM   #11
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You still need to live!!! I boat and like nice cars but usually buy both used and search for a good deal and dicker like hell (including the used truck to tow the boat). I leave the boat outside and cover it during the season and shrink-wrap it during the winter so no garage space is required. If I had a play car (which may be a summer 2012 acquisition) I might do that for the car as well.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
The stuff didn't cost that much but the trips were pricy. If you like em, don't give them up.
DW's "hobby" (travel) has been our highest expense line item, both before and after retirement.

We planned to continue to travel in retirement, and included it in our "required expenses" for post retirement living. For 2012, we've already made our reservations for Hawaii, Scotland, and Canada (with a few trips within the CONUS still to be planned).

BTW, our entire retirement budget is tagged as "required expenses". If we could not afford it, we would continue to remain in "accumulation mode" until we did, regardless of actual retirement age. We were not willling to give up our accustomed lifestyle just to say we were retired.

Just our story, FWIW...
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:33 AM   #13
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About three years ago I gave up country club golf. At that time it was starting to get expensive in so much as the club cost was going up and my golfing was getting less. When I was out there three times a week, it was costing me $38 per round of golf. When you go down to twice a week the cost goes to about $55 per round. My annual cost was around $6000. Way to much to play golf. And I had moved further away from the club. Decided to just drop out. Good move as now I'm down to once a week at about $30 per round. I also enjoy playinng different courses.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:58 AM   #14
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I gave up softball, bowling, and skiing 30 years ago when I got married. Gave up golf 10 years ago because of the $. Travel, bicycling, woodworking, hiking, brewing and tech gadgets are current hobbies, and along with my cars, truck, boat and atv consume most of my time and money. I don't want to give up any of these, and I may start new hobbies, so I'll have to work part time (probably forever) to finance them.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #15
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My expensive hobby is astronomy. Fortunately telescopes don't wear out and, if one is careful, require very little effort to maintain. I've been using the same scopes for 30 years.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:38 AM   #16
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Repeating myself, but we gave up our sailboat and all the associated expenses, sold 6 months before I retired. Sailing was my greatest passion in adult life. I've sailed for over 35 years, and owned 4 sailboats (27'-35') over the past 22 years. Once our mortgage was paid off, boating was our single biggest expense by far, and it didn't make sense to me. And after so many years, it had run it's course, I'd pretty much done everything in boating (cruising, racing, oceans & Great Lakes) I ever hoped to accomplish.

I miss it slightly, but I don't miss the expenses at all (basically $10-20K/yr). I still sail on other peoples boats, and we can charter or dayboat if we get the urge. So I don't feel I gave up anything, though it happily reduced our annual spending substantially which gives us more options in retirement. And if we decide some day we just can't live without sailing every weekend, we'll just buy a boat. Makes it very easy to let go...nothing is permanent.

We had several expensive cars when we were younger (Corvette, BWW, Audi), seemed important then, but we grew out of that (for us) indulgence in our early 40's.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:02 AM   #17
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I never had any expensive hobby in my life. Then, a few years ago, made up for it by buying a second home. First and last splurge...

Don't see myself wanting or craving anything, although with our children gaining independence, I will have more money to spend on discretionary things in the years ahead. May do more travel, but that is about it, and even that can get tiring if overdone.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:18 AM   #18
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I seem to be doing the opposite. I still have my first car-a '76 Monte Carlo. Up to now it has been a fairly cheap hobby. I've simply kept it running well, and done repairs as needed for the past 28yrs. It's developed some rust. Am in the process of saving up about $10k in my Mad Money fund to restore it. Wife and I were discussing it a few days ago. She told me it was a ridiculous waste of money. Imagine her surprise when I agreed! Then I followed up by saying "But it makes me happy. What is something worth that-no matter your mood-makes you smile?" I think she understood.

My other hobbies are modest: a nice stereo (I call it a hobby as I built it myself), volunteering on the Board of Directors for the local homeless shelter and Boy Scouts, and homebrewing.

We choose to be frugal in most areas of our life, saving 25-30% of each paycheck.Everybody needs an indulgence or two. I suggest the OP keep one of their expensive toys, and sell the other to fund it.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:03 PM   #19
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I had expensive hobbies in my younger days. Playing a round of golf at the country club 4 to 5 times a week was getting expensive. I eventually weaned myself off of golf but the first few years were painful.

I was also BIG into old cars, not racing but restoring and car clubbing and cars shows. I was probably averaging over $15,000/yr on that one. I had to cut back on that hobby when DW lost her very high salary job 5 or 6 years ago. That was and is to this day very painful. Fortunately, I still have a very nice old car sitting in the garage just waiting for the day I retire and want to go out and start tinkering.

I have noticed that some of the cost for the expensive hobbies I gave up has gravitated into 3 or 4 nice vacations per year when we used to only take 1 or 2 per year. Also I play guitar and have purchased several relatively high end Martin guitars over the years. I will keep this hobby as long as I can because it is very enjoyable and a great stress reliever.
My motto is.... "a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. I don't pay tax on the dollar I saved."
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #20
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I made the switch from golf to disc golf.

It uses different skills, but it's a somewhat similar experience. - Outdoors, walking around, weighing risky vs. safe approaches, enjoying the course with friends, finding a 19th hole somewhere. And $0 green fees and plenty of courses to pick from around where I am.

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