Hobbies are a lot of fun, but there is one thing that prohibits many from taking part in their favorite hobby as much as they would like to. Cost. Hobbies, while fun, can be expensive. When I was in Junior High and High School my favorite hobby was playing a collectible card game called Magic: the Gathering. Yes, I’ll wait while you poke fun. I was a bit of a nerd but I can admit it. For a kid in school with no job (I wasn’t old enough at the time) this game had the potential to be very expensive.
There were a few ways to acquire the cards I needed to play the game. I could buy individual cards, trade cards, or buy a pack of random cards. New cards came out about every four months that you could add to your games to make them more interesting. This also made the game more expensive.The rarer cards were more expensive and gave me a distinct advantage in the game. A pack of 15 random cards cost about $4 from the local game store and it only had one “rare” card in it and sometimes they weren’t even that good. This caused me to buy many many packs over my time playing the game. The problem was I didn’t have a ton of money. I got a small allowance but it didn’t let me buy the number of packs I wanted so I had to get creative.
I had a group of about 6 other friends who also played the game and bought cards in these packs as well. They, like me, didn’t have a ton of money either. There was another way to buy cards though. I could buy a box of 36 packs online for about $72 or $2 a pack. That is MUCH cheaper than buying them at the local game store. Now I could buy a box and keep all of the cards for myself. That would be a lot of cards, but I’d have to save a lot of money to be able to do that and I could only do it once in a while. Then an idea hit me. I could sell them for more than my cost, but less than the local card store!
That is exactly what I did. I split my cost with the card store price and decided to sell packs to my friends for $3. They were fully aware of what I was doing. The only difference was they weren’t patient enough to save up for a box of their own. In the end I decided to sell 24 packs of each box for $3 each to my friends. This COMPLETELY covered the cost of the box of cards, except I had 12 packs left over. I kept those for myself and I essentially got cards for free! I did this multiple times and my friends basically paid for me to be able to play the game and collect the cards because they were impatient. My six friends only had to come up with $12 each while I had to save up to get the $72 to order the box.
I’m guessing that you probably don’t play Magic: the Gathering. So how can this apply to you? Try to find ways to subsidize your hobbies to make them more affordable! If you enjoy photography but can’t afford all of the expensive equipment and software try selling some of your better pictures to be able to upgrade your equipment. Do you enjoy motorcycles? If you are good at and enjoy working on them or painting them that could subsidize your own motorcycle costs. If you enjoy making jewelery, sell some of it at a farmer’s market or on etsy. There are so many ways you can subsidize your hobby if you get a little creative. Hopefully I have inspired you to find a way to subsidize yours!
Do you have a hobby? What ways do you offset the costs (or even make money) from them?