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View Poll Results: How much did you spend on hobbies in 2013?
$0 - $499 26 25.00%
$500 - $999 12 11.54%
$1,000 - $1,999 16 15.38%
$2,000 - $2,999 11 10.58%
$3,000 - $3,999 8 7.69%
$4,000 - $4,999 6 5.77%
$5,000 - $9,999 12 11.54%
$10,000+ 13 12.50%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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POLL: Retirees: How much did you spend on hobbies in 2013?
Old 04-29-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
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POLL: Retirees: How much did you spend on hobbies in 2013?

Major Tom's thread on limiting spending desires, and some of the comments on that thread, bring up an interesting point. Although many of us might not buy a camera for $1600, we might buy something equally expensive for another hobby.

If (by your definition) you are a retiree, how much did you spend on your hobby or hobbies last year? You may define "hobby" in whatever way seems to make sense to you.

I spent $904.19 on my video game hobby, including two new consoles and many games. It was sure worth it to me. Some hobbies might cost more, or less, than others, and some of us might have more, or less room for hobbies in our budgets than others.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:00 PM   #2
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I bought 3 sets of guitar strings.

A tube of lapping compound to sharpen my reel lawn mower.
Mowing the lawn is a "have to" but I actually enjoy doing it. Even look forward to it when the weather is nice. Mow twice a week early in the season. I guess it's kind of a hobby

All under 30 bucks
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:03 PM   #3
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Wow, that is great, Razztazz!
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:08 PM   #4
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I just barely cracked the 4K bracket. Hopefully I won't look like a spendthrift as the poll continues.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:13 PM   #5
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I just barely cracked the 4K bracket. Hopefully I won't look like a spendthrift as the poll continues.
I doubt it! Some of our members collect antique cars as a hobby. That and several other high end hobbies could require a pretty big outlay.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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The bulk of my spending on hobbies are the admission fees for my square dance clubs. I dance as many as 3 nights a week but on average it is closer to 2 nights. I pay between $800 and $850 per year. The locations are close to where I live so the total gas money is maybe $100.

My other main hobby is Strat-O-Matic baseball. But there, I am mostly using cards I bought 25-35 years ago. There are some cards I acquired in the last 10 years but they were either given to me by other generous Strat owners or I traded for them with cards I don't use any more. My main expense there is the fact that most of the printing I do is related to this hobby. I could allocate most of the cost for one toner cartridge every 2 years to this, a trivial amount.

So, for the poll I answered $500-$999.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:26 PM   #7
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Pretty close to $5K, which is about typical for us (hobbies for two people, some of them shared).

Running (gear and race fees)
Shooting and reloading
Homebrewing
Fly fishing
Hiking & camping
Skiing
Photography
Ham radio
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:48 PM   #8
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Maybe not something most would consider a hobby, but my gym membership feeds my weightlifting hobby.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:58 PM   #9
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It depends on what one defines as a hobby. If it is defined as gadgets, electronics, etc..., then my best guess is around $1K/yr, as I have enough toys and am not interested in getting more or newer stuff.

It is higher if all leisure and discretionary activities are counted. My expenses run 3.5%WR. If I take out everything except basic housing cost (1 not 2 homes) and necessities like food, insurance, and utilities, meaning no travels, donations, gifts, etc..., I can live on perhaps 2%WR.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:00 PM   #10
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Hmm...I get stuck on what is a hobby.

Is the new treadmill a hobby -- verdict: No, it is more for health than because I love doing it.

What about the new notebook computer? -- verdict: No, but this is a much closer call.

What about stuff to make my computer/ipad work better? -- Things like the data plan for the iPad or new headphones. -- Verdict - No, but starting to be a very close call

New iPhone -- Verdict: No. It is an indulgence for sure but not really a hobby.

Clearly hobbies -

Books (some of these are more informational and not really "fun" reading but I just kept it all together), mostly Kindle - $820

Video games, mostly online games - $1375

Blog - I started a blog in late 2013. Is that a hobby? -- verdict: Yes. This is sort of a close call, but I'm basically doing the blog for fun - $21 (this will be quite a bit higher in 2014)
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:10 PM   #11
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Maybe not something most would consider a hobby, but my gym membership feeds my weightlifting hobby.
Oh, good point. I didn't include my gym membership and fitness expenses. As NW-Bound and Katsmeow have pointed out, it all depends on what you consider to be your hobbies. I left that open for each individual's decision as to what the wisest choice was.

The same expenses could be a hobby to one person, and a health necessity to another or some other category. Whatever YOU, the poll participant, decides is the perfect and correct answer to the question of what qualifies as a hobby.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:19 PM   #12
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$6300 on boating/kayaking, woodworking, brewing, running/hiking/biking, photography, shooting. About $2k is lumber for furniture or gifts, And then of course brewing supplies turn into beer. So my hobbies are generating somewhat useful byproducts that are saving $ elsewhere in the budget. And then about $2k for camera/lenses and $1k for a kayak that should be costs that aren't likely to be repeated year after year.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:22 PM   #13
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This is an interesting thread. Thank you for starting it W2R. I haven't voted yet, but will give it some thought before doing so.

We all have the interests and pursuits that represent money well spent, that to others might seem frivolous. Until very recently, I looked at exercise machines as an unnecessary (and therefore frivolous) expense. I honestly didn't see the point of them. After all - why buy a machine to do what you could also achieve by carrying out a series of exercise moves, or some yoga perhaps? I used to laugh at them because I thought they were rather absurd. Then, the arthritis that I was diagnosed with 5 years ago started catching up to me and limiting my ability to walk around a lot. I dug out the exercise sheets given to me by a physical therapist a few years ago and started doing the exercises again. Problem is that the exercises are a bit boring and after only a couple of weeks, I'm having trouble making myself do them.

Then a light went on in my head, and I understood all the people here in this forum who have talked about how they enjoy being able to jump on the exercise machine while they listen to music, watch TV, or read a book. I get it now. Yes - there are cheaper ways to exercise, and if you really will do it, then that's fine, but we have to be honest with ourselves. If owning an exercise machine means that you will exercise more regularly, that alone is justification for having one. On top of that, if you enjoy using it, why not?

I completely understand that a $1600 camera is an unnecessary and excessive expense for most people. As others have said, only we can be the judge of what is good for us.

In the Ken Burns documentary titled Jazz, Wynton Marsalis explains what jazz means to him. He talks about the poor families in the south during the depression and how, despite barely having anything, they would somehow still have a set of nice clothes to wear to church - their "Sunday best". On top of that, the ladies would put a flower in their hair before heading out. It wasn't necessary, but it made them feel good. "That flower" said Marsalis, "is jazz."

We all need a bit of jazz in our lives.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
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...If owning an exercise machine means that you will exercise more regularly...
Not in this household, nor with anybody I know.

We both exercise more by outdoor activities. Our machines are still sitting there in a spare bedroom.

Quote:
...We all need a bit of jazz in our lives.
All right! There's still hope for our friend Tom.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:56 PM   #15
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Hard one to answer, last year I sold my Yamaha 05 FJR 1300 (bought used) motorcycle for $5500 but I just bought a 2008,(used and low mileage) 650 Vstrom motorcycle and put about $400 of farkles on it, including a dual use GPS. I foolishly spent $1600 on a new Canon 70D with kit lens but sold my old Canon T2i for $350. I have five guitars, three MIA strats, a MIA tele and a beater Takemine acoustic electric, all bought or traded for other instruments on Craigslist over the past couple years. Amplifiers, all bought used at one time or another or traded for other musical equipment over the past few years (three Fenders and a VOX which has been at my neighbors house for the past year or so). On occasion I do play out live with a couple of friends, no pay but a great way to meet people of the opposite sex, which in and of itself is priceless. Golf clubs last year, probably a grand, new Adam hybrids and Calloway metal woods. Pretty much sums it up, by definition been retired eight years and no debt.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:14 PM   #16
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I'm probably a little over $2000.

Biggest expenditure is ballet class--around $150 a month for 1-2 classes per week. Can't really do ballet effectively on your own.

Also gardening--buying plants mostly.

Finally there is sewing. this is my favorite hobby, although most of what I make I use myself or I give as gifts to others. So not sure how to account for that. Would love to start selling some of my creations--that's a goal for this year. At least generate some income to pay for the fabric!
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:11 PM   #17
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Our hobby is traveling in the camper, for which I budget about $1000 to $1600 a month. The two month trip to Alaska alone was about $12,000. That doesn't include upgrades to the camper and truck last year, about $2000, nor a new canoe $2100, a couple hundred in fishing gear, $1000 into my old VW...

...we get our exercise outdoors as much as possible, or walking around the ghost mall on bad days.

But I'd say about $18,000 in the first six months of my retirement, starting June 1 last year. Probably about that much a year in the future.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:18 PM   #18
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It's a bit tricky to determine what I spent on hobbies. I consider cooking a hobby for example, but I don't collect cooking gadgets so my only cost is the food we eat. I did buy some photo and hiking equipment last year, as well as some kindle books and video games. I'd be surprised if it amounted to more than $1,000 for the whole year as most of those purchases were paid for with credit card points and gift cards I received for my birthday.
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:41 PM   #19
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About $7k for us last year.

Golf $2,500 for me and DW but mostly me - includes our club memberships, some golf cart cards and my weekly travel golf group; Hockey $600 (mostly travel to 2013 NCAA D3 Frozen Four in Lake Placid), Sewing $2,600 for DW (including $1,200 for a new machine), Skiing $500 for the two of us, Snowmobiling $700 (mostly a major repair to one of our machines).
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Old 04-29-2014, 04:45 PM   #20
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It's a bit tricky to determine what I spent on hobbies. I consider cooking a hobby for example, but I don't collect cooking gadgets so my only cost is the food we eat...
Eh, the cost of food does not count as we all have to eat, so yours is a "free" hobby. That is unless you cook with truffle, foie gras, and caviar all the time.

Yes, I like to cook too, to enjoy this "free" hobby.
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