The way you spend your idle time shouldn't put you on the road to the poorhouse.In fact, hobbies sometimes can bring in a little cash. The key is to pick a leisure-time activity that you'll stick with long enough to justify the expenses involved. It can mean the difference between a blatant money-waster, such as trying to break the
Buy used: Once you commit to a hobby, think used. While you didn't go out and buy everything on day one for your hobby, a lot of people do. If they realized that the hobby wasn't for them, that hobby material is collecting dust in their houses. Garage sales, eBay ( EBAY), Craigslist and other places that resell used goods can provide you quality hobby material for a fraction of the retail price. Focus on necessities: When making purchases for your hobby, zero in on the necessities. Almost all hobbies have expensive accessories that would be nice to have but aren't essential -- at least as you start out. Ignore the extras and focus on the basics. As time wears on, you'll learn what is important to you as you improve at your hobby, and then you can make a better decision on the accessories you need. If you decide to take up photography, for instance, you don't need to buy the fanciest camera, lenses, filters and lighting. Instead, begin with a quality, durable camera, and as your photography improves, you can add accessories that will bring out your new-found talent. Share and trade: Chances are that when you find a hobby, you will also make friends with others who have similar interests. Hobbyists who have been doing it for a while probably have extra equipment that they may be willing to share or lend. As you become more of an expert, trading among your hobbyist friends can make the hobby a lot more interesting at a fraction of the price of buying retail. Make money: Once you have been doing a hobby long enough to learn the basics, you know what others pursuing that particular hobby want and need. This information can be used to turn your hobby from something that costs money into something that actually makes money, since you will be in a perfect position to know what other hobbyists like yourself wish for most. This information can be used to start a business to provide those wanted items or services. Even if it is a hobby that seems there would be no way to make money from it, the Internet has changed that. It's possible to
write a blog or newsletter about it which, if it gathers a following, can be profitable. For example, if you love to try interesting new foods, a blog about these food adventures could be a way to make money. In addition to sharing your love of the hobby with others, you could write off the expenses of buying the food as business expense from any profit that you made. Take the time to do your homework when choosing a hobby, and you'll greatly decrease the chances that you'll waste your money. Who knows -- maybe it will eventually make you a little richer.