Do Your Hobbies Make Or Cost You Money?

Do Your Hobbies Make Or Cost You Money?

Everyone has something that they invest their spare time and money on. Some of these hobbies retain their value more than others. Do you pick hobbies that can bring returns on your investment?

Picture: Roadside Guitars/Flickr

By their very nature, hobbies don’t need to make money. They’re for entertainment and relaxation, so a return on your investment isn’t required. It couldn’t hurt though. Take the Simple Dollar’s example of comic-collecting:

At first glance, a person might think this is a wasteful hobby. Thousands of dollars a year on comic books?

Here’s the catch: his collection is retaining at least all of the value he’s putting into it.

Just like many of us, he’s spending a lot of money each year on something that entertains him. He gets a great deal of personal enjoyment from it.

The big difference is at the end of the day, he can sell off the items he has been purchasing and not only recoup his money, but likely make a nice return on all of it.

Of course, that’s not always a guarantee. Comics will lose most of their value the moment you buy them, but if you’re willing to put in the effort to find a buyer when you’re ready to give them up, you can probably make some money. On the other hand, collecting things like DVDs or Blu-rays will probably be a pure money pit.

What about you? Do your hobbies bring you extra cash? Or do you prefer to not worry about finances when you’re having fun?

Hobbies That Retain or Create Value [The Simple Dollar]


  • My photography hobby is roughly breaking even (discounting the initial investment). Although it’s getting to the stage where it’s a part time job that I love doing.

    • For me it’s a pure hobby and therefore a pure expense. I know that with the type of person I am, if I was to start charging for my photos and going to paid shoots it’d turn into a job and I’d lose interest VERY quickly. I certainly wouldn’t be able to take it in the same direction you have. 🙂

      • I felt the same, which is why my photography is almost all landscape ( :D). The problem I’ve found with this, is that people love your photos, but don’t want to buy them, because it doesn’t have their face slapped over it.

        But art shows are different. My landscapes sell rather well there, so I can at least recoup some costs.

      • Same here. I feel that if I start charging money for doing it, I feel that it’ll become less like a hobby and more like work because of the stress I’d be under to get the right photos with the right light, etc.

        My other hobby is cooking so.. I guess that is an expense, but in a way, it’s a necessary expense and chore.

        • I thought I’d be like that, but I like getting money for doing something I love. Models come to me for my style, so I don’t really have to worry too much about getting everything right. I just need to do my thing. No complaints so far 🙂

  • I wish, my hobbies have always cost me a small fortune and then when I move on (Get bored quickly) I have all this stuff, my house is full of stuff…

  • I don’t choose hobbies based on whether or not it’ll ultimately make me money, but on whether or not I enjoy it. Sure, one day my game collection may actually be worth something (some individual titles may already be worth something now), but that’s not why I got into gaming, nor why I continue with it.

  • What’s to care about? It’s my hobby and it makes me happy. I am not out whoring, pissing my money up against a wall, or gambling the lot away and leaving nothing on the table for the family to eat.

    It’s a hobby, its enjoyable and gives me a feeling of accomplishment that I enjoy. It’s payback is more than logic can measure.

    You have another hobby that is about making money, and that is called a job. Do you really want to take all the fun out of life? Then make your hobby your job. You’ll not want to follow your hobby soon enough, and then you’ll be looking for a new hobby to distract you from the daily grind.

    Don’t worry – be happy.

    • Then make your hobby your job. You’ll not want to follow your hobby soon enough, and then you’ll be looking for a new hobby to distract you from the daily grind.

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I wish someone had told me this before I went down that exact same road.

  • My hobby doesnt make money at all, its very costly.

    Keeping Snakes,

    However the side gig i run does,
    Instead of buying mice and rats to feed the growing reptile collection, i invested in a breeding setup.
    After the initial 6 weeks of nothing, Boom the money was being born on a regular basis. So much so that i have a piggy bank that i add to on a fortnightly basis. This money not only pays for the upkeep of the rodents but is the fund to purchase new snakes.

  • A job is a ruined hobby. That’s why my photography will continue to cost me and not make any money. I’m keeping it as a hobby only.

  • Hobby: triathlon

    Total cost the last year: $5660…for all gear (from nothing), 3 races, travel, training and some coaching

    • But if you think about it… you “make” money from being healthy and not needing as much medical treatment further down the track 😀

  • That is a sweet guitar, amp and pedal collection in the photo! My collection is about 1/3 of that and it’s already cost me thousands of $s.

  • My hobby is origami, I haven’t made money from it, but I’ve had numerous offers from people to buy models off me.

    Thing is, many models are created by other people and I’m not sure if I’m allowed to sell it. I have however create some models myself 🙂

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