What are your hobbies? What is it that you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Perhaps you love to restore cars, or maybe you’re an avid golfer (I can relate to you on this one for sure!), or maybe you love the serenity of the morning sunrise on the pond while you have a pole in your hand (I’m referring to fishing for all of you that don’t understand). Others of you might enjoy more athletic recreation such as softball, soccer, bowling, ice hockey, and the list goes on.
Have you ever thought about why you partake in these hobbies? Is it because you’ve always had a passion for them, or maybe it’s because you enjoy the social time with your friends. Whatever the case might be, you may want to carefully consider the opportunity costs of these hobbies.
The first expensive hobby that comes to mind is boating. If you are an avid boater, I’m just guessing that you didn’t pay cash for your big boy toy. And, in addition to this, every time you head out on the water, you might blow $200 or more in gas! If you are young, please carefully consider the initial, as well as the on-going, costs of boat ownership.
Another expensive hobby is golf (I hate to admit it, because I really love this game). If you only play a few times a month and you don’t continually update your clubs, I don’t really have a problem with it. But, if you are a young professional and you believe that you deserve a private membership for $3,000 a year, you are severely setting yourself back financially.
Cheaper, Recreational Hobbies
Many recreational hobbies are not overly expensive. They might cost you less than $200 per year. If you truly enjoy this hobby and you’re completely out of debt, then I say go for it. But, what do I advise for those of you who are not out of debt? And, why would I suggest that you not have fun? Read on…
The Opportunity Costs of those Hobbies
Even after our nation’s financial turmoil lately, I don’t think there are enough people that understand the potential seriousness of debt. Let me use home ownership as an example. My wife and I will be borrowing money from the bank soon to purchase our very first house. Let’s say I paid off over 50% of the house and only have a few years left of payments, but then something terrible happens; I lost my job. All of the sudden, we can’t afford to make the payments on our house. Even though I paid the bank thousands of dollars, they still have the right to take my house away from me because I did not pay off my loan in full.
Rather than recreate, I would much rather work to pay off those debts! If I spent 5 hours recreating per week, think of what I could earn in those extra 260 hours per year if I worked instead (maybe you could start a side-gig). If you earned a regular wage of $20 per hour, you could easily have an extra $5,000 to put toward that mortgage every year.
Do Not Wait, Pay Off Those Debts!
Do you know how freeing it is to live debt free? It would make a season of softball 10 times more enjoyable because I would not have to think about that cloud of debt that’s been looming over my head. When my wife and I take out that loan, we’re going to focus on paying it off within 4 years. “How can you possibly do that?” you might ask. My wife and both have regular jobs, she also has a photography and design business on the side, and I make extra money through my financial blog as well. Since I chose not to recreate, but rather, both my wife and I started businesses, we now have the chance to live debt free (with a completely paid for house) by the time we are 30.
Give Up Mediocre Fun Now for Crazy Fun Later!
What if you loved to play golf and someone told you that you had two options:
- Play golf at mediocre courses once a week for the rest of your life
- Not play any golf for 5 years, but after that, play at PGA courses all over the world every week
Which would you choose? If it were me, I’d most definitely take option 2. It would be tough to give up golfing for 5 years, but since I knew the amazing courses that were in store for me in the future, I bet I could handle it.
Now, this example is a bit extreme. You don’t have to give up your hobbies entirely, but realize that there could be something much better in your future if you take financial responsibility for your debts now.
I would love for you to join us and take a similar journey. It’s going to be completely worth it!