Thursday, March 15

Find A Frugal Hobby

There is no limit to the number of ways we can waste money. Everywhere we look there is an advertisement telling us how much better our lives would be if only we'd purchase the latest and greatest music, automobile, clothes, and fragrances. We be interesting if only we'd subscribe to the right newspapers and magazines. We'd enjoy ourselves so much more if we took a vacation or perhaps simply lived in fantasy for a few hours while seeing a move.

I have to ask you, are our lives really that bad?

No, of course not. But we keep hearing this claptrap so often, I can only imagine that in some way we all collectively fall for it. Consume. Purchase. Buy. Spend. Be a better you. Look better. Smell better. Feel better. If only it really were so easy. However, if I look back to my high school days, when trivial issues where important and so many things were out of reach, I can see exactly when and where this brainwashing starts to pervade.

Okay, okay, it's not really that bad. Maybe it's too late, but I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist. My point is that the easiest way to develop a frugal attitude and lifestyle is to reject the rampant consumerism all around ourselves. Sure, we can all resist spending money when we don't have it, but when you do have money, or worse, credit, how do you resist then? Well, look at the ever climbing consumer debt load. We don't resist very well, do we?

Again, without sounding like a conspirancy wacko, this state of affairs is no accidental mistake. It is encouraged every time we see a commercial, read a billboard, flip through a magazine, watch a movie, listen to the radio, or otherwise go about living what is now a normal life. Life really did use to be simpler, and most of us didn't realize that we werent happy as we were.

If you just can't control your money, work on developing some frugal hobbies. If you develop a passion for reading, you wont' go broke raiding the local library. If you were to take up needlepoint, you'd have a hard time buying enough materials to put you in the poor house. If you don't take it too far, yardwork and gardening can give you endless hours of pleasure without draining your bank account.

In short, and I'm sure most people who are settled down already have, find some interests that you can pursue endlessly, that you can enjoy, that are not heavily based on expensive products and services. I'm sure many of you reading this are already bloggers, like myself, who spend next to nothing doing something we enjoy. I may eventually buy a domain name and host my blog off of Blogger, but even then it's only going to cost me a few dollars a month.

Anyway, though I do blog, my hobby is actually developing Internet applications or sites. I don't know whether it qualifies as a hobby or not, because the idea is to end up with a business model and generate revenues. Well, I susppose, it stops being a hobby if I end up making a living from it... but until then, I can enjoy working on these projects and simply make a dollar or two from time to time.

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Frugal Guy said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Frugal Guy - what a great blog!! I am a farmer & Kindergarten teacher in country Australia, and get so much enjoyment out of frugality. This past weekend we have completed building our carport - for FREE - our local tip (waste landfill) allows people to bring aas well as remove "junk" - so we got all our wood and iron for nothing - we had the screws already & all it took was time, sweat & sunburn!!
Frugal hobbies are great too - I make all my own greeting cards - recycle pretty bits from ones I have been given to create lovely new ones. Envelopes from old wrapping paper look fantastic.
Keep up the great frugal work. Cheers, Martina

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the comment. Finding sources of free supplies is a great idea! They can be few and far between, but sometimes they are out there.

Pat said...

I think you hit the nail on the head. Resisting temptation is the hardest part of being frugal. The end result is worth it, though. We need to remind ourselves of why we're frugal, what our goals are.

Good post.

Frugal Guy said...

Thanks Pat!

MissAmyBlogs said...

LOL - many of my past hobbies have been businesses or in disguise. i actually went all the way with web design, although jewelry making, closet organizing and many more didn't hold my attention long enough. jewelry in particular was just way too expensive too. now i read a lot, have an account with netflix and spend some time blogging - all inexpensive hobbies.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi MissAmy, it make's a huge difference on lifestyle if your hobbies are revenue neutral or perhaps even revenue generating.

Thanks for the note.