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Old 01-11-2015, 10:31 AM   #81
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I'll echo some of the other comments that doing your own maintenance and repairs can be looked at as a bit of a hobby. I kind of enjoy taking things apart to see what makes them tick - I often learn something and get some satisfaction from the repair and keeping something out of a landfill.

While it doesn't bring in money, it keeps it from going out, which has the same result on the balance sheet. And it doesn't involve marketing, selling, sitting at a craft show all day, etc.

I've come close to taking some hobby ideas and trying to market them, but in the end, it all seemed like too much work.

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Old 01-11-2015, 12:01 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'll echo some of the other comments that doing your own maintenance and repairs can be looked at as a bit of a hobby. I kind of enjoy taking things apart to see what makes them tick - I often learn something and get some satisfaction from the repair and keeping something out of a landfill.

While it doesn't bring in money, it keeps it from going out, which has the same result on the balance sheet. And it doesn't involve marketing, selling, sitting at a craft show all day, etc.

I've come close to taking some hobby ideas and trying to market them, but in the end, it all seemed like too much work.

-ERD50
Since went into semi-ER mode, I have a list of money making and money saving ideas, and I figure out what am I making after tax per hour of my time on each item on the list. It helps me to stay focused more on recurring expenses and income, which usually have a much greater ROI than one time events.

The warehouse store we started grocery shopping at is 7 minutes further from our house than the closest retail supermarket, but the savings are often ~$80 or so per week, so I "make" $343 after tax per hour by driving there (plus mileage), since once we get there the time to shop inside the store is the same.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:06 PM   #83
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Since went into semi-ER mode, I have a list of money making and money saving ideas, and I figure out what am I making after tax per hour of my time on each item on the list. It helps me to stay focused more on recurring expenses and income, which usually have a much greater ROI than one time events.

The warehouse store we started grocery shopping at is 7 minutes further from our house than the closest retail supermarket, but the savings are often ~$80 or so per week, so I "make" $343 after tax per hour by driving there (plus mileage), since once we get there the time to shop inside the store is the same.
I don't have the list, but I have to admit that figuring out how to pay less in taxes or fees has been a money making hobby for me, especially since FIRE. I enjoy it (hobby), and I've found all sorts of ways to do things like convert pre-tax money put away at 20+% savings to a Roth paying only 15% or less in taxes. Same with selling stocks at 0% cap gains and resetting the cost basis. Did a 1031 exchange once that saved us tens of thousands of dollars in taxes. It's not as cool as woodworking, but there's definitely a cost benefit to it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:55 AM   #84
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I'll echo some of the other comments that doing your own maintenance and repairs can be looked at as a bit of a hobby. I kind of enjoy taking things apart to see what makes them tick - I often learn something and get some satisfaction from the repair and keeping something out of a landfill.

While it doesn't bring in money, it keeps it from going out, which has the same result on the balance sheet. And it doesn't involve marketing, selling, sitting at a craft show all day, etc.

I've come close to taking some hobby ideas and trying to market them, but in the end, it all seemed like too much work.
I'm the same way. My dishwasher sprung a leak and my garbage disposal literally went up in smoke nearly simultaneously. I ordered a replacement part for the DW (ha ha!) and a replacement garbage disposal. Under $100 total for both items. Between diagnosing the issue, pulling the DW, drying out the flooded area, finding and ordering the parts, and then installing the fixed DW and replacing the garbage disposal, I spent about 6 hours.

From googling, it looks like the same repairs would be $600 or so if I went the retail route of calling a plumber and/or appliance repair tech. And I don't even know if they would do the "disaster recovery" part of ripping up the 2x2' part of soaked flooring and putting a fan in the space to dry it out. Add to that the fact that the DW started leaking late on a Friday evening, and the charges for someone coming to my house would have been even higher (if they charged an evening/weekend premium).

So I made $83/hr after tax for my labor. And next time I have to replace the garbage disposal or fix the dishwasher, I'll be a little faster and more knowledgeable.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:08 AM   #85
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Here is my take on it, everything written in the quote above is true. But, there is another approach. If you're working a craft or art as a hobby with the expectation of making money, forget it. There is far too much 'art fair' type of competition. Instead, work your craft or art because you love doing it. Make it a passion, explore this passion, do it to the very best of your ability, find out what others are doing and do it better. This approach, over time, will bring great personal satisfaction, it will take you to a new natural high, it will add urgency to your life. After a while, if your work is truly extraordinary then others will notice. From that point you may begin to sell work and perhaps build a client base.
Great advice. Making money in art is hard. Even if you're really good, it might be that no one will notice and you'll never catch a lucky break.

A good friend started out making different things for fun, and worked the arts and crafts fairs for a while. She did okay, but it wasn't very profitable I gather. Then one of her projects got picked up on reddit, went viral, received tens of thousands of shares, and her items were suddenly worth 20-40x what they used to be. Now it takes about 7 seconds for a newly listed item to sell at just about any asking price. Some even offer double the going rate since inventory is very limited.

For the curious, here's her work: Textile Moth and Butterfly Sculptures by Yumi Okita | Colossal

I'm just glad she's still okay drinking $3 bottles of wine at our house.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:27 AM   #86
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Add me to the group who have money saving hobbies rather than money making hobbies.

As an example, just last week I replaced the cartridge on our shower faucet - it ended up free as I did the work myself and while scouting for a deal on the part on the internet I ran into a post that I could get the part free from Delta as those parts are lifetime guaranteed. That post reminded me that my plumber had told me that so I called up Delta and they sent me the part for free and I installed it myself. It probably saved me $75.

I also finished off the bonus room over our garage myself so our costs were only materials and labor for electrical and drywall taping (though I put in many of the receptacles and the electrician just checked my work) and the cost of an 18 ga brad nailer. I suspect that I save $4,000 doing it myself.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:23 AM   #87
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I'll echo some of the other comments that doing your own maintenance and repairs can be looked at as a bit of a hobby. I kind of enjoy taking things apart to see what makes them tick - I often learn something and get some satisfaction from the repair and keeping something out of a landfill.
My brother laughs at me because I studied engineering but I don't like to get my hands dirty.

Biggest repair I did was replacing the belt on my large format printer -- the problem was that even though the belt is a consumable item I had to take apart the entire printer to replace it. Took me a whole day and in retrospect I wish I had just found an independent repairman to fix it.

Now I will probably not try to repair much as I've gotten rid of most of my tools when we downsized.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #88
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Money saving hobbies can often mean more in dollar terms because it is all after tax money.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:47 PM   #89
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Fixing stuff myself was something I did not have much choice in when younger and poorer. It was sink or swim. Once you learn to start fixing your own stuff instead of paying someone an outlandish price, your knowledge base broadens and enables you to tackle even more challenges. I am still that way...even more so as I get older.
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:35 PM   #90
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Fixing stuff myself was something I did not have much choice in when younger and poorer. It was sink or swim. Once you learn to start fixing your own stuff instead of paying someone an outlandish price, your knowledge base broadens and enables you to tackle even more challenges. I am still that way...even more so as I get older.
Your correct when my DB and I ran a sawmill, we did everything ourselves. We didn't have money to pay someone to work. We bartered or otherwise traded for things we couldn't afford.

Probably our best ever was taking two power units and combining into one. The clutch was homemade and slightly unconventional, out of necessity. Everyone that reviewed the design said the clutch would 'drag'. It did, but that wasn't a requirement.

I did things to my 4x4 Ford hubs that weren't the cleanest, but my truck worked fine. I learned I liked to eat more than saying, the dealer did it.

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