5 Hobbies that are Costing You Money – and Stopping you from Travelling!
Who wouldn’t want to have more money? No matter how much we earn, none of us ever seem to quite have enough to do everything we want. It’s even worse for those of us who’ve been bitten by the travel bug, because that’s already an expensive hobby, and it’s hard to support more than one! So if you’re always struggling to scrape together enough for your next big trip, perhaps you should look at where the money is going, rather than where it will come from.
Your gym membership could have felt like a bargain when you signed up, but over the course of a year, the cost will build up even if your muscles don’t. If you never get round to cancelling your membership despite no longer using the gym, you could easily waste several hundred pounds in just a few years - perhaps the same amount of money you spend on going to concerts or to the cinema!
Do you really need to exercise in a gym? The most important thing about exercise is its regularity and intensity, not its location. If you’re trying to balance your budget, you might be able to get just as good a workout jogging in the park and doing pushups, situps and weight training at home.
So-called ‘freemium’ games - those that are free to download but that charge to unlock content - can be surprisingly expensive. Some people spend far more money on this allegedly ‘free’ content than they would investing in the latest games console and the hottest video games.
Although freemium games are good for passing the time during idle moments, it’s doubtful that anyone would say they are as immersive as other games on the market; most people would surely have far more fun spending their cash on other forms of entertainment. Freemium games are designed to be addictive rather than entertaining. If you have already spent your hard-earned money unlocking extra lives on a vaguely distracting smartphone game, think about how much cash you will spend over a year, and what else you could do with this money.
It’s important to keep an eye on how much money you spend gambling. Experts recommend that you set a budget whenever you decide to gamble, and stop gambling when you reach your limit. It can be tempting to try to bet your way back to success when you are nearing the end of your budget, especially if you’re playing a progressive game like the Euro Palace jackpot, but this is an easy way to eat into your finances and create problems for yourself down the road.
Cigarettes and alcohol
Have you got into the habit of drinking alcohol to unwind most evenings, or to relax over the weekends? Do you feel incomplete without a packet of cigarettes and a lighter? You might think that these habits are relatively inexpensive, but you might be damaging your wallet as well as your health.
Even if you aim for the cheaper end of the market, two or three pints in the supermarket could cost you £4-£5, and ten cigarettes another £4-£5. Over the course of a year, these habits would cost upwards of £1,500 each, or £3,000 altogether! If you go for more expensive products - a £4 packet of cigarettes will soon be a distant memory - expect your expenditure on these vices to at least double. It’s amazing to think that we can afford these habits!
Cutting your alcohol consumption in half could therefore save you at least £750 every year, and you’ll likely find that you feel better about yourself and feel inclined to drink far less regularly should you do so. If you can’t quit smoking or don’t want to - and we’re sure you’ve heard the money argument before - then making the switch to e-cigarettes could cut your expenditure on nicotine by 50%, if not more.
And if you like expensive coffees when you’re out and about, a travel mug costs a few pounds and lasts for years, and coffee beans and hot water cost just pennies!
Written by Gareth Monet.