We all have hobbies. Hobbies are enjoyable ways to pass the time. We often have hobbies that are tied to making or saving money. After all, who doesn’t like to have some (or save some) extra money.
Some are obviously financially related, like couponing or selling items on ebay. But you may be surprised to learn that many hobbies are more money related than we may have expected. I didn’t realize this until I had more disposable income at my discretion.
Upon downsizing our life from house living to apartment living we freed up a significant chunk of income. We are now living on 50% of my income. Just half of my income goes to “needs” — things like rent, utilities, groceries, and gas. Doing this means we now have a large percentage of my income available for “wants.”
Freeing up the “wants” money had an unintended consequence. Some of my hobbies that I had been passionate about changed a little. I felt less desire to write and blog. I realize now that a part of me did the writing and blogging due to the potential for it to turn into an income source. When I took away the need for the income by changing my lifestyle, my desire to do these things decreased substantially.
Take a look at your own hobbies. Do you really love them as much as you think you do? Would you still cut coupons if you had plenty of money to cover your needs and most of your wants? Would you still write and blog? Would you still make crafts out of recycled materials? Would you still ebay your garage sale finds? Would you still open that ETSY store to sell your crafts?
I’m not saying that these hobbies are bad, but I am saying that a component of many hobbies has a certain financial motivation that you may not recognize. These hobbies may be a cover for a deeper desire for financial stability.
The real problem is that most of us are in over our heads. We are spending right up to our means with little left over for the things we truly enjoy. We look for ways out of this predicament, and often it’s through a hobby.
A few of you may actually put enough effort and know-how into your hobby to make it a successful part time job. Some may even transition into a full time career. The reality is that a vast majority of us will never see more than a trickle of income from these hobbies. And many of us will end up spending more than we make, ending up with financial loss.
Everywhere we look in the self-help sector, we are taught to follow our passions. We’re taught that we can turn any passion into an income earner. That is good advice, but I think it is severely lacking on one area. We should add to that advice. Get your financial house in order — then follow your passions.
If you can adjust your lifestyle so that you live well below your means, you will then be able to truly follow your passions. You might find that without the financial drive, some of your passions are not so passionate. Remove the financial component, and you will be able to recognize your true passions.
What changes can you make in your life to get below your means? Can you reduce the cost of your needs to 50% of your income? Can you free up a significant portion of income to start following your true passions?