Our passions in life are what drive us. Some are lucky enough to be able to turn them into full-time occupations that provide a living, but others have to channel their interests through means of a hobby. While these are fulfilling and good for the sole, they can be an expensive drain on resources. So if you have a love of thoroughbred horses, want to take up photography and need the expensive kit, are keen on scuba diving or are thinking about flight school, you’re going to need to know how to finance it all. Making proactive choices on how much disposable income you really have to spend and choosing what to spend it on will be part of an ongoing commitment. Here’s how to manage it all:

Are You Sure You’re Sure?

The first thing is to be 100% sure that you are committed to this hobby. There would be nothing worse than buying in a load of expensive kit for fencing or ballroom dancing, only to find out that when you encounter challenges, you’re no longer so keen on it. Having tried something once or twice and enjoyed, it isn’t really enough of a basis to make a large financial commitment. Look for ways to test it out more  – for example, if you went for a round of gold with a friend and loved it, are there any gold club open days or free introductory offers at courses you could use to make sure you love it before committing to expensive lessons and longer-term memberships? Can you rent equipment to start out with until you’re sure it’s worth buying your own? Be realistic about how much spare time and cash you have to pursue your passions before you start booking and buying with abandon.

Put A Figure On It

It’s quite easy to underestimate just how expensive your new interest can be, so take the time to put a solid figure on it. List out all the costs, from equipment and specialist clothing to the cost of lessons and attending competitive events, transport etc. Then note down exactly how many hours of work it will take to afford what you want to do. Then consider creative ways to dial down the impact on your finances. Could you offer a return service in exchange for a discount on lessons? For example, if you are a graphic designer, could you design some great marketing materials for that dance studio or a guitar teacher in exchange for a discount on lessons? Are there other ways to raise or save some extra money – selling old possessions through eBay or taking on some extra hours or freelance work to generate more cash? It all depends how important it is to you – could you resolve to take a packed lunch to work or eat out less often to afford your goal? Any of this needs to be realistic and sustainable, fitting around your existing job, family commitments and the time you need to practice. You may have to develop excellent negotiation skills with your partner to juggle it all, but if it’s important to you, they’ll understand.

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