A few years back, it was common to see bumper stickers that said , "The One Who Dies With the Most _______ Wins." The blank was always filled-in with a hobby such things as fabric, boats, cars, power tools, dolls, Beanie Babies, yarn, baseball cards. . . you name it. In the beginning I found this sentiment pretty amusing, as I had my own stash of hobby items in my spare room too, but the older I get the more I realize how much money can be mindlessly wasted on hobbies -- no matter how fun or even noble they may be.
For instance, when my children were very young, one of my dear friends casually mentioned that she liked to own every book she read. I had never thought of this before, but suddenly decided this was a FANTASTIC idea, and latched right on to it. Janssen and Merrick (and everyone who knows me at all) can attest that I have spent the past 20+ years purchasing hundreds of book -- actually probably more that that. In fact, very few things make me happier than spending time in a bookstore and walking out with a new book or two. However, these books have come with a cost -- above and beyond the purchase price. I have to shelve them, sort them, dust them, move them, alphabetize them, give them away, throw some away, and I've even forgotten about some and purchased duplicate copies by accident more than a few times. . . you name it, I've done it. It's been a fun hobby (and I've LOVED reading all kinds of wonderful books), but maybe the original good idea just got away from me. As you can imagine, this has also been a very expensive hobby for me -- truthfully I can hardly walk into Barnes and Noble without spending $40 (at least).
Amusingly enough, I recently spoke to this friend (who I had lost touch with for a few years) and found that she now has a Kindle and has given away nearly all her books. She said that she'd be surprised if she owns more than 10 books right now! Wow. So who's winning? We both still have hundreds of books, but she gets most of hers online for free (she reads a ton of classics) and never has to care for them in any way! And she appears to be saving a lot more money on her reading than I am.
I'm sorry to say, I have this same trouble with fabric, yarn and magazines. I obviously have some serious issues with this subject!
Maybe you too have a hobby that has gotten away from you. Do you buy the latest gadget or newest thing, JUST BECAUSE? Is it time to pull the plug?
Here are some ways to curb your reflex hobby spending:
1. Avoid stores that sell what you crave
2. Avoid people who encourage you to buy more of this item
3. Organize what you have so you'll know what you truly need in this area of your life
4. Take stock of your stash and decide to enjoy what you already have
5. Ask for this type of item as gifts from others
6. Walk away