…and it’s called expensive hobbies. Ok, I’m not talking private jets, designer wardrobe and casual drugs. I’m talking the everyday, normal things which I have just realised can really catch a person out. So here is my little sin list and how I am tackling it.
- Expensive plants – I used to have a little urban jungle (it looked like this) which after a while grew into a much bigger, very expensive urban jungle. Did you know that a variegated monstera deliciosa can set you back well over £150 if you want a large one? Well then, now you know. I got to the point where my monthly spend on new plants and upkeep would exceed £50. Lucky me for getting two cats and having to sell the whole thing on because they kept attacking the plants (cats do that, ok?). I still keep plants and I still love the fancy ones. But I now have a rule – if I want a plant, somebody outside of my household either has to gift me a cutting or the whole plant. Yes – I stopped buying expensive greenery altogether and you can too.
- Pets and pet accessories – did you know that owning a pet is not cheap? That’s a lie – it is possible to keep it really inexpensive, but the whole fun of owning a pet is that you get to love on it in often ridiculous ways. My two kittens are almost 1 year old. In the first 6 months of their life I’ve spent close to £1000 on their care, toys and food (details here and here). Nothing better than a budget reconciliation to slap me with some cold reality. So now they get their flea treatments and claw trimming at home, their toys are on rotation instead of getting them new ones all the time and there are no plans for another cat bed to grace our home anytime soon. They sleep on the guest bed most of the time anyway! Don’t get me wrong – of I were to make the decision again, I’d get the cats all over again but maybe I wouldn’t treat them to quite so premium everything.
- Travel – travel travel travel. I can’t sit still for too long, there is somewhere I am going pretty much every month, otherwise I’d go crazy. I easily spend upward of £7k-8k per year for just me to go places. It’s a lot of money. This year I’ve finally decided to tackle my travel spending and see if I can trim it some. And I can – instead of going away for the weekend (cost average for me is just under £200 per trip, excluding pet care), the boyfriend and I have been hopping on a train and doing day trips. The latest one was to Brighton where our return tickets only cost £14.80 per person. Perfectly satisfying and a huge saving. We won’t be able to substitute all our trips this year for such cheap alternatives, but we managed to do this twice so far and that counts for something.
- The other stuff – be it crafts, DIY projects, decorating or taking up a random artistic hobby, I like to do things with my own hands. And this is the moment I own up to a total madness – I’ve just purchased a digital piano keyboard to stop myself from spending a lot more on house related work which the house does not actually need. Despite being pretty sane, I clearly have my insane moments too and there is not always a method in the madness. So this time around to stop myself from easily spending £5k on built-in wardrobes, I’ve spend £150 on that keyboard which I intend on using to force myself to learn to play the piano. It takes a lot of dedication and time to learn to play the piano well, so much in fact that I won’t have the time or the will to be moving walls in the house around.
If you have a better way of dealing with your expensive hobbies, please share your thoughts, I am clearly at my wits’ end with this today.