How dare you spend your money on fun things!

Money can be used in four ways. It can be saved, invested, gifted, and spent. Generally I focus more on the investing and saving aspects of money, but today I want to chat with you about spending. I’m not so interested in how much your grocery bill is or how much you spend on gas each month. Instead of focusing on the boring everyday expenses, I think it would be way more fun to talk about the frivolous side of spending. It’s important to remember a portion of our income should go towards having fun. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your money. And that bring up today’s topic… How do you enjoy your money?

You do enjoy your money occasionally…right?! While I do believe money can’t buy happiness, you better believe it can sure as heck help. I thought I would share with you two areas I find joy in spending money…

Dining out.

Girl Ninja and I don’t live together. This means we don’t have all of the conveniences of cohabitation, like sitting down and eating together. Sometimes she will come over and I will cook for her (or she’ll cook for me), but we have really found great value in going on dinner dates. At least once a week I like to  take her out for dinner. The date isn’t just about the food we shove in our face (GN always tells me I have to take smaller bites :)), but it’s about the quality time we get together. It’s about getting away from friends and roommates, and just enjoying each other. I like to think of these meals not so much as an “expense”, but rather an investment in our relationship.

Photography.

Yup, I got bit by the photography bug…frick! I got a DSLR this Xmas break, and it was love at first sight lust at first picture. The quality is a bajillion times better than my point and shoot camera. I’m totally stoked on this new hobby, but I got to tell ya… it’s freakin’ expensive. Each lens ranges from $300 to $1,200 dollars. I have my eyes on a few different lenses/accessories I would like to add to my photography arsenal, but I’m doing my best to be a good ninja and temper my impulsive nature. I have three camera related things in my Amazon wishlist currently, but I told myself I couldn’t buy anything for at least six months. I want to make sure photography is going to be a long lasting hobby, and not some short term obsession. (I’m kind of infamous for getting in to something, putting a lot of time/effort/money in to it, and then getting bored of it after a few months). Here are a few pictures I have snapped…

scared pug

While frivolous expenses, like the examples mentioned above, can lead some to financial ruins (especially when said expenses are charged to a credit card), I do believe they can also be used as a tool to provide joy. Do you wrestle with the idea of “blowing” money on a hobby? What are some expenses you incur on a semi-frequent basis that you could cut out of your budget, but don’t? Are you a big time rock climber? Do you like to travel? Maybe a cooking hobby? Or if you are on the wild side, perhaps you like to put on a chewbacca mask, buy a bunch of taco shells, empty them from their taco shell box, tape said box to your nipples, get in your underwear, and take pictures of yourself to post on the internet like this guy….

(Don’t worry this guy is probably really nice)

Drop me a line and let me know what some of your hobbies are. Heck I might even want to try a few of them out!

p.s I know there are a ton of free hobbies (i.e. going to the park, local museums, etc). I’m not as interested in them, as I am the areas where you set aside money for the soul purpose of HAVING FUN!

16 thoughts on “How dare you spend your money on fun things!

  1. 1. Costume making. (http://www.bewareofninja.com). An extremely geeky, yet satisfying hobby. I also pull income from making costumes for other people, so I guess that kind of evens out.

    2. Photography. It goes along with costuming and conventions. I currently have the most basic Rebel and it suits my needs fairly well, but I'm eyeing a better flash.

    3. Video Games. We actually buy very few games a year, but we have Gamefly to keep us busy. I'm currently working on Assassin's Creed II (because I suck at it and Mr hogs the PS3) and Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. Mr is still playing Call of Duty every Thursday and he just finished Dante's Inferno. God of War is on pre-order.

    4. Crafting. This is where I blow the most money. I've done beading, painting, parasols, stone carving, button making, clay sculpting, plushie making…The problem is sticking to one thing instead of getting distracted by another project.

  2. In no particular order:

    – Home improvement projects: I don't consider all of these an investment, as landscaping is a temporary improvement that has to be repeated in order to maintain its value
    – Video games: I love some video games, and was lucky enough to find a Mrs. that does too, and is actually really good at them. I think they save money, as we don't buy new games often, and still play some we bought over a year ago frequently
    – Travel: love travelling and seeing new places. I'm pretty good at taking weekend trips, but need to get real vacations into the mix
    – Concerts: I get this rush of energy (a tingle down my spine honestly) at concerts that I don't get anywhere else, except an occasional close OSU football game. I know it's a waste of money ($30-$60 for two hours of music), but I love music

  3. Also – your photography hobby could quickly become a money maker. Your shots look great – ever thought about trying a kids birthday party or something? Photographers are ridiculously expensive, so I'm sure you could find some parents that would be willing to sacrifice experience to save 75% off the cost.

    Also – your camera could save you lots of money too. Instead of hiring a photographer for the wedding ($1500 minimum), we just got a decent DSLR (Nikon D60 – not even anything too fancy). The pictures turned out great, we saved money, we own all of our own materials, and we have a camera to boot.

  4. I like (okay, love) nail polish. A silly, frivolous thing, but I type all day and like seeing pretty colors, like the spring green holographic goodness I've got going on right now. Joyous. So I allow myself to spend money on it.

    And vacations. Me and boyfriend don't have a huge vacation budget, but we went to Jamaica last year and were planning Vegas this year. That's going to be put on hold to go see family a bit more often this year, as there's a new niece to hold :D. Neither of our parents took vacations, and I'd like to start a habit of going somewhere, doing something, even if it's small, just to get away.

    We also like our movies. Summertime is a huge movie watching time for us; we get the yearly Entertainment Book and have a bunch of movies to watch at discounted rates–$15.00 versus $21.00 for two tickets adds up really quick! None of those is a necessary expense, but they keep the remaining grind of paying off debt and building savings in perspective, and that's whats most important to us right now.

  5. I love to go camping/backpacking/hiking/snowshoeing. I spent a lot of money on gear in college, but could always use more stuff :). I like to travel and experience new places that I have never been to before. The place that I can blow a lot of money is when I am in a moment, and I feel like enjoying myself in that moment. I am a in the moment spender, and who can blame me.

  6. Skiing, and the travel associated (Va resident who lived in CO for awhile – now I can't stand skiing anywhere South of VT). WOW I need a hobby (as my savings account cries nooooooo)!

  7. Writing is my main hobby. It's not as cheap as it seems. First, I have to read a lot. That can get pricey when books are unavailable at the library. Plus, I write about my life… which means I have to do a lot of living. Socializing, dating and going to events costs a lot of money. So does looking nice in the process.

    I have a detailed budget for spending caps on each activity. It's going well. 🙂

  8. I too just bought my first DSLR for Christmas. It was a huge price tag. But sadly I haven't had a chance to sit down and read the how-tos. I just snapped pictures of family and friends and mostly my dogs for now. There are some on my blog somewhere.

  9. #1 – Travel – usually about 15-20% of my "spending" budget
    #2 – Home improvement projects – some are must haves but most are nice to have's. ie, brown toilet and tub are functional but I'm going to replace anyway. For about 5 years, this ate up about 50% of our spending budget because we bought a "fixer"
    #3 All things home made – I pretend I'm a homesteader and experiment on all things made from scratch. Most of the time it's the same price as buying in the store, but a) it usually but not always tastes better and b) I have a new found appreciation for spending that $8 on smoked gouda because I know how hard it is to make it. I've made jams, pizza dough, cheese, yogurt, bread, pasta, grown things, etc.
    #4 – one new thing a year. When Armageddon comes or I'm retired and have more time, I want to be able to know how to do stuff. (furniture refinishing, tiling, mushroom picking, stained glass, gardening, car maintenance).
    #5 – biking, diving, climbing, snowshoeing…these I don't really count anymore because once you buy the gear, the upkeep is pretty low. I've had alot of the same gear for over 10 years. It's a good initial investment because there is limited variable cost. (I would never golf and stopped skiing..too cheap to fork over the dough every time I do it)

    Wow..must be the immigrant child thing. Most of my hobbies have a practical component to them. Didn't realize til I wrote down.

  10. My major hobbies are video games. The new occasional wii game every once in a while.

    I also enjoy sewing. Who knew that this could get so expensive! Fabric, cutting tools, sewing machine, oh my!

    Vacation, okay so I rarely go anywhere unless I'm invited by people (family) that pay for flight and shelter, but still I need food, activity and spending money which can definitely add up. I also want to go on a vacation just BF and I so we will *gasp* need to pay for our own transportation and shelter.

    Reading/collecting kid's books, I know I could read books from the library but I prefer to see it as an investment in my future. I want to be a full-time teacher so those will be useful in the classroom, and I also want to be a mom one day, and my kid is going to love all the books to choose from.

  11. It all comes down to a matter of choices and priorities. If you budget for some discretionary spending, and stick to your budget, it doesn't make a difference if your idea of "fun" involves collecting used celebrity Band-Aids, or racing office furniture. (As long as your fun doesn't cause personal/environmental harm or interfere with the rights of others.)

    You just have to acknowledge that every time you spend your money on "fun" you are choosing NOT to spend it on something else.

  12. HAHA! This would require that we have a positive base-line cash flow to really apply this. BUT, if we did it would be on (in no particular order):

    Home improvement projects
    Travel
    Photography (I'm dying to get a professional camera!)
    Crafts
    Gardening/Yard "stuff"

    I DO shop. That is my hobby. I don't consider it an obsession because I don't go overboard and buy a bunch of stuff all the time but I shop online for 1-2 hours a day and I love window shopping the stores. That is fun for me.

  13. The difference between and SLR and PNS is amazing!

    I like your thinking – dinner dates are a relationship investment! Haha. That is very true sometimes.

  14. I hope this doesn't sound too stupid, but I set money aside each month for shopping. Fashion is one of my hobbies and I like to have cool unique outfits. Fortunately, this means that the bulk of my shopping is done at thrift stores, but a good portion of my "shopping fund" is definitely directed towards the local mall

  15. Nice write up. Spending money eating out with Ninja girl is really not that bad especially after you put it in a way that you are investing it in your relationship.

    Spending it on nice workout is really not spending as well since you are investing in a clean look at work which opens doors to promotion and advancements from being well groomed.

    Same goes to spending money on exercise equipment is not excessive since you are investing in your well being meaning less health care cost in the future.

    Cheers! http://moneyhoneysf.blogspot.com/

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