How the Right Hobby Can Save You Money…

by Kelly · 21 comments

in Living Frugally


… but for reasons other than you think!

I love to sew. Sewing is in fact one of my favorite hobbies, even though, like most hobbies for most people, I don’t get to do it nearly enough. (In fact, I like most crafty type hobbies, like embroidery, decoupage, painting and so on.)

And it’s true that sewing helps me to save money because I don’t have to spend money on alterations, and I can also make my own clothes (not that I do that very often!). I’ve been able to buy lots of clothes from thrift stores which were in great shape, but needed some kind of alteration, and thus gotten a great garment without spending a lot of money. Not to mention all the money that I don’t have to spend getting my pants shortened. (Is it just me, or are all pants sized for giraffes?)

There is a more important way, however, that sewing (which could be replaced by any hobby really) saves me money.

It keeps me from spending money.

Because I’m sewing, or planning a sewing project, or thinking about things that I would like to make, I’m not out shopping and spending money. I know that when I’m bored I’m tempted to go shopping, for lack of something better to do.

Although there are all the frugal benefits that come along with not having to replace clothes as often, or being able to tailor and customize things to fit my taste and needs, for me, having this hobby saves me mainly money because I have something to do.

So this afternoon, on my mid-week break, I’m going to get down the pile of clothes and projects that I’ve been stashing in my room. I’m going to haul out the sewing machine and supplies and hope that, in between serving snacks and mediating disputes, I’ll be able to fit a bit of frugality in.

What are your frugal hobbies? Do they help you save money or do they cost you money?


1 Amy Reads Good Books June 17, 2009

Very true! As long as the hobby isn’t shopping, we can call it frugal. My very expensive book-buying habit has been replaced by frequent, frugal trips to the library. I now spend hours reading and never spend a cent! (Thankfully, we get e-mail reminders to turn in our books at my library, so I don’t even pay fines.)
.-= Amy Reads Good Books´s last blog ..Top Three Tuesday =-.

2 Kelly June 19, 2009

I’m a huge reader too, but I’m saved from spending too much money on this hobby by two things: lack of time (cough, three small children, cough), and few English language bookstores here. Guaranteed, if I had easy access to cheap books in English I’d have a hard time restraining myself… Although I guess that would fall under the guise of shopping, wouldn’t it?

3 Bhavana Mittal December 14, 2009

I love to read books too. Even though I have three small children and the passion had been shelved for years, recently I got back into it through a friend’s book club. Now, after a year, I am very comfortable again. I use the library a lot, for myself and for my kids. This past weekend we had a rainy day activity of going to a friends of the library sale. I got 8 award winning titles for 50 cents each. Same for children. Had a great time. The kids love their books. My daughter can’t stop saying,” So you mean we don’t have to return this book!!”

4 RML - Being More Through Having Less June 17, 2009

My hobbis are blogging and reading at the moment. Scrapbooking WAS NOT a good hobby for me as I spent too much… I would like to take up painting one day, but fear I would see it as as excuse to spend money…

Sewing would be good too, I often think of all the repairs I could do.
.-= RML – Being More Through Having Less´s last blog ..Best Foot Forward =-.

5 Kelly June 19, 2009

Blogging is cheap, that’s for sure! And I know that it also keeps me from spending money.

6 neimanmarxist June 17, 2009

I love cooking, and i do all of our cooking from scratch, even things normally buy, like bread and cookies and things. so I guess that's one of my frugal "hobbies", though some people might call i a chore I happen to enjoy 😉 I also like soap-making, and that saves us quite a bit of money, and I like to run and do yoga DVDs, which saves us money on a gym membership and gives me something to do that isn't shopping! Actually sometimes when I feel like buying something I consciously make a point to get in a workout and I get the same "high" 🙂
.-= neimanmarxist´s last blog ..Where I've Been & The Story of My Stuff =-.

7 Kelly June 19, 2009

I wish I could get that same feeling from working out… I’m still at the feeling tired stage!

8 Amber June 17, 2009

I totally agree. My "hobby" is photography. I bought a relatively inexpensive camera and shot with it *constantly*. At the end of a year of taking pictures every single day with my junk camera, I gave myself permission to buy a nice camera, which I had been conveniently saving for the whole year. Within a few months, I had landed a job where photography is a big component. My hobby turned into a profession!

Now that I have the gear, the camera helps me save money because it turns a passive activity into an active one. Going to festivals, taking a walk in the park, even going to the library are photographic events – something to *do*. And with digital photography, there are no prints to buy unless you really want them! (Plus, you can almost always find some incredibly cheap deal on the internet or elsewhere).
.-= Amber´s last blog ..3/4 + 1/4 = 1 =-.

9 Kelly June 19, 2009

That’s great! Isn’t it nice to make money off of something you love doing? And that you created yourself?

10 Amiyrah June 18, 2009

My hobby is shopping and it saves me tons of money. I call it "couponing" but it saved me over 6 thousand dollars last year, and it actually making me money this year. Finding the deals, figuring out how to get them without spending little, or any, money, and stockpiling items that my family loves is so much fun! Blogging has become my second favorite hobby, but since I blog about frugal lifestyle and finding great deals, they become one in the same.
.-= Amiyrah´s last blog ..Fried Rice Feng Shui =-.

11 Kelly June 19, 2009

Good for you Amiyrah! (Everyone should check out Amiyrah’s blog- in addition to frugal stuff, she often posts yummy recipes!)

12 Kristy @ Master Your June 18, 2009

Mine is writing, screenwriting in particular. I have screenwriting software on my lap top, which I've removed the internet capability from so I'm not tempted to get online and buy stuff – which, when I get bored I'm certainly known to do. I find that when I'm writing a script and really into it, I feel really good afterward. Not only is it frugal and keeps me from spending money, but in a lot of ways, it's like a vacation and I feel extremely refreshed. I am trying to find more time to be consistent, but right now I'm too busy to get in as much writing time as I'd like. However, I totally agree that some hobbies make very frugal options.
.-= Kristy @ Master Your Card´s last blog ..10 Things I Would Never Go Cheap On… Again! =-.

13 cristy June 18, 2009

my hobbies are sewing, cooking, gardening, raising chickens and doing anything else that is frugal if anyone has any tips on any of these please share them

14 Kika June 18, 2009

My favorite "hobbies" are just reading (tons of library books) and walking with my husband or girlfriends. Neither cost me $ and both make me very happy.

15 Molly June 18, 2009

Oh how do you not want to go fabric and pattern shopping? And get lots of sewing magazines?

I have this problem with my crafty hobbies – like papercrafting (I want fancy pretty paper for origami) and books (which I've been doing okay with checking out library books). It's REALLY bad with knitting/crocheting – I want to get the soft (and subsequently more expensive), natural yarn (alpaca, bamboo, etc)…

How do you handle that?

16 Kelly June 19, 2009

I am saved by one major thing, that the fabric shops here in France are not generally nearly as tempting as in the US! Otherwise, it would be a major money suck.

17 Kelly June 19, 2009

I also wanted to say that I try not to go to the one or two good fabric stores that often- and I always go with a list!

18 Annie June 18, 2009

I too have some fun chickens and a small garden. I sell the eggs to co workers and friends, People really like fresh eggs! The cartons are saved for me. It helps pay for the upkeep ( got a problem with snake thieves – any ideas?) Fresh veggie overload puts me on a street corner on saturday. Cash sales. People happy. my supplies paid.
homemade elderberry wine – another favorite of some. The elderberries grow on the road side as do the blackberries. share and all come back to you, Life is a full circle.

19 Tom June 21, 2009

I used to ski alot a pretty expensive hobby and I found that the thing I liked most about it was the solitude and being in nature.So I turned my loved of sking into a love of hiking which has the added benfit of not causing me to break any bones.

20 Elisa @ blissfulE June 22, 2009

As a tall woman, I had to laugh at your comment about “all pants sized for giraffes”. I hold up trousers in the shop and they don’t reach my ankles…

Perhaps in France trousers are sized more sensibly (you can always hem trousers that are too long, but woe betide you if the trousers are too short). I did have good luck in London, and now it sounds like I’ll have to visit France again to check!

21 LJ June 29, 2009

I’m with Elisa…as a tall woman in the US, I’m used to never having pants quite long enough. And I loved the giraffe comment.

It’s amazing to me that clothing manufacturers measure inseam length for men, but never realized that not all women have the same length legs!

Be happy you can alter trousers by hemming them up. When they’re too short, there is little you can do to alter them to the right length.

Perhaps that is why I wear skirts and dresses so often…
.-= LJ´s last blog ..What Makes A Project Worthwhile? =-.

Previous post:

Next post: