Some Thoughts On Start Up Costs

by Nicole · 7 comments

in Concepts in Frugality

I took my dog to the vet for the second time in the less than two months I’ve had her. After tackling roundworm, hookworm, and fleas (oh my),  it turns out she also has a yeast infection. In her ear. Didn’t even know that was possible.

I was joking with my friends that I got a lemon of a dog when my friend Jen brought up an interesting idea, “Well, these are start up costs.”

Think of any new hobby or really anything when you first start out doing it. There are start up costs in terms of equipment, time, supplies, gear… I am hard pressed to think of anything that doesn’t require some money out front.

My most expensive hobby is probably skiing. There was the initial costs of skis, boots, poles, and warm clothing were substantial. Maintenance costs include an occasional lift ticket and gas money towards driving to find cheap or free places to cross country ski. I justified these costs as an investment in my winter health and sure enough, I’ve been using my gear for at least ten years.

My least expensive hobby is probably writing. A bound blank book and a gel pen can last me a year no problem. (I’m sure I could get by even cheaper but it’s easier to write when things are pretty, people!)

Even things that are less fun have start-up costs, like a security deposit with the rent or a down payment on a car.

I’ve been wondering if these start up costs keep more money saving types from trying new things. I know I personally hold back a bit. But is it because I want to save a few bucks or is it an excuse to keep doing what I know? It’s a question I now ask myself before that automatic ‘no’ response because it’s important to keep in mind.

What about you, Almost Frugal friends? Do start up costs keep you in a rut? If they don’t, what’s something you did that had worthwhile start up costs? (P.S. I can respond to your comments this week as I am now officially out of the woods and back to the world of internet and electricity!)


1 Kelly May 14, 2010

Oh yeah, dogs can get yeast infections in their ears. My mom’s Labrador gets them almost incessently. Try to keep her away from water, or, if she loves to go swimming, get those drops to put in her ears after.

2 JanB May 14, 2010

Two things, I am a painter. When I started, I wanted to try oils, acrylic, watercolors. Each new medium cost about $50-100 to get started. Now I have been tempted to try glass etching. No way, the etch itself costs $80. I will stay where I am.

Also, in playing the “I’m Debt Free” game, they have two cards in the deck that say, “Get a free puppy – pay $500 start up costs”. I loved that because it’s so free. But they ought to have a card that makes you pay that much at least yearly because, again, it’s true. Last year our dog was attacked by a stray that I took in. $1,500 in vet bills. I am not one to put a lot of money into our pets, because we don’t have it, but these were wounds that, with stitches, would heal, but it was on a holiday, at night and by the time they put him out, stitched him up, kept him overnight and shaved him (he’s a collie), $1500. Made me sick.

But it’s paid off now.
.-= JanB´s last blog ..Doing the math. =-.

3 Ozge May 14, 2010

Hey there! I think start up costs also makes you think twice before taking up a new hobby and consider whether you really want to do it or not. I mean lots of people just feel a momentary enthusiasm about new things and when they get their hands on it for real, they realize they don’t enjoy it at all. Recently I’ve taken up crafting at home with the purpose of re-/upcycling and well, the start up costs really came as a shocking surprise what with purchasing all that paint, a cutting mat, brushes, an x-acto, etc. etc. but in the end I decided these basic supplies will last me a long time and I will be able to make use of what I’ve got lying around instead of purchasing new things. Yeah maybe getting new boxes, pen holders etc. would cost less, but to me producing less waste matters more than spending less (that’s not to say I splurge when I do buy something, after all I’m trying to be frugal too :). So, long story short, costs make you understand whether you’re really up for a new hobby, etc. or whether you just fancy it cause it just looks good/fun etc.

4 Sarah @ The Domestic CEO May 14, 2010

The start up costs of something new definitely hold me back from trying certain things. I did, however, just recently decide to scratch my itch to be creative by taking up knitting. I had done it when I was much younger but haven’t been back to it for at least 20 years. It’s been about a month now and I am so glad I went outside my comfort zone and spend the money to get started again.
.-= Sarah @ The Domestic CEO´s last blog ..Goals for week of May 10-16 =-.

5 Abigail May 16, 2010

When Tim and I weren’t making much money, I was definitely hesitant to take on new hobbies. I don’t know what it will be like when we’re out of debt. I know he’s eager to get back into Magic The Gathering.

I chuckled when I read this, though, because I recently did one about a stray costing us an arm and a leg — and we’ve only had her two weeks. We had the normal check up at $135. Then a paw got infected for a $221 fee.

Since we’d originally asked that it be bandaged and they said it wasn’t necessary, I politely called and explained my frustration. We got $84 taken off the bill, so we essentially paid for medications and one or two other small things.

I’m kind of terrified about what will happen next!

6 Judy May 16, 2010

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at clay sculpture. You know where you have that spinning wheel and a lot of mess. Problem is ‘where’ do you do that and then there’s the price of that kiln!!!

It’s funds that holds me back. Seems like a huge expense for something that I might not even be good at!


7 Nicole at Breaking Even May 16, 2010

I hear you, Ozge, it is hard to tell whether something is going to become a passion or not when you first start out. I’m wondering if most of the time, there are ways to ‘test’ things out before investing (trying a class for example)…

Anyway, I guess there are periods when we all have startup costs! Makes me feel better!
.-= Nicole at Breaking Even´s last blog ..Some Thoughts On Start Up Costs =-.

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