There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby that can provide you with something enjoyable to do with your time. However, you do need to be careful. If you are spending a lot of money on your hobby, it could easily lead to debt.
When you engage in a hobby, it is a good idea to think things through. Are you putting your retirement at risk with your hobby? Do you use your credit card to pay for your hobby — without paying it off each month? It’s important to keep your hobby under control as you participate, so that it doesn’t ruin your financial future.
Here are 5 hobbies that are easy to lose control of, and rack up the credit card debt:
There are tons of collectibles available. From comic books to sports cards to action figures, there are a number of things you can buy. Unfortunately, as the Beanie Babies craze illustrates, collectibles don’t always appreciate in value. And you need to realize that most collections may never end up being worthing anything. You can spend hundreds — thousands — of dollars on collectibles, racking up the credit card debt as you buy them.
Sure, the first issue of Superman sold for $1.5 million, but most collectors aren’t going to end up with something that valuable. Most collectors will just keep spending money for things that might be worth half what they paid for it.
2. Storm Chasing
Another interesting hobby is storm chasing. Running after tornadoes and other serious storms. can be interesting and fun, and you might even get some great footage. However, it can be costly to go chasing after severe weather. You have to pay for gas, the wear and tear on your car, and for equipment. In some cases, you might actually be able to sell footage to a channel, but making money successfully is hard to do, and you are more likely to just rack up the credit card debt.
3. Flying Toy Helicopters or Planes
As kids, we like to have toys that fly. Remote controlled helicopters and planes are fun to fly. There are even helicopters and planes that look like models of the real thing — even built to scale. However, these models can get pricey, running into the hundreds of dollars. And there are batteries and accessories to buy. It also starts to get addictive, as you enter races, and engage in other activities that can cost more and more over time.
It’s true that geocaching is less expensive than it used to be — thanks to cheaper GPS devices and smart phones that can act as GPS devices. However, there are other costs that can start to add up. Paying for gas as you drive everywhere can be expensive. And, if you really go off the beaten the path, you end up needing to buy food, and you have other expenses.
Some sports are more expensive than others. Golf is one of them. You have to buy golf clubs and other equipment, and pay for lessons. Plus, you have greens fees, as well as other expenses. Even the clothes can be expensive. However, after awhile, the costs add up. You might win some money at tournaments, but, for the most part, golf is just an expensive hobby.