Friday, March 21, 2008

How Much Should You Spend on a Hobby?

Since you all were so helpful when I was trying to decide if I should purchase an LCD TV (still haven’t finalized my decision – but I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to do) I thought I’d try the same with the cost of a hobby.

Some of the bloggers in the PFBlogger network have suggested I change over to wordpress from blogger so that I could have more flexibility with my blog template. I’m all for changing over except there would be some costs involved to do so.

Seb at Pinching Copper did some research about the costs associated with registering a domain name and hosting fees. The domain name is $10 a year hosting would be around $6 a month which would equate to about $82 a year to use wordpress instead of blogger.

To me that’s a lot of money in order to blog. I blog for my personal enjoyment, not as a money making adventure. In fact my blog’s in the red because I’ve funded a few comment contests. It was suggested so I did add google Adsense in an effort to recoup some of these costs but my current Adsense account has only $4.17 in it and you can’t even access this money until you reach the $100 mark. In my estimation at the current rate I’ll reach the $100 mark to be eligible to withdraw earnings in about 8 years. So needless to say I’m not banking on these funds.

I started thinking about if spending close to $100 a year is reasonable for a hobby. So I decided to examine my hobbies outside of blogging and their yearly expense:

Volunteering Weekly at the Food Bank:

  • Travel to Food Bank calculated at the IRS’s .505/mile reimbursement rate - $262.60
  • Monthly Donation - Excluded (I’m excluding my monetary contributions because I could volunteer weekly without donating each month, I just chose to donate since I see first hand the need and benefit)

Exercising/Running:

  • gym membership - $660/year
  • Replace Running Shoes - $400/year
  • Replacement of Worn Workout Clothing Articles - $90/year
  • Race Entry Fees - $ 170
  • Travel via car and subway to races and the gym. Car travel also calculated at the IRS’s .505/mile reimbursement rate - $787.80

Reading:

  • Library Card – Free
  • Purchasing the Occasional Book that I can’t find at the Library - $20/year

Obviously I do have more expensive hobbies than blogging. My hobbies currently cost $1340 a year excluding transportation, including transportation $2390.40. Dang - that’s a lot of money. I have to admit while I had a good idea of the hard costs associated with my hobbies since I keep track of my spending by categories I never sat down to calculate the cost of the transportation until today. After figuring out the true cost of my current hobbies do I want to add another $100 a year for blogging when I can use Blogger.com for free?

I’m not sure what to do yet – I’m going to do my usual wait and see before making a decision. I know the benefits of not using blogger and using wordpress would be quite nice but where do I draw the line for hobby spending? Where do you draw the line for hobby spending?

2 comments:

No Debt Plan said...

I'd say you can spend what isn't disruptive to your other goals. Or break up a piece of income for your own spending money, then spend it on what you feel is right.

Additional thoughts on blogging: yes, you can register a domain for $8-9. Hosting doesn't have to be that expensive. Check out https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/. I don't use them currently (with GoDaddy until October), but they only charge you for the bandwidth you use. Many sites, according to the company, are hosted for $1 per month or so.

fr0ke said...

wordpress sucks because you have to constantly update it with security patches. Otherwise your precious blog will get filled with spam and no one will want to read it. Let Blogger handle that stuff for you, saving both time and money.

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