Dec 6, 2010

Controlling Your Hobbies (Carole)

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

8 comments:

Brandi said...

I have a serious love for books, and I like to own them. I rarely completely re-read them, but I do like to go back and reference something often (I like mostly nonfiction).

I never allow myself to go to big box bookstores (unless I have a gift card) because I know I can't afford my habit. Instead, twice a year, our town has a huge library sale, and I spend about 40 dollars, but instead of getting 2 or 3 books, I get a couple of boxes of books. It tides me over until the next sale.

Karina said...

Realizing that this is not the point of this post, I still want to say that we bought a kindle. We are minimalists and we really wanted it to be as good as having a book, but it's just not.

We go back to our books time and again, so the kindle has failed what we love about having a book.

Now I'm thinking about my expensive hobbies...okay, really, I'm just thinking about my husband's ;)

Packrat said...

Books, fabric, sewing machines (older), vintage sewing patterns, vintage kitchen utensils, miniatures, music (recorded and printed) just to name a few things that have gotten out of hand. Yikes. No wonder I'm broke. LOL Really, tho, searching for these things at thrift stores and yard sales is my recreation. I try to set a spending limit unless I find a bargain (criteria: it must be something I really like or it must be useful) that is too good to pass up.

Jess said...

Camera equipment. Good thing I turned it into a business. lol.

Melissa said...

I have a similar problem with books. I'd load up my arms at boarders books with at least 300 dollars worth, then slowly as I walked up to the counter I would try to get rid of many of them until I got down to about 70 dollars worth. I'd buy them and take them home, regret spending so much money and take back about 40 dollars worth. It was a bad habit but now I buy all my books either online (if there is a specific book I want) or at the library used sale. I have a good eye for good books and I only buy them if they are very gently used. That means I can walk away with 10 books for 2.50 and they are all in fabulous condition. It helps me to find books I may have not otherwise purchased. They all look like new on my book shelf and I love them.

Kris said...

I respect your honesty. If you ever need to borrow a book, just ask....... Would you like to do a sewing project once every other month? I have fabric and some great ideas........ !

megan said...

I like your number 6. I need to do that from lots of things...books, fabric!, toys, etc.

Sofia said...

Thanks for the tips! I love number 6!

I really need to follow these tips. I've been too much of a spender lately. I've been taking advantage of that firm that gives fast cash advances, payday loans, and stuff like that just for shopping. Nobody really influences me to do this. I just really love shopping. I have to make a resolution. I won't get a payday loan. Utah malls, you won't be seeing me for a long time.

Once again, thanks for the tips!