Adding a New Hobby to My Expenses

How do you handle spending money on hobbies? Do you have a certain amount set aside for them in your monthly spending, or do you just kind of go with the flow? Or maybe you stick with free hobbies, like reading or blogging.

About a month ago I signed up for an oil painting class, and I finally finished up my first painting yesterday. (We’d spent classes working on other stuff instead, and since I’ve only had time to paint during class, it’s taken me a while.)

Here it is:

(Don’t mind all the masking tape.)

I’ve really been enjoying this hobby. Time seems to fly by when I’m doing it, and I can actually concentrate too, which is highly unusual for me. However, it’s a pretty pricey hobby.

Even the beginner-grade oil paints and supplies are expensive. A pad of paper palettes? $10. One tube of olive green paint? $13. I could go crazy buying stuff, but so far have held back. (It’s not hard to hold back when stuff is that expensive.)

I imagine the costs will taper off after awhile, so it shouldn’t be too bad in the future except for the classes, which are actually pretty inexpensive considering how long they last. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing?


  • That’s really pretty! Did you have any previous experience?

    My husband is balancing a quite a bit right now, but he’s been oil painting on and off for a couple of years now. As soon as he gets out of graduate school, I’m going to see if he wants to sign up for classes.

    To the article’s questions, we budget $75 a month for each of us for “fun” money and an additional $100 a month for joint “fun” money.

    We rarely use all of our joint money, but my husband goes over a little bit every once in a while and it’s nice to have the padding. He’s not being selfish, I just have cheaper wants.

    I love hanging out with people, potlucks, and at-home movie nights with friends. My husband enjoys Magic: The Gathering, curling, and games (board games, video games, and computer games). Obviously, he has to prioritize his wants more than I do, but our system works well for us. :-)

  • BIFS, thanks, no. So you use your fun money for hobbies too? I don’t know why but I always figured fun money was just for random things. Makes sense though!

    • Yep, but if either of us needs a little more than the “fun” money allows, we try to cut back elsewhere (like fast food).

  • Over the past year or so, I’ve started to get back into embroidery and crocheting, which can be done pretty cheaply. Embroidery floss is super inexpensive and you can use it on virtually any fabric. It’s easy to get yarn on sale, via thrift shops or even scavanged from old blankets.

    But I recently took a sewing class and spent a FORTUNE! on all the tools they insisted we needed for class. Of course my mother sewed most of our clothes for years without all the fancy tools they claimed we needed. Insane. It seems that sewing has become a wealthy person’s expensive hobby these days.

    Anyhoo, it looks as though I can make this new hobby o’ sewing much cheaper by practicing a few tricks and not falling prey to buying every new gadget folks say I need. Once again, I just have to act like my mother! But it’s crazy the amount of money people will spend on crafts. Oy.

    By the way–your painting is gorgeous! Such rich colors. Perhaps one day you’ll do a blog give away of some of your art? (hint, hint)

  • Wow, you must be a patient person to do embroidery. I don’t think I could hack that. I bet it looks nice though! (And I always thought you just needed a needle, thread, scissors, and patterns for sewing? Shows what I know.) Glad you like the painting. That comprises all of my art so far ;)