Everything we fill our leisure time with has a cost-per-hour associated with it. Figuring out how much your favourite leisure activities cost and ranking them against how much enjoyment you get out of them can lead to big savings.
Photo by neerijus.
It might initially sound a bit miserly to start figuring out how much your free time activities are costing you but it will help you to determine if the activity is really worth the money you are sinking into it. At the financial blog The Simple Dollar they made a huge list of all their favourite leisure activities and figured out how much they cost.
What I did a while back is simply make a giant list of all of my favourite leisure activities. Taking a walk. Playing a board game. Reading a book. Playing a video game. Playing basketball. Playing with my kids. Working in the garden. Going to movies. Going to bookstores. Going to the library. The list was quite long.
Then, I figured up the approximate cost per hour of engaging in those activities.
Going to the movies was pretty expensive, as was going to the bookstore (because I rarely leave it without a book in hand). Playing a board game or a video game were usually pretty cheap, as the cost of each is prorated down because of the many times I've played each one ($1 per hour or, often, much less than that, and even that's merely recovering a sunk cost). Other activities, like taking a walk or playing at the rec, were effectively free. Gardening arguably earns a little bit for each hour invested in it.
I've played the excellent board game Small World so much that the $US30 initial cost — about as much as a cheap night at the movies for two — has been prorated down to nearly pennies per play. By comparison if we'd gone to the movies instead of playing the game it's quite possible that our enjoyment and return on our money would be much lower.
Nobody is suggesting you slash any activity from your weekend that has a high cost but brings you a lot of enjoyment, but once you start weighing the expense against the amount of enjoyment you get from the activity you might be surprised to see that spending more money on an activity doesn't translate into more enjoyment. Check out the full article at the link below for more tips.
Have trick for assessing your spending in a new and interesting way? Have a favourite leisure-time activity that's easy on the wallet but lots of fun? Let's hear about it in the comments.
Making Your Time Less Money-Dense [The Simple Dollar]