Spending Money on New Hobbies

by Dual Income No Kids on October 26, 2009 · 0 comments

This past May I got so sick of being horribly out of shape that I decided I would start running. I was an ok runner in High School (lower-level varsity on the Cross Country team), and although I can’t say I necessarily enjoy it, there is a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes from being able to run that is just enough to keep me coming back. But I hadn’t run in quite some time, so I needed some new gear.

I don’t typically spend a lot of money on random things for myself, so I was ok with making a few purchases to get this new activity going. And you’d think that running would be a low-cost hobby, but as I look back on the last 4+ months, I’ve spent a decent amount of money. Here’s what I’m bought and how much I’ve spent on each item:

* Two pairs of running shoes, ~$80 each – I put between 300 and 350 miles on my first pair so I was definitely overdue for some new shoes.

* 1 pair running shorts, $25 – I had some athletic shorts but they were too loose to run in; thankfully the days of above-the-knee running shorts are behind me (no one needs to see that) but I needed a pair that would stay up while running.

* 3 running shirts, ~$30 each – Regular cotton t-shirts are fine for most runs, but they become a real burden during runs that are longer than 10 miles (they get really heavy when drenched with sweat). This includes two shirts my wife bought as a surprise gift.

* Camelbak, $50 – When you run for longer than 10 miles, hydration becomes an issue. Camelbaks are a great way to stay hydrated.

* Gu Electrolyte Mix, $10 – I mix this with my water for runs longer than 10 miles; it’s a bit of an enhancement over regular water.

* Gu Energy Gels, ~$15 total – Conventional Wisdom says take one of these per hour of running.

* Race Fees, $115 total – I participated in two runs: a 5k in September and the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26th. Registration fees (especially for the marathon) can be pricey!

* Running Socks, $10 total – Regular cotton socks can cause nasty blisters during the longer runs, as I found out the hard way.

* Shoe Inserts, $10 – A foot injury that I suffered about 3 weeks ago rendered these absolutely necessary.

That’s a total of $485. $485! It was all necessary for the most part, but still, nearly $500 spent on running in four months…there are more expensive hobbies out there and it’s easy to get carried away with spending money on the new hobby. The most important thing is to determine what is essential, and what could possibly be attributed to getting caught up in the excitement of a new hobby. Readers: how have you reconciled your budget with the price of new hobbies?

-Michael
Twitter: @michael_dink

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